How Does Marijuana Affect the Brain?

Experts Report: Lewis College of Human Sciences Associate Professor of Psychology Jonathon Larson


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Initially just kind of defining marijuana, looking at that it consists of THC, which is the psychoactive component, and then the CBD component, which is the physiological component—which basically means THC influences the mind and the CBD influences the body. 

The combination of EEG [electroencephalogram] and marijuana research actually started in 1969, where a paper proposed that marijuana influences the EEG. Then in 1973 a study was published that proved that claim. 

Since then there's been a handful of studies looking at the influence of marijuana on the EEG.

They've reported that the marijuana will do numerous things. First of all, it impacts the memory. So the working memory can be enhanced, or the working memory can be inhibited. The same thing with decision-making and being able to make a decision or hold off on a decision. 

So it doesn't naturally, it doesn't move one way with the individual. It depends on the individual what that impact does with the marijuana.