Welcome back, faithful followers and those of you who are new readers who are with us today! For those of you who have been following this blog for any period of time, then you’ve likely already noticed that Dr. Scharf is a Periodontist in Long Island who likes to educate his readers as well as his patients, keeping them informed about all things dental, especially as they may apply to their overall general health. We recently posted several segments of this article series which discussed 25 unusual and, perhaps, previously unknown facts about marijuana/cannabis use. We continue this article series about marijuana and gum disease today as we discuss how marijuana/cannabis use can have an effect on your brain, both short term as well as long term. So we welcome to those of you who are new to this blog, and invite you to follow along as we continue to part 8 of this article series as we talk a bit about brain changes as they apply to marijuana use and gum disease.
What is marijuana?
Marijuana is a term which is applied to the dried stems, leaves, flowers and seeds of the Cannabis Sativa or Cannabis Indica plant. This substance is used for smoking as well as ingestion, the history of the use of this cannabis going back into the Old Testament. It contains mind altering substances like THC and other similar compounds and it is probably the most popular illegal substance currently in use. Some states have legalized its use for medical purposes and still others have gone one further step to legalize it for recreational or non-medical use. In 2015, over 11 million young adults, aged 18 to 25, reported using it in the past year.
Short term effects of marijuana on the brain
THC and similar compounds affect some specific brain cell receptors that generally have a part in the normal development and brain function. Marijuana activates or lights up various parts of the brain which have the greatest number of these specific receptors, causing the “high” feeling that many experience. Here are some of the other types of things you might notice:
- Altered senses: for example, one might see a variety of colors which are brighter than normal
- Sense of time is altered
- Mood changes
- Impaired movement of the body
- Problem-solving and thinking difficulty
- Memory impairment
- High doses can cause hallucinations
- High doses can cause delusions
- High doses can cause psychosis
In our next segment, we will discuss the long term effects of marijuana/cannabis use. In the meantime, we want to encourage you to get established with a dental professional who can evaluate and monitor the oral health of every member of your family. Dr. Scharf wants to be your Periodontist in Long Island. Call him at (631)661-6633 or visit him on the web at https://drscharf.com and let him tell you how he can treat gum disease with a laser instead of a scalpel.