THC is a potent chemical that reaches the brain within seconds after inhaling cannabis smoke. The science behind this know-how may be important for people who wish to have a better understanding of marijuana. What follows is a breakdown of how it works.
After cannabis intake, users begin to feel light-headed and hazy. Eyes begin dilating, colors intensify, and other senses are enhanced. THC interacting with the brain is what causes these feelings as specific parts of the brain are involved.
Information is processed by neurons in the brain. Chemicals called neurotransmitters allow neurons to communicate. They fill the gap or synapse between neurons. Foreign chemicals such as THC cause a block in neuron talk. Neurotransmitters also bind to protein receptors which cause various mind and body functions to be turned on and off. Some neurons have thousands of receptors that are highly specific to certain neurotransmitters. THC can mimic or block neurotransmitter activity, interfering with their normal behavior.
Groups of cannabinoid receptors are highly concentrated within the hippocampus, basal ganglia, and the cerebellum. Within the hippocampus, short-term memory functions in the temporal lobe. When THC binds with cannabinoid receptors in the hippocampus, there is an interference in the recollection of recent events. While in the cerebellum, coordination is affected. And in the Basal Ganglia, were unconscious movement is directed, motor coordination is impaired. It may be important for users to be aware of these changes in brain activity, to ensure marijuana is consumed in a safe manner.
Physical activities such as short term memory, learning, coordination, and problem-solving are affected by THC intake. Different parts of the brain have focused groups of cannabinoid receptors that are activated by anandamide, which is also a cannabinoid, but one the body makes. THC mimics anandamide by binding with cannabinoid receptors, activating neurons, producing adverse effects on the mind and body. Users appreciate a period of creativity and mental calm, complimenting marijuana for its health purposes.
At times, the science behind how THC works on the brain may sound a little thick. But understanding the basics will help users get the most out of their latest run to a marijuana dispensary and deepen their understanding and appreciation of the culture behind marijuana use.