Cannabis users know that smoking it can make one feel good but regularly using it for a long time can actually reduce your ability to feel pleasure and blunts our motivation.
In a study published in the journal Nature, researchers from the Imperial College London have found that regular cannabis use can lower dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is an organic chemical that helps brain's reward and pleasure centers, and also helps regulate movement and emotional responses.
The researchers performed brain scans on long term cannabis users and analysed their data. They found that short term cannabis use ‘causes increased dopamine release and neuron activity’, while long-term use is linked with ‘blunting of the dopamine system’. “The dopamine system is central to learning and motivation. We conclude that long-term cannabis use in people is linked to blunting of the dopamine system. In this respect cannabis is similar to cocaine or amphetamine, although probably not to quite the same degree,” says Oliver Howes, a psychiatrist at Imperial and author of the study.
They believed that THC or tetrahydrocannabinol--yes, the chemical that gets you high--is also the one responsible for altering dopamine levels. “The changing patterns of cannabis use, including “cannavaping” and edible products, mean it’s vital that we understand the long-term effects of cannabis on the brain,” says co-author Dr Michael Bloomfield of the University College London. “This new research helps to explain how some people get addicted to cannabis, by showing that one of its main components, called THC, alters a delicate balance of brain chemicals.”
"We urgently need to better understand how cannabis affects the brain, to help policy makers and individuals make informed decisions,” he added.
So, there you go, folks. Although there are a huge number of benefits to cannabis, there is also some “harm” for using it regularly. Just like almost anything, too much is dangerous! Puff moderately!
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