Short-Term Effects

Cannabis effects depends on its composition, on the dose and the way of consumption but also and essentially on the mood of the user (if he is tired or not etc), the “atmosphere” and the context. That is why cannabis users feel the effects in a very different way.

We saw in “Cannabis on the brain” that THC is able to bind to Cannabinoid Receptors. These receptors, when they are activated, induce many different effects according to their place in the brain. There are two kinds of cannabinoid receptors :

  • CB1 : or Cannabinoid Receptor 1, is the most abundant receptor and found in the Central Nervous System → hippocampus, cerebellum amygdala, cortex and the basal ganglia regions of the brain and also in other parts of the body as in the intestine, liver, kidneys and thelungs. la région génitale et des cellules sanguines.

  • CB2 : or Cannabinoid Receptor 2, is mainly expressed in the immune system and in hematopoietic cells.

This table presents the zones of the brain that have Cannabinoid Receptors and their functions :


Zones which are possessed of CB1





Functions normally assured and disturbed when a person is consuming Cannabis








THC activates CB1 receptors in the brain : The release of neurotransmitters into the synapse is reduced. The nervous message is reduced or suppressed.

Thus, the cerebellum is implicated in the directs movements and balance. That is why the user, when he consumes Cannabis, has difficulties with coordination and vigilance. Its response time is reduced etc. This is accentuated by the fact that hyppocampus has a role in perception in the space. That is why it is very dangerous to drive under Cannabis as under alcohol or any other psychoactive substance.

Also, when Cannabis is consumed, the user can be a bit anxious or paranoiac. It can be explained by the presence of Cannabinoid Receptors in the Amygdala which is implicated in emotions and fear.

Cannabis , eyes and blood pressure

The CB1 receptor is present in the visual system in the retina ( rod cells , amacrine cells , horizontal cells ) and in the anterior eye ( cornea , iris , ciliary body )

In the retina , the synthesis of anandamide is two times highter than in the rest of the brain . Presence of cannabinoids in this part of the brain is the cause of the intraocular pressure reduction .

In addition , THC in cannabis moderate vasodilatory effects which causes reddening of the eyes . A vasodilator is a substance that helps dilate blood vessels . This expansion has the effect of reducing blood pressure . This causes an increase in blood pressure .

Cannabis and heart rate

Cardiovascular manifestations vary in terms of the concentration of THC in cannabis.

Peripheral vasodilation explain the occurrence of hypotension because cannabinoids act directly on the CB1 receptors present in vascular endothelial cells .
THC also causes tachycardia in humans because it passes through the CB1 receptors expressed in the central nervous system .

Cannabis and short-term memory
The cerebellum and the hyppocampus are associated with memory. The presence of cannabinoid receptors in these parts of the brain explains the memory loss at short-term when a person is consuming cannabis.

Cerebellum is the important brain structure located under the brain and behind the brainstem. These receptors have an important role in storage , espacially in the short-term memory . Term memory or short-term memory retains a small amount of informations of one-half second .

Cannabis use in an individual's progressive loss of short-term memory : it affect the ability of the individual to grasp and assimilate informations . Numerous data have shown that cannabis use can cause dysfunction of higher cognitive functions that depend on the frontal lobes . They play an important role with the organize and the integrate of different informations , as in memory where they differentiate various structures and events .

In spite of everything , effects on memory are relatively restrict compared to other drugs . In the long run , it will not hold memory and when cannabis consommation will stop , the person will have no problem on its capabilities to store .


Effects of cannabis on hunger

The feeling of hunger is caused by the presence of THC in the brain stem.

The brainstem is the area of the brains locating in the vomiting reflex . In acting on this area of the brain, it will inhibit that reflex.

Furthermore, as it acts on the hypothalamus which plays an essential role in the mechanisms of sympathetic activity (water metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids) it stimulates appetite and causes a feeling of hunger.

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