Naked Scientist explains brain diseases caused by marijuana (and it's benefits)

There are always debates around scientific facts on using marijuana and the myths surrounding it.

Dr Chris Smith, known as Naked Scientist sets the record straight after a question from a listener during the Naked Scientist feature on the Eusebius McKaiser show.

Smith says marijuana sticky buds release a number of chemicals when being burnt are then absorbed by the body.

There are receptors which are chemical docking stations on almost all tissues of the body which will be fooled into thinking they are seeing the chemical they are supposed to see when marijuana is present, is THC molecule.

Dr Chris Smith, Naked Scientist

One of the tissues which is affected is the brain and the central nerve system.

Dr Chris Smith, Naked Scientist

There are circuits in the brain which are linked to these receptors which when stimulated affect a range of different functions and one of them is in your hunger centre.

Dr Chris Smith, Naked Scientist

Smith says marijuana may help people who are are struggling with appetite and food-intake.

He also says marijuana has a strong therapeutic benefit for some types of pain.

It’s a reality that marijuana makes you feel hungry, that’s why people who use it tend to put on some weight. This can be good because in some cases if people have got a chronic illness like cancer where keeping on weight and having good food intake can be a challenge, sometimes this can be helpful.

Dr Chris Smith, Naked Scientist

Muscles become stiff, rigid and painful, under those circumstances people say the relaxing effect of marijuana has a strong therapy benefit.

Dr Chris Smith, Naked Scientist

However, Smith warns that these benefits should not be confused with the recreational and abuse of marijuana, which he says has health consequences.

He says smoking marijuana is more dangerous to the lungs than smoking a cigarette.

We do know that it does have some side effects. One of them is it is linked to psychosis.

Dr Chris Smith, Naked Scientist

People, especially young people, who use a lot of marijuana have an above average chance of being diagnosed with schizophrenia like manifestations or going to develop schizophrenia later in life.

Dr Chris Smith, Naked Scientist

Listen to the full audio below for more explanations from the Naked Scientist...

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