To What Extent does Using Marijuana Affect the Development of the Human Brain in the Age between 12 and 18 Years?
The issue of legalizing marijuana for all ages is a hot button issue that has stirred quite a bit of debate among the political spheres. Changes have been made to legalize it in certain states and other changes are still taking place. But it is important to ask how marijuana affects the development of the human brain in the age between 12 and 18 years.
People who are working to get weed legalized and the people who smoke it believe that there are no negative effects. They often cite scientific studies on this. The issue is primarily that the addiction and the effects are largely psychological rather than physical. It is extremely common for regular smokers of marijuana to become psychologically addicted to the substance and then lose their perspective on how detrimental their use is actually becoming. THC is the main chemical that is responsible for the psychoactive effects in weed. It, thus, affects the nerve cells of the brain that are being used for the brain to form memories. This makes it extremely difficult for the user to remember some events and makes it hard to learn while high. This is because a working short term memory is needed for learning and for doing complex tasks.
The active ingredient in the substance works on specific receptors in the brain and then turns around and influences the activity of those cells. Some areas of the brain will have a lot of this type of receptor and some areas do not have many at al. A lot of them are in the areas of the brain that work on thought, memory, concentration, and pleasure.
A lot of heavy smokers have been found to have a lot of trouble remembering short lists of words. They also have a great deal of difficulty focusing on the tests that are given to them. As people age, they generally lose the nerve cells that are important for memory of events. Smoking marijuana on a regular basis speeds up that process to a large degree.
Now you know that in the fight to legalize marijuana there are some legitimate concerns related to brain damage among younger smokers. While the debate is still going and new studies are continually being completed it seems that for now the government is still very much against its legalization because of the aforementioned issues.
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