Describe the neural basis for the effects of marijuana. Much of the effects of marijuana involve the brain. For instance, marijuana can result in decrease sensorimotor function, as well as decreased cognitive skills such as learning and memory. All of which occur in the brain (Levinthal, 2013). Marijuana can also cause a decline in attention and the ability to focus on long and short-term tasks. One notable portion of the brain that does not appear to be affected by marijuana is the lower structures of the brain that are needed for proper breathing. The fact that marijuana’s effects mainly involve the brain has made it necessary for researchers to further study the brain and what occurs as marijuana is exposed to it. In the late 20th century, researchers discovered how marijuana worked when it reached the brain (Levinthal, 2013). The discovered that there were receptors in the brain that were excited by the drugs in marijuana. According to Jacobus and Tapert (2014), these receptors were called cannabinoid receptors and these receptors have a function in the release of neurotransmitters. These receptors are more abundant in areas of the brain that are necessary for short-term and long-term memory, which explains why individuals that have marijuana in their system exhibit effects of poor short and long-term memory function. Jacobus, J., & Tapert, S. F. (2014). Effects of cannabis on the adolescent brain. Current Pharmaceutical Design , 20 (13), 2186–2193. Retrieved from Levinthal, C. F. (2013). Chapter 7: Marijuana.
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- Fall '16
- Psychedelics, dissociatives and deliriants, Cannabinoid receptor, Levinthal