Tag Archives: Science

Negative effects on the brain caused by recreational marijuana

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.

cannabis / image from Quick GuideUnderstanding Medical Marijuana

 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.

marijuana ice cream /image from Dr Greenlove

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.

The chemical formula of THC/ image from Evidence for God from Science

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.

THC and the brain/ image from Collegiate Times

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.

image from SlidePlayer

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.

image from Depositphotos

How Does Carbon Dioxide Cycle Through the Oceans?

Have you guys ever wondered where carbon dioxide (CO2) molecule goes after you exhale? A lot of carbon dioxide on the Earth, including what we exhale and carbon from our factories or cars, actually ends up in the ocean. Once CO2 molecule is in the ocean, it might travel in through the surface for a while before going back to the air above or it can travel deep down into the ocean and stay there for hundreds of years. A computer model was made to track CO2 in the ocean in order to find out where it travels and the time duration it stays at the bottom of the ocean. Research has shown that carbon dioxide cycles in different levels of the ocean. This information enables us to find out how the ocean responds to and contributes to global climate change.
The oceans play an important role to the Earth’s climate change because it can take in a huge amount of carbon above and store carbon in the atmosphere. In fact, more than 93% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) in the world is stored in the oceans. Fortunately, most of the CO2 is stored in the oceans, which leaves less CO2 in the atmosphere. The reason is that Greenhouse gases such as CO2 can trap heat that is radiated back to the Earth, which can overheat our planet. Thus, oceans help to store a large amount of CO2.
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Tiny plants called phytoplankton live on the surface of the water where they can be exposed to sun. They gather CO2 from the atmosphere to build their bodies. When they die, phytoplankton sink into the bottom of the oceans and bacteria break them down to release the stored carbon dioxide back into the seawater. This process is called biological carbon pump, which pumps carbon dioxide into the bottom of the oceans for many years.
Study has shown that phytoplankton are usually bigger in colder areas compared to warmer areas and stick together into large clumps when they die. This will make them heavier and sink down into the ocean further and faster before they get decomposed by bacteria. The colder area of the oceans also slows down the bacteria growth, which allows phytoplankton to sink further down before their carbon dioxide be decomposed and released by bacteria.
If humans keep continuing to pollute the Earth and emit CO2 to the atmosphere, the oceans and the world will become warmer. The warm oceans can not store more CO2, which will cause CO2 to be released into the atmosphere and further heat up the Earth. In order to break this cycle, humans need to work together to save our planet and reduce the use of fossil fuels and factory waste into the atmosphere. Also, human beings can avoid many natural disasters such as hurricane, blizzard, and volcanic eruptions resulted from the effect of Global Warming.