The Biological Neurological And Psychological Effects Of Thc Research Paper

Length: 2 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Evolution Type: Research Paper Paper: #43972722 Related Topics: Marijuana, Medical Marijuana, Sensory Perception, Nervous System
Excerpt from Research Paper :

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary psychoactive component in marijuana. Chief qualities of THC include its high solubility and bioavailabilty, rapid absorption rate, long-term storage in fatty tissue, leading to a lengthy elimination process ("Marijuana," Slide 37). Although there are dozens of psychoactive compounds called cannabinoids in cannabis, THC receives the most attention in research due to its being the primary compound associated with most of the psychoactive effects of the drug. Other cannabinoids that have been researched include cannabinol, canabidiol, 2-AG, and arachidonic acid, or anandamide. Most compounds have interactive or synergistic effects.

Research into the psychoactive properties of cannabis has led to the discovery of a neurotransmitter system that is distributed throughout brain and central nervous system, and which accounts for numerous psychological and biological functions (Atakan). The system is known as the endocannabinoid system, and reveals the ways particular agonists like THC bind with specific receptor sites in the brain. Moreover, THC mimics "cannabinoid chemicals made naturally by the body," as well as stimulating or suppressing cannabinoid receptors (Bradford). The neurobiology of cannabis remains one of the most promising areas of psychological and medical research, especially given the great number of cannabinoids...

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In fact, some cannabinoids actually inhibit the action of THC and other cannabinoids, making it critical for researchers to understand how each of the compounds works when developing new strains for medicinal purposes. Some of the most common affects include changes to memory, perceptions of pleasure, perception of body movements, cognitive patterns, ability to concentrate, coordination, and sensory and time perception (Bradford). Interestingly, the effects of THC can vary so significantly as to cause anxiety in some people and total relaxation or alleviation of anxiety in another; the same paradoxical effects may occur when different strains of marijuana are used and the method of ingestion (smoke inhalation versus ingestion). Dosage dependent, THC may lead to measurable outcomes such as hypoactivity, hypothermia, short-term memory impairment, verbal communication impairment, and spatial impairments (Atakan). Research has also been conducted on responses to stimuli such as "fearful faces" or specific verbal speeches, as those responses change under the influence of THC (Atakan). Cannabinoid (CBD) has consistently shown to reduce some…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Atakan, Zerrin. "Cannabis: A Complex Plant." Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology 2(6): 241-254.

Bradford, Alina. "What is THC?" Live Science. Retrieved online: http://www.livescience.com/24553-what-is-thc.html

"Marijuana." MedLine. Retrieved online: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/marijuana.html

"Marijuana." Slide Presentation.


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