Marijuana (cannabis): the psychological effects of its use


In this issue, we will talk about the psychological effects of marijuana that are most common or important due to their implications for the mental health of those who use this drug.

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☕️ Good Morning Friends, Today we'll talk about the psychological effects of the use of marijuana (cannabis).

Smoking the well-known "pores" has short, medium and long-term effects on our brain and psychological health.

Marijuana is one of the most consumed drugs in recreational contexts, especially among young people and adolescents.

Although its use has been very normalized for centuries in several cultures and in certain regions it has been consumed for millennia, today we know that its abuse or habitual use for long periods has harmful effects on most people.

In this issue, we will focus on knowing what are the psychological effects of marijuana that are most common or important due to their implications for the mental health of those who use this drug.

A twenty four year old woman smoking medical marijuana to relieve symptoms of PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
A woman who smokes marijuana

The main psychological effects of marijuana

THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the most important psychoactive component of marijuana, although there are other cannabinoids in the plant that directly or indirectly influence the nervous system.

These molecules interact with receptors that are present in some cells of our body, thus triggering chain reactions that can have effects on our way of thinking, acting and feeling.

That is why the reason why these drugs are used for recreational purposes, causes several psychological "secondary effects" to arise, some of which are capable of generating many problems and discomfort, and even long-term alterations (that is, that they do not disappear after stopping using cannabis).

Here we will see, by way of summary, what are the most important psychological effects of the consumption of marijuana, but it is important to keep in mind that its appearance depends on the amount consumed and the characteristics of each person: not everyone has to develop these symptoms.

1. Drowsiness and analgesic effect

Drowsiness is one of the fastest psychological effects of marijuana to appear.

In addition, its analgesic effect is what causes the therapeutic use of cannabis to be debated in the face of certain diseases such as chronic pain or epilepsy.

2. Intellectual Affection

Under the influence of marijuana, it is more complicated to spin thoughts through the rules of reason. It is common to get confused during relatively simple mental operations, such as:

  • defending an opinion on any topic,
  • or making decisions about what needs to be done to solve an everyday problem.

In other words, psychological abilities linked to intelligence are affected for the duration of the effect of the drug on the brain.

Moreover, one often has the impression that thinking is too slow, that everything is processed with a certain delay of several seconds or fractions of a second.

3. Loss of ability to concentrate

The phenomenon of difficulty in concentrating on a task is related to the above symptom. That is, the person who has consumed enough cannabis has a hard time focusing his attention on a specific aspect, and it tends to "spread".

This is one of the psychological effects of marijuana that lasts longer, since it can persist remarkably for several days.

In cases where this drug has been used for a long period of time, sequelae of this type may appear in the long term, perhaps due to the brain wear it produces, since it contributes to the death of neurons.

4. Involvement of memory

Under the influence of marijuana, the ability to create and recover memories is affected.

It is common for the person who has been smoking cannabis to realize that several minutes have passed in which he does not remember well what has happened.

5. Dependence

Contrary to what many people think, marijuana is a drug capable of generating addiction, although it is true that its effects in this regard are not as potent as those of substances such as alcohol or heroin.

In any case, many people face a difficult challenge when they try to stop using cannabis.

Read also: Cannabis: 5 tips to stop smoking joints

6. Affective lability

Another of the psychological effects of cannabis that attract the most attention is the lability of the mood, that is, the instability of emotions.

A person who has smoked marijuana may begin to laugh almost maniacally and for no apparent reason, for a few minutes later being crying or feeling a strong anxiety.

7. Propensity to anxious and paranoid thoughts

It is relatively common for people who have used marijuana to feel a strong anxiety when considering the idea that there is a threat that hangs over them.

For example, they may believe that:

  • there are incognito policemen who are chasing them,
  • that someone is going to rob them,
  • or even that they are going to have a cardiovascular accident.

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