The Effects of Cannabis (Marijuana) on the Brain & Body
In this episode, I discuss cannabis (aka marijuana), including the biological mechanisms underlying its effects on the mind and body, its known medical applications, its impact on libido, creativity, hunger, hormones and more. I also cover the known adverse health consequences of chronic and even acute (one-time) use and the factors that determine if cannabis is helpful or harmful.
Sober cannabis users showed enhanced self-reported creativity to non-users. * Sober cannabis users demonstrated superior convergent thinking ability to non-users. * Cannabis users were more extraverted, open to experience and less conscientious. * Differences in openness to experience explained cannabis users' enhanced creativity.
Stereotypical depictions of speech in cannabis users often suggest slow, laboured output, yet objective evidence supporting this assumption is extremely limited. We know that depressants or hallucinogenic drugs such as cannabis can cause acute changes in communication and speech rate, but the long-lasting effects of cannabis use on speech are not well described.
Rationale Self-report studies indicate that cannabis could increase sexual desire in some users. We hypothesized that intoxication increases activation of brain areas responsive to visual erotica, which could be useful in the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder, a condition marked by a lack of sexual desire.
While there is substantial evidence that cannabis use is associated with differences in human brain development, most of this evidence is correlational in nature. Bayesian causal network (BCN) modeling attempts to identify probable causal relationships in correlational data using conditional probabilities to estimate directional associations between a set of interrelated variables.
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