Thc and teen brain


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  • This is how the brain becomes hard wired and we set our patterns for later in life. Why we say older people are “set in their ways.” Child and teen brains are said to have plasticity/ malleability because the brain is more resilient and connections are not yet permanent. Toddler and teenagers have the most rapid mylenation and pruning
  • Nucleaus accumbens is part of pleasure reward center, plays a role in laughter fear addiction aggression and fear. Has the power to pull blood flow away from the pre-frontal cortex (thinking part) of the brain Hippocampus- storing and recalling memories Cerebellum- fine movement and balance, cordination Amygdala- the brain’s novelty factor- why things seem better when you’re high- because you don’t remember what they were like before. Recognizes the new and novel Hypothalamus (to a lesser extent) hunger and thirst A marijuana high causes changes in all of these areas, which may cause changes in other parts of the brain Why do we have sites in the brain that seem like they are meant to bind with THC? Anadamide- your body’s own cannabinoid, usually released during pain so that you don’t remember, like childbirth
  • skateboarder might fall if high Same part of the brain that alcohol effects causing stumbling
  • Retrieves relevant information Adds new memories to old ones trashes unimportant information Like Google for your memories Makes people feel like they are thinking outside the box, because they are not using their frame of reference, like experiencing things for the first time
  • Assigns emotional relevance to our experiences (how do you feel about) and emotional connectedness to others Regulates fear and causes a feeling of awe Novel events awaken the interest of the amygdala Heightened sense of novelty when high “ School is boring. Nothing interesting happens here. I can’t wait to get out of class and get high.” Amygdala becomes sluggish and athlete may not be able to respond quickly enough to new move of an opponent. He / she has lost their edge and maybe the game Tests in Airline pilots revealed slowed responses / reactions days after marijuana use This sense of paying attention, focus, is why many people believe that they are driving better when they are high, however, they are paying attention to everything (color of cars) instead of focusing on the important changes + slowed cerebellum (coordination and movement) Responses slowed for days after
  • (the brain’s messengers) We are hard wired to release dopamine (receive pleasure) from food and physical contact Continued marijuana use trains the brain to rely on drugs for feeling good (releasing dopamine) instead of finding and using other ways of feeling good After using, there is no reuptake of the dopamine molecules- the brain stops making it without the drug Dopamine receptors (lock and Key) become dulled so more marijuana is needed to get the same effect and less pleasure is received from other activities Some people release more dopamine from a high than others, these people say they “love” marijuana and some may use it everyday from the time they first got high- high potential for addiction Dopamine “gets our attention” being released in pleasurable and situations where we need to act, as such it is correlated with ability to concentrate.
  • Lack of clarity can cloud a person’s view of the real world Lack of integrative experience= not connecting the dots, getting it
  • Reinforcement especially if user surrounds themselves with other users and media that promote use Begin to associate drug use as the only way to have fun, relax, relieve boredom, stress and anger and the only thing the user enjoys doing Remember- you keep the connections you reinforce, you loose the ones you don’t The pleasure reward center can pull blood away from the thinking part of your brain- don’t think about it, just do it Teens often say they plan on stopping when they get older, but the longer you use and reinforce the connections in the brain, the harder it will become to stop
  • Gateway to cigarettes Stuck in the poppy field- never get to Oz If you continue to use a wheelchair instaed of walk, you will eventually loose your ability to walk
  • Use Link to view video from on Marijuana
  • Thc and teen brain

    1. 1. Marijuana and the Teen Brain <ul><ul><li>Explaining the impact of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use on brain chemistry, brain function, and behavior. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Health Education Content Standard 1.2 N Grades 9-12 </li></ul></ul>
    2. 2. Adult Vs. Teen Brain <ul><li>Most of the activity in the adult brain is in the frontal lobe </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thinking, reasoning, planning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Most of the activity in the teen brain is focused in the center </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pleasure reward center </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Teen Brain Under Construction <ul><li>Mylenation : Thickening of myelin sheath around neural connections increases the efficiency of those connections </li></ul><ul><li>Pruning: Removing unneeded connections the brain has formed </li></ul><ul><li>Use it or loose it: The connections that are most frequently used become more efficient, the connections that are not get removed </li></ul>
    4. 4. Cannabinoid Receptor Sites in the Brain <ul><li>Nucleus Accumbens </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pleasure reward center, laughter, addiction and fear </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hippocampus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Memory, navigation and spatial orientation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cerebellum </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Coordination, fine movement and balance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Amygdala </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fear, emotions and novelty </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Cerebellum <ul><li>Internal and external coordination is slowed down by marijuana use </li></ul>
    6. 6. Hippocampus <ul><li>On Marijuana : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brain does not distinguish between important and unimportant information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not pulling up old references makes the common seem new </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does not store or connect new information into memory </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Amygdala <ul><li>Sense of novelty heightened during marijuana high </li></ul><ul><li>After marijuana use sensitivity to novelty dulled </li></ul><ul><li>Not excited by new ideas and everything seems boring </li></ul>
    8. 8. Dopamine <ul><li>Gets our attention and tells us that something feels good </li></ul><ul><li>Marijuana tricks the brain into releasing large amounts of dopamine </li></ul><ul><li>Brain becomes tricked into believing that drugs are the only way to release dopamine (feel good) </li></ul>
    9. 9. How’s your memory? <ul><li>Explain to your elbow partner how marijuana effects the function of the cerebellum, hippocampus, and Amygdala. </li></ul>
    10. 10. Aftermath of THC <ul><li>Calming followed by irritability </li></ul><ul><li>Fascination followed by boredom </li></ul><ul><li>Sensory enhancement followed by feeling flat </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of short term memory </li></ul><ul><li>Lingering lack of clarity </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of integrative experience </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of awe followed by spiritual depletion </li></ul>
    11. 11. From First Use to Dependence <ul><li>First use is to feel “good” </li></ul><ul><li>Other users and media reinforce continued use </li></ul><ul><li>Continued use to feel “normal” </li></ul><ul><li>Changes in pleasure reward system promote continued use </li></ul><ul><li>Brain becomes hard wired for use </li></ul>
    12. 12. Concerns with Teen Marijuana Use <ul><li>Upsets the balance of brain chemistry </li></ul><ul><li>Learning and emotional growth impaired </li></ul><ul><li>Ultimately it produces opposite results </li></ul><ul><li>Developing teen brain easily wired for dependency & addiction </li></ul><ul><li>Not developing other interests and coping skills </li></ul>
    13. 13. For More Information <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Take a look inside the brain to see how drugs work </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Short videos on how various substances impact the brain and behavior </li></ul><ul><li>http:// / </li></ul><ul><li>The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Teen Site </li></ul>