Marijuana has always been a topic of controversy and debate. Although it is increasingly being legally accepted in many parts of the world, the long-term effects of marijuana are still not fully understood.
One hotly debated topic is whether or not weed kills brain cells. In this blog post, we take a closer look at the evidence and separate facts from fiction.
Will Marijuana Kill My Brain Cells?
As marijuana is still illegal in the United States on the federal level, more research needs to be done in order to prove the effects of marijuana on brain cells. We cannot yet clearly conclude whether smoking weed will kill your brain cells or not.
However, what we do know is that many long-term studies have shown that consuming weed does have some negative effects on the brain. This is especially true if weed use started in a person’s teenage years or if they smoke it regularly.
How Does Marijuana Affect the Brain?
While there is no conclusive evidence that long term marijuana use kills brain cells, it can certainly cause brain damage. THC binds to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, which play a crucial role in functions such as memory, coordination, emotions, and pleasure.
Chronic marijuana use can damage these receptors, leading to impaired brain function. It is still unclear whether the damage is permanent but it can affect a person's daily functioning.
Here are some of the common side effects of marijuana use in relation to the brain:
#1 Weed Can Affect Memory and Learning
Studies conducted over the past few decades reveal that chronic cannabis use for years results in a notable reduction in the volume of the gray matter region. This region is responsible for information processing, memory, and decision-making in the brain.
Another study discovered that prolonged use of marijuana can impact cognitive abilities. Specifically, a study revealed that intense use of cannabis caused the hippocampus and amygdala regions of the brain to shrink, which can severely affect memory and learning abilities.
#2 Weed Can Stunt Young People's Brain Development
Using marijuana can stunt brain development in young people. The human brain continues to develop well into the late 20s, and marijuana use during this period can have negative effects on brain development.
High levels of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, can interfere with the proper development of neural pathways in the brain. This could lead to negative effects that can last a long time. Instead of killing brain cells, marijuana hinders the development of the brain for people who started using marijuana early, which leads to various cognitive impairments.
#3 Weed Can Lower IQ
A study conducted in New Zealand involved more than 1,000 teenagers who were given an IQ test at the age of 13 and again at the age of 38. The study also investigated their drug use habits. The findings revealed that individuals who used marijuana four or more times a week had an average IQ decrease of 8 IQ points over this span of time.
This study is the first one to validate that using or smoking marijuana can cause a decrease in intelligenceThe study found that the likelihood of serious or long-term side effects is determined by the frequency of usage.
#4 Weed Can Cause Addiction and Mental Health Problems
Marijuana addiction is another serious side effect of long-term use. People who use marijuana for a long time can develop a dependence on it, which can lead to a range of negative effects, including mental health problems, impaired memory, and poor cognitive function. Addiction treatment can help people overcome marijuana addiction and improve their quality of life.
Get Help for Substance Abuse in Los Angeles, California
More research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects of marijuana on the brain, but there is enough evidence to suggest that chronic marijuana use can result in serious negative effects on brain development, IQ, cognitive function, and mental health issues.
If you believe that your weed use is getting out of hand, call us at Faith Recovery Center. We are the best rehab in Beverly Hills, California that specializes in helping those struggling with substance abuse issues. Our highly-skilled team of experts can provide you with the support, guidance, and treatment that you need to overcome your addiction.