Marijuana is one of the three main forms of cannabis (a kind of drug affecting mental activity, behaviour, or perception). It is made from the cannabis plants’ leaves and dried flowers.
In all the products of cannabis, marijuana is the least powerful. It is always smoked or even made into eatable products such as marijuana ice cream.
Therefore, some teenagers think that the marijuana can not hurt them and some of them even think that using marijuana allows them to be relaxed and settle down and improve their concentration. However, the fact is that recreational marijuana-use by youth can cause negative effects on the brain and daily performance.
The Risky Chemical in Marijuana
The delta-9-tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC), a main chemical in marijuana, is risky for biological systems in the brain.
THC affects the cerebellum and the basal ganglia. The cerebellum is the area of the brain which controls balance and coordination. The basal ganglia are the parts of the brain which are helpful for controlling movement. These effects impact performance in some activities, such as sports and driving.
So the THC in marijuana can influences on the cerebellum and the basal ganglia in the brain. Even though THC can affect our brain, the bad thing is that THC percentage in marijuana experienced a dramatical increase from early 1990’s to 2013, which is from 3.73% t0 10%.
The Influence on Memory
In teens, the part of the brain for emotion is developed well, while the part of the brain for judgment still not mature. Smith with other researches found in 2001 that in people who use marijuana everyday for about three years, the hippocampus (a region in brain, is related to long-term memory) looked strange.
The greater differences in shape of the hippocampus, the poorer performance on memory assessment. In a long-term memory test, young adults who have never used marijuana scored 18% better compared to heavy marijuana-use youths. So if young people use marijuana, their memory would be affected negatively because of the brain chemistry and brain structure impairment.
In conclusion, recreational marijuana is harmful to the brain if youth uses it, especially when marijuana-use is high potency and long-term.