How Does Marijuana Affect The Brain

How Does Marijuana Affect The Brain?

In general, marijuana is completely a harmless plant, but how does marijuana affect the brain? Aside from the extensive research on its medicinal properties, researchers are also very keen on learning more about the effects of marijuana on our brain. 

Craving for food and getting hungry or what the so-called “munchies” is one of the most common effects of marijuana on our brain along with the increased risk of developing psychosis and other effects. 

Marijuana may have tons of benefits both recreational and medicinal; however, this is also associated with the increase of risk to develop psychosis according to health experts. This is very risky for younger age category marijuana consumers. They will likely decrease their IQ which is one of the long-term effects of marijuana use. 

Even though it is completely safe for people to consume marijuana, however, this will likely result in the reduction of their IQ when they start to age based on medical studies. 

To further discover how marijuana does affect the brain, here are some key possible effects that we’ve detailed below for your reference. 

Increased risk of psychosis 

People who frequently use marijuana, especially those for recreational reasons have a higher risk to develop psychosis. Since people who use marijuana often enjoy the psychoactive effects and the euphoric effects of marijuana, this will aid their brain in developing psychosis which is a mental illness that has symptoms of drifting away from reality by hallucinating and paranoia. Aside from psychosis, people who consume a high dosage of marijuana are candidates to develop schizophrenia compared to people who never consumed marijuana. 

Affects the IQ Level

This affects the younger people, particularly teens that smoke marijuana that will suffer from IQ drop when they start to age older. However, there is no exact evidence of why people lose their IQ level when they consume marijuana regularly. Based on medical studies, the IQ drop will likely affect the younger people since their brain is continuously developing during that stage that is altered by the psychoactive effects of marijuana. 

Neural Connectivity Impairment 

Young people who consume marijuana frequently display a lot of pieces of evidence of suffering from neural connectivity impairment in particular regions of the brain. This affects a wide range of important functions such as impulse controls, learning, and memory compared to people who don’t consume marijuana.

Alters the reward system on the brain. 

Potheads’ brains have different responses to various rewards compared to people who don’t experience smoking or consuming marijuana. Their brain responded oddly when they are presented with images of marijuana and their favorite food or fruit which are the most common objects they considered as rewards. 

People who smoke marijuana have busier brain activity specifically in the reward system whenever they see objects that are relevant to marijuana compared to looking at their favorite food or fruits. This concrete evidence suggests that marijuana alters the natural reward system of our brain making them more dependent on it, even though marijuana is naturally not addicting at all. 


Marijuana is used by people who are anorexic because it easily boosts their appetite after finishing up a joint. The explanation behind this is that our brain’s particular neurons that have normal responses to suppress appetite are affected by marijuana, thus frequent users always get hungry after smoking a joint. Our brain’s neurons that control our appetite are virtually turned off or disabled once the psychoactive effects of marijuana set in. While being disabled, these neurons released chemicals that stimulate our minds to get hungry. 

Munchies are very helpful for people who have anorexia, loss of appetite, and even cancer patients who experience loss of appetite due to the treatments they are undergoing. 

The Usual High

Of course, your brain and your body will get high whenever you smoke a pot. This is the main reason why people consume marijuana, its psychoactive effects brought by THC that effectively stimulates the part of the brain that is responsible for the pleasures you experience in sex, food, and happiness.  Because of THC, your brain releases the chemical they called dopamine that gives you that euphoric and uplifting experience. 

Regardless if you smoke or consume it via edibles, the high you experience in marijuana can affect your brain, but not in a negative situation. This helps people with stress, anxiety, and depression. The pleasures you experience while your high is very effective in changing the mood of people suffering from various conditions. Because of the high, marijuana is very popular. 

Effective pain reliever

One of marijuana’s very potent positive effects is its soothing experience that instantly relieves pain and discomfort. So, how does this work? Generally, pain is signaled on your brain regardless of where the pain comes from in your body. Marijuana helps not just your brain, but your nerves and entire body relax, relieving you of any pain and discomfort. 

Most of the time, people experience the numbing sensation that is felt down from their nape to their toes. This helps them alleviate any symptoms of various ailments such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatism, arthritis, joint pains, muscle pains, and many more. 

To add more, marijuana is also an effective remedy for people suffering from epilepsy, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and attention deficit disorder (ADD). These conditions mainly affect the brain that results in loss of muscle control and seizures. Marijuana helps people suffering from these conditions through its numbing and relaxing effects that instantly relieve all the symptoms. 

Final Words

In general, marijuana will only affect your brain negatively if you abuse it. So, how does marijuana affect your brain? It depends on how disciplined you are when you consume it, other than that, the negative symptoms we’ve detailed above only happens in extreme situations. 

These situations involved addiction which is non-existent to marijuana users and overdosing. Overall, marijuana brings more positive benefits to everyone that is why it is being pushed for legalization worldwide. 

Now that you know how marijuana affects your brain, you should consume moderately.

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