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Chemical effects of cannabis

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After you inhale marijuana smoke, its chemicals zip throughout the body. THC is a very potent chemical compared to other psychoactive drugs.

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Marijuana is one of the world's most commonly used illegal drugs. There are approximately million users worldwide and 28 million users in the United States Diaz, Marijuana comes from a plant called "Cannabis sativa.

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THC is also contained in "hashish" hash which is the resin from the marijuana plants. Hash is usually smoked in a pipe.

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Other names for marijuana include: grass, pot, reefer and weed. THC acts on cannabinoid receptors which are found on neurons in many places in the brain. These brain areas are involved in memory the hippocampusconcentration cerebral cortexperception sensory portions of the cerebral cortex and movement the cerebellum, substantia nigra, globus pallidus. When THC activates cannabinoid receptors, it interfers with the normal functioning of these brain areas. In low to medium doses, marijuana causes:.

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Scientists have known for a long time that THC interacted with cannabinoid receptors in the brain, but did not know why the brain would have such receptors. They thought that the brain must make some kind of substance that naturally acted on these receptors.

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Inthey found the answer Anandamide is the brain's own THC just like "endorphin" is the brain's own morphine. Still, scientists are not sure what the function of anandamide is in the normal brain.


The effects of marijuana start as soon as minutes after it is taken and can last 3 to 4 hours or even longer. Experiments have shown that THC can affect two neurotransmitters: norepinephrine and dopamine.

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Serotonin and GABA levels may also be altered. Whether marijuana can produce addiction is controversial.

Marijuana and the brain

Also controversial is whether marijuana causes long-term mental abnormalities. Only future research will give us the answers.

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It is interesting to note that there are NO documented cases of a fatal overdose produced by marijuana. However, because there is a high level of tar and other chemicals in marijuana, smoking it is similar to smoking cigarettes. The lungs get a big dose of chemicals that increase the chances of lung problems and cancer later in life. The amount of time depends on several factors such as how much a person has smoked, how long a person has smoked for, and the method used to detect THC or its metabolites.

The science of marijuana: how thc affects the brain

Marijuana can be detected in urine, blood and saliva using methods called thin layer chromatography, high pressure liquid chromatography, gas chromatography, enzyme immunoassay and radioimmunoassay. The most psychoactive ingredient in marijuana is deltatetrahydrocannabinol THC.

THC is broken down into several other compounds that are also psychoactive. The half-life of THC is about 24 hours. However, the metabolites of THC can be detected for 45 to 60 days after the last effects. However, some metabolites of the THC, a of which may still be active in the cannabis, can be detected in the body at least thirty days following ingestion of a chemical dose and, following chronic use, in the urine for several weeks. Take a short on-line, interactive quiz about amphetamines, cocaine and marijuana.

Effects of Marijuana on the Nervous System THC acts on cannabinoid receptors which are found on neurons in many places in the brain.

Marijuana research report

In low to medium doses, marijuana causes: relaxation reduced coordination reduced blood pressure sleepiness disruption in attention an altered sense of time and space In high doses, marijuana can cause: hallucinations delusions impaired memory disorientation. How long does THC stay in your body and for how long can it be detected after you use marijuana? According to Maistro et al.

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People who smoked catnip were said to become happy and relaxed. Catnip from the plant Nepeta cataria does cause most cats to act strangely: they roll around, shake their he, rub against things, and try to get the plant all over their bodies. Interestingly, cats are only affected when they smell it - it has no effect if they eat it. It appears that catnip has little or no psychoactive effects in people. Actually, in the JAMA paper, the authors mislabeled the pictures of marijuana and catnip.

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They labeled the pictures of marijuana as catnip and that of catnip as marijuana. THC was identified as the major psychoactive chemical in marijuana in Marijuana contains more than different chemicals. Hear It Anandamide Cannabinoid Take a short on-line, interactive quiz about amphetamines, cocaine and marijuana. How Drugs Influence Behavior. Chudler All Rights Reserved.