Researchers have long been intrigued by the intoxicating effects of the world’s most popular illicit drug. Here’s how pot affects your body and mind
When neurologist Frances Ames began testing the effects of a single dose of cannabis sativa on a group of her medical colleagues who were, on the whole, “articulate and fairly stable people,” the onset of abnormal sensations “was always abrupt and immediate.” One was sustained hilarity. “The whole idea of the experiment,” Ames reported in 1958 in the Journal of Mental Science, “would suddenly seem enormously amusing.” Researchers have long been intrigued by the intoxicating effects of the world’s most popular illicit drug. Here’s everything you need to know about how pot affects your body and mind.
First, a brief bit of biology:
The body has an endogenous, or natural cannabinoid system. Endogenous cannabinoids play a role in the brain’s normal functioning, shuttling messages from one nerve cell to another. Not only the brain, but the spleen, uterus, testicles and other tissue have cannabinoid receptors. THC, the principal active component of weed, mimics a natural cannabinoid called anandamide, the “bliss molecule.” When smoked, THC quickly diffuses to the brain. “The consumption of cannabis causes a particular combination of relaxation and euphoria, commonly referred to as a ‘high’,” a committee of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine dryly noted last year in its exhaustive review of the health effects of cannabis. With very high levels of THC, things aren’t always so pretty.
Sharon Kirkey – National Post – May 17, 2018.