Marijuana is a cannabinoid-rich plant which has been smoked and consumed for medicinal purposes for thousands of years or more. Its most active component, THC, interacts with the brain’s cannabinoid receptors, replacing a natural neurotransmitter known as Anandamide. This interaction stimulates the basal ganglia and the cerebral cortex, impacting various cognitive processes and emotional states. THC has also been linked to improved neurogenesis – the healthy growth of new neurons.

The most active cannabinoid found in Marijuana, THC (which may improve logical reasoning ability and neural communication), is even used in the FDA-approved prescription medication Dronabinol (Marinol) for the treatment of weight loss or lack of appetite due to AIDS as well as vomiting that is typically caused by cancer chemotherapy. Cannabinoids also seem to be similar in terms of their effect to codeine when used in the treatment of pain.



The main effects caused by Marijuana are primarily due to the presence of THC within the drug. Essentially, this THC (along with a number of the other less active and effective cannabinoids) is able to quickly pass through the blood-brain barrier and enter into the central nervous system.

If the ingredients are inhaled, then the lungs are a highly effective dispersion method for getting the components into your bloodstream. Once in the central nervous system,THC begins to act in a fashion similar to a neurotransmitter. It starts binding to cannabinoid receptors within the brain.

Although still uncertain, what appears to be happening during this entire process is that the THC itself is simply taking the place of another neurotransmitter called Anandamide, which is cannabinoid that is naturally produced in the body.

These chemicals both appear able to stimulate areas of the brain such as the basal ganglia and the cerebral cortex. These areas are associated with motor control, emotions, and higher cognitive functions.

Effects can include relaxation, euphoria, altered space-time perception, appetite stimulation, enhancement of senses (visual, auditory, and olfactory), and analgesic effects.

Exogenous cannabinoids have also been demonstrated to catalyze neurogenesis in the hippocampal region of the brain. This means it can actually promote the generation of new neurons in your hippocampus. Cannabinoids also seem to temporarily increase communication between the left and right hemispheres of the brain which may explain the heightened creativity individuals experience when using Marijuana.

Side Effects & Dosages

There are a number of different side effects which have become associated with Marijuana use over the years. Some of these include dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, dry or red eyes, heart and blood pressure issues, lung issues, impaired mental functioning, headache, dizziness, numbness, panic reactions, hallucinations, flashbacks, depression, and sexual problems.

Since legal marijuana usage is so new in this country, it is difficult to determine a realistic and effective dose. Additionally, this may depend on whether one is intending to smoke or use THC extracts or even mix these substances with food in actual recipes. A popular option among nootropic users is to utilize a vaporizer to avoid inhaling the smoke.

It would be advisable to stick with a very low dose (0.25 to 0.5 grams) no matter which option is used. You may also not want to use Marijuana when taking other nootropics as it can counteract some of the effects of other cognitive enhancement compounds.

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