New Research About the Effect of THC on Mental Health
Cannabis or marijuana is one of the most abused of frequently used substances like alcohol and tobacco. Now it is even being made available in a liquid form. But neither form is without its precautions that must be addressed considering the push to make it a legal substance. THC the most common chemical from this substance and has been with every bit smoked 421 some odd chemicals and inhaled as well.
The actual neurobiological mechanisms that are associated between cannabis use and acute or long-lasting psychological issues are not completely understood. Cannabis is the most used illicit drug in Europe and globally with approximately 200 million users: With another 13 million individuals with cannabis dependence. This number illustrates a major public health concern as the use of cannabis can cause psychosis in individuals who are vulnerable. In addition, this use can exacerbate already known psychotic issues depending on how much has been used. The psychoactive property of cannabis is scientifically known as Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol with the shorter more commonly known as THC. The study cannabis use was associated with THC induced glutamate increase. This study confirmed that even a single dose increases striatal gluconate potentially a mechanism underlying the acute psychotomimetic effects of cannabis. Even a low level of exposure psychostimulant drug can lead to the long-lasting behavioral situation. It also illustrated the use of THC leads to in certain subjects to experience psychotomimetic effects. It also is a step toward mitigating the adverse effects of THC as this is becoming a major public health issue (Colizz et al, 2019).
Cannabis Alters Brain Activity
Cannabis is the most commonly used substance of abuse in the US after alcohol and tobacco use. Cannabis use disorder (CUD) has increased while the attitudes of use have softened and attitudes of adults and adolescents of the risk of using have decreased since 2001. Addiction has been said as a chronically relapsing disorder. It is described as a compulsive drug seeking and intake loss of control in limiting. There has been found three stages of addition. Binge intoxication-impaired processing blunted dopamine release. Withdrawal-negative affect-negative increase, a state without emotion dysregulation related to the function of amygdala function. Preoccupation impairments-impairments in executive function domain of short-term memory and IQ and in gluconate correlating with cravings and relapse. The binge-intoxication stage is characterized by excessive impulsivity and compulsivity to use the drug despite the consequences to their health. Chronic use of cannabis has been found to have an increased risk of developing substance use disorder. In the DMS-5, cannabis abuse and dependence fall under a diagnosis of CUD. Cognitive dysfunction and decreased dopamine signaling after cannabis use; Its impairment is seen in deficits in executive function including long-lasting cognitive impairments (Zehra et al, 2018).
Research Shows the Dangers of Marijuana
In the face of increased marijuana use and the push to have it legalized it is important to document the actual effect, THC has on the brain this study was one of the effect of THC on the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) because of its critical role in brain development and plasticity. The global analysis revealed an overall rise in adolescent users even when the increased potency of today’s cannabis has been identified and how dangerous it is to brains still developing. The most common route of consumption of cannabis is by smoking it. This brings 421 different chemicals into the adolescents' system. Unfortunately, most testing is done only in animals’ adults and individuals who already have mental conditions and many studies just focus on THC. It is this faulty and simplistic attitude that the actual biological action is limited BDNF crosses the brain barrier and can be measured for changes that occur in the brain. Effects of chronic use remain pervasive via greater BDNF leading to alterations in brain function and structure. Results such as this should be considered when attempts are made to broadly legalize marijuana (Migues et al, 2019).
Cannabis is the third most used psychoactive drug worldwide. Studies of this drug have shown no therapeutic utility yet is gaining wide acceptance even though it has been proven to exhibit high harm potential. In some individuals, the use of cannabis generates addiction syndromes that have no treatment. In the US this drug was placed under schedule 1 of the controlled substance act. This means the substance has no medical value and has a high harm potential like heroin or cocaine. Its continued use leads to changes in the brain structure. Cognitive function was impaired by acute THC and was linked to changes in working memory. It also showed altered time perception and decrease in serotonin. In individuals with schizophrenia, THC use was shown to decrease the density of gray cerebellum mater. In human studies with addicts, it is suggested that they undergo magnetic resonance spectroscopy studies on the cerebellum to illustration the neurochemical basis of altered function. Cannabis addiction is a condition that seriously impairs lives. Data on the effects of THC and the cerebellum will help provide a more accurate picture of the neural circuitry underlying this disorder (Moreno-Ruis, 2019).
A new study has shown the first evidence of blunted stress response to the dopamine signaling in brains’ frontal lobe is at high risk of psychosis when cannabis is used regularly. It seems that cannabis use has an effect on the dopamine levels and this causes a risk increase that goes up with the higher cannabis use causing the person to have a higher risk of developing schizophrenia; a condition with abnormal dopamine synthesis and release in the brain. These results are important to consider as the global push for legalization of cannabis use increases (CAMH, 2019).
CAMH (2019). Study examines cannabis effect on brain neurochemistry. Center for addictions and mental health, Toronto, Canada. Addiction Biology.
Colizzi, M. et al. (2019). Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) increases striatal glutamate levels in healthy individuals: Implications for psychosis. Molecular Psychiatry.
Miguez, M.J. et al. (2019). Marijuana use among adolescents is associated with deleterious alterations in mature BDNF. AIMS Public Health, 6(1).
Moreno-Ruis, J. (2019). The cerebellum, THC and cannabis addiction: Findings from animal and human studies. The Cerebellum, 18 (23).
Zehra, A. et al. (2018). Cannabis addiction and the brain: A review. Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology.