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Cannabis and Marijuana - Essay Example

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This paper will discuss the effects of cannabis and marijuana usage on the human brain and on human behavior. The cannabis plant produces marijuana, which is can be eaten or smoked thereby inducing a state of euphoria. A lot of research has been carried out, both on the positive and negative effects of cannabis and marijuana on the brain, and the ways in which it affects human behavior.
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Cannabis and Marijuana
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Download file to see previous pages Although marijuana can be beneficial in the treatment of ailments like glaucoma, cancer, multiple sclerosis, AIDS and also chronic pain, researchers like Jacques-Joseph Moreau have discovered that marijuana has numerous harmful effects on the brain and the functions of the human central nervous system. Usage of cannabis hinders movement and memory in the brain. Chemicals in marijuana, especially THC and cannabinoids directly alter the emotions, memory and function of a user's brain and central nervous system.
Marijuana changes to brain function and behavior by impinging on the central nervous and attaching its elements to the neurons in the brain, thereby interfering with the natural communication between the brain's neurons. This interference causes the nerves to alter their normal behavior. For instance, after using cannabis, a nerve that was supposed to enable a person to retrieve short-term memory, tends to act do the opposite, because of the cannabinoids receptors. Thus, if a person has to recall his recent activities, maybe his activities during the last 5 minutes ago, that person will have a lot of trouble accomplishing this, if he has taken a high dose of cannabis/marijuana. Cannabis contains about 400 chemicals, and about 60 of them are known to be cannabinoids, that are psychoactive compounds that are produced inside the human body and brain after cannabis is metabolized. "Cannabinoids is known to be the active ingredient in marijuana, and "the most psychoactive cannabinoids chemical in marijuana that has the biggest impact on the brain is THC (tetrahydrocannibol). tetrahydrocannibol is the main active ingredient in marijuana because it affects the brain by binding to and activating specific receptors, known as cannabinoid receptors. "These receptors control memory, thought, concentration, time and depth, and coordinated movement." (J. Bartholomew, S. Holroyd, and T. M Heffernan 2010)
When a person uses cannabis and his or her memory is affected, the short-term memory will be triggered first, as marijuana damages short-term memory as a result of the fact that the element tetrahydrocannibol interferes with the processing of information by an area of the brain called the hippocampus, which is responsible for the proper formation of memory. "One region of the brain that contains a lot of tetrahydrocannibol receptors is the hippocampus, which processes memory. Hippocampus is the part of the brain that is important for memory, learning, and the integration of sensory experiences with emotions and motivation. It also converts information into short-term memory. As a steroid, tetrahydrocannibol also acts on the hippocampus and inhibits memory retrieval. tetrahydrocannibol also alters the way in which sensory information is interpreted. When tetrahydrocannibol attaches to receptors in the hippocampus, it weakness the short-term memory, and damages the nerve cells by creating structural changes to the hippocampus region of the brain. When a user has a high dose of marijuana, new information does not register into their brain and this may be lost from memory and they are not able to retrieve new information for more than a few minutes. There is also a decrease in the activity of nerve cells." (M. Yucel, N. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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