What Marijuana Does To Your Body And Brain
The Huffington Post's Ryan Grim traced the term back to 1971. A group of California high school friends, known as the "Waldos" used "4/20" as a code word to refer to the time of the day when they would smoke outside of school.This year, for the first time, residents of Colorado, Washington, and Uruguay can celebrate the day with legal recreational marijuana.Advertisement
The plant, best-known for its "feel-good" effects and touted for its uses for multiple diseases, can also be damaging to our bodies and minds.
The high you get from marijuana mostly comes from a chemical called Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, which is found in varying potency in different strains of cannabis.Most of THC's effects happen in the brain, where the chemical interacts with receptors on brain cells called cannabinoid receptors. Our bodies actually make chemicals very similar to THC, which are used in normal brain function and development. THC co-opts these natural pathways to produce most of its effects.
Marijuana makes us feel good.
But that's not all good. It can mess up your reward system.Advertisement
It blocks memory formation.
THC messes with your balance.Advertisement
Cannabis use may increase the risk of depression.
Intense anxiety, fear, distrust, or panic are common side effects.Advertisement
But it may decrease anxiety too, provided people don't consume too much.
Marijuana users may experience psychosis.Advertisement
Audio and visual hallucinations are common.
It robs you of sleep.Advertisement
Inhaling marijuana causes your heart rate to increase.
It may cause red eyes.Advertisement
It can lead to dry mouth.
You may get the munchies.Advertisement
But it keeps you skinny and helps your metabolism.
It's better for your lungs than tobacco.Advertisement
It controls epileptic seizures.
It relieves arthritis discomfort.??Advertisement
Marijuana treats inflammatory bowel diseases.
THC slows the progression of Alzheimer's disease.Advertisement
A chemical found in marijuana stops cancer from spreading.
Here's the way it works in Colorado.Advertisement
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