A common question is, how does marijuana actually work & what are the effects of marijuana in the brain?
There are over 400 chemicals in the marijuana plant but only 61 of them are unique and not found in any other plants. These marijuana-specific chemicals are called cannabinoids, one in particular, Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC actually cause the psychoactive affects. THC from the marijuana acts on specific receptors in the brain, called cannabinoid receptors, starting off a chain of cellular reactions that finally lead to the “high” that users experience.
Certain areas in the brain, such as the hippocampus, the cerebellum, the basal ganglia and the cerebral cortex, have a higher concentration of cannabinoid receptors. These areas influence memory, concentration, pleasure, coordination and, sensory and time perception. Marijuana’s strength is correlated to the amount of THC it contains and the effects on the user depend on the strength or potency of the THC it contains. It takes about two to three hours for the body to metabolize THC. During this chemical breakdown the body creates by-products. These by-products are stored in the fat and are called metabolites. These metabolites take 30-60 days to be eliminated which is why marijuana can be detected in your system for up 2 months.