Marijuana and its Effects Grant O’ Connor Melanie Passons Stephanie Blackman Jaclyn Beulen Michael Hudson
How Marijuana Works • Marijuana mimics the actions of anandamide • Marijuana contains cannabinoids such as THC • receptors are activated by a neurotransmitter called anandamide • It binds to cannabinoid receptor sites and activates these neurons
Parts of the Brain Affected • Hippocampus, important in short-term memory • Marijuana binds to receptors in the hippocampus and interferes with short-term memory recollection • Basal ganglia, controls unconscious muscle movements • Cerebellum, important in coordination
THC • THC affects the production and reuptake of various neurotransmitters • Alters the way in which sensory information is interpreted • Affects the ability to process new information and retain memory • Also decreases the activity of nerve cells
Long-Term Memory Cannabinoid receptors are found in the parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thought, concentration, sensory perception, and coordinated movement. • The part of the brain that handles reflexive types of memories is the cerebellum.
Long-Term Memory • The Hippocampus is essential to convert short-term memories into long-term memories.
Long-Term Memory • Marijuana interferes with learning ability. • School • Retaining information learned in class. • Grades
Short Term Memory • Marijuana effects the way in which the hippocampus processes information • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main component of marijuana that harms the neurons in the hippocampus. • THC causes the nerves in the brain to behave differently than they normally would. • All of this causes a reduce in short term memory
Short Term Effects • Difficulty learning • Impaired judgment • Feelings of paranoia • Increased heart rate • Potential cardiac problems • Bloodshot eyes • Intense anxiety • Increased susceptibility of infections • Impaired driving skills
Motor Skills • Slows down the ability to react, and interferes with the proper working of muscles
Motoring • In high doses, marijuana probably produces driving impairment in most people • “Dose-related impairment was observed in drivers' ability to maintain steady lateral position. However, even with the highest dose of THC, impairment was relatively minor” pdxnorml.org
Multiple Medical Benefits • Relief for neuropathic pain(pain from nerve damage) • Appetite stimulant • Treatment of Glaucoma • Treatment of Spasticity(when certain muscles are actively contracting regularly)
Pain Relief • In Multiple Sclerosis patients, marijuana has been proved to reduce pain, depression and fatigue. • Rheumatoid Artritis patients have found to slow down and ease the pain associated with stiffness/pain of limbs. • “In January 2006, investigators at the British Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Disease reported successful treatment of arthritis with cannabinoids in the first-ever controlled trial assessing the efficacy of natural cannabis extracts on RA” -Blake et al. 2006. Preliminary assessment of the efficacy, tolerability and safety of a cannabis medicine (Sativex) in the treatment of pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatology 45: 50-52.
Works Referenced • http://sulcus.berkeley.edu/mcb/165_001/papers/manuscripts/_ • http://www.onlinepot.org/medical/potmemory.htm • http://www.nida.nih.gov/Infofacts/marijuana.html • http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/marijuana-brain.gif • http://www.graduateschool.uwm.edu/research/features/snapshots/james-cook/hippocampus-l.jpg • http://www.jneurosci.org/cgi/content/full/18/14/5322?maxtoshow • http://www.brown.edu/Student_Services/Health_Services/Health • http://www.effects-of-marijuana.com/short-term-effects-of-marijuana.com.html • http://www.pdxnorml.org/Exposing_12_1095.html • http://www.amsa.org/resource/natlinit/marijuana.cfm