How Does Marijuana Affect Brain Cells?

thc brain

Studies show that marijuana’s active ingredient THC actually helps produce new brain cells while helping decrease anxiety.  Marijuana smoke is less carcinogenic than cigarette smoke comparing nicotine in cigarettes verse THC in marijuana.  The cancer promoting effects of smoke are increased by nicotine, while reduced with THC.

This does not promote that marijuana smoking is safe.   Some past studies have found it produces notable short-term memory impairments, even though there is a debate on how long this lasts.  This study triggered a press release from Journal of Clinical Investigations, which is publishing the study of new brain cells.  One of the statements were “Most drugs of abuse decrease the generation of new neurons (cells) in the brain”.  But there was a study by Xia Zhang and colleagues of the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada that found rats getting regular doses of an artificial version of potent marijuana ingredients grew brain cells faster than ones without.

The new cells grew in the hippocampus, which is the area of the brain that is associated with emotional expressions and some aspects of memory formations.  In a November statement from the Journal, it stated that the rats exhibited less anxiety and depression-like behaviors a month after treatments.

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