Cannabis, also referred to as marijuana or weed, is made up of dried-up leaves that are taken from cannabis Sativa and Indica plants.
It can be smoked, baked, or cooked into food to be eaten, and it can even be brewed into teas. People use marijuana for a variety of reasons. Following the legalization of marijuana in certain states, more and more people are becoming more comfortable using cannabis recreationally. Lots of people believe that this drug is entirely safe and don’t understand how cannabis affects mental health.
As a drug and alcohol rehab center in Boca, we know what the effects of weed on mental illness are and we offer a variety of addiction and mental health treatment options. We strive to help those who are struggling with the physical and emotional effects of drug addiction.
How Does Marijuana Work?
The active component in marijuana that produces the high users feel is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. Marijuana works by attaching itself to cannabinoids in the endocannabinoid system. Cannabinoids are chemicals that function as neurotransmitters by regulating how cells send and receive messages, slowing down this line of communication. When a person smokes marijuana, THC rapidly immediately hits the brain and attaches itself to cannabinoid receptors. THC overwhelms the endocannabinoid system, preventing the body’s natural chemicals from doing their jobs. As a result, a person’s memory, ability to think, concentration, movement, and balance are all affected.
While a person may not continue to feel high a day after they’ve last used marijuana, THC can last for weeks in a person’s system. This can increase the individual’s chances of experiencing decreased mental health. Marijuana and mental illness are linked because of how THC affects the brain and its ability to function chemically. At Banyan Treatment Centers Boca, we offer treatments for mental health and substance abuse.
How Does Marijuana Affect Your Mental Health?
Several studies have linked marijuana use and mental illness. Most of the studies report the specific connection between marijuana and schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety. One 2019 study reported that frequent cannabis use increases the chances of psychotic disorders like schizophrenia compared to those who have never used it. While we know that it can cause mental illness or exacerbate it, why does cannabis cause psychotic disorders?
One of the most common cannabis side effects is psychosis, which refers to anxiety and paranoia. While users may recover from these symptoms a few hours after their first use, continuous use can pose a more serious problem. How cannabis affects mental health has a lot to do with the duration of use, the dose, and how often people use it. Like many other mind-altering drugs, marijuana targets neurotransmitters in the brain like dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals are responsible for regulating mood and emotions, among other things. Because THC increases the release of neurotransmitters, the brain is working outside of its usual schedule. Over time, repeating this pattern of behavior can greatly affect your brain’s ability to regulate these chemicals, leading to mental illness.
Individuals with preexisting mental disorders who use marijuana may experience more severe symptoms. People with a history of mental illness in their families are also more likely to develop a mental disorder as a result of marijuana abuse. Those suffering from a mental illness should come to our rehab center in Boca Raton where we offer an effective mental health program.
The long-term effects of cannabis on mental health are serious. Using marijuana isn’t entirely safe and can lead to dependency and a variety of other health problems.