What is the connection between marijuana and brain damage?

Marijuana, or cannabis, a drug created from the hemp plant, has been used around the world for centuries. Most commonly smoked, but sometimes eaten or brewed as a tea, the drug is illegal in several countries. Researchers have studied the possibility of a connection between marijuana and brain damage, but the results are inconclusive. Some studies seem to show that long-term marijuana use causes changes in brain structure, while others show no such brain damage. Other research has indicated that marijuana alters brain function over time, but it's not clear how these changes might affect an individual's ability to think.

Marijuana use causes a number of physical symptoms, including increased heart rate, dry mouth, inflamed eyes, and increased appetite. In the mind, what are described as cognitive symptoms occur, including feelings of well-being and relaxation and intense sensations. Less positive cognitive symptoms, such as distorted perceptions of distance and time, poor concentration, and reduced short-term memory, can lead to accidents. In the long term, difficulties with thinking, memory, and concentration caused by marijuana use can affect an individual's performance in work and social situations. There is no conclusive evidence that this is the result of irreversible brain damage and could simply be a consequence of continued marijuana use.

Researchers investigating a possible connection between marijuana and brain damage have found that long-term users participating in studies are difficult to assess. They may use other drugs, may be experiencing withdrawal symptoms, and may have mental disorders that have led to their drug use. There is also the problem of determining what a person's intellectual abilities might be before marijuana use began.

Some research has shown that in long-term marijuana users, memory loss returns to normal within a few weeks after stopping the drug. Other scientists found that marijuana's effects on the brain build up, getting progressively worse over time. More studies are needed to answer the questions on the topic of marijuana and brain damage.

There is a positive link between marijuana and brain damage where the brain cells in question are cancerous. Scientists investigating possible treatments for brain cancer have found that marijuana can cause brain cell death when the cells involved are malignant tumor cells. The malignant damage to brain cells is caused by a chemical in marijuana, known as THC, which causes tumor cells to digest themselves. This property of THC could lead to the development of new treatments for currently incurable brain cancers.

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