Artwork by Jennifer L Kahn

The question still burns – should I be considering smoking marijuana now that I’ve hung up my boots? I’ve paid my dues…and I feel secure (sort of). Am I not entitled to an occasional buzz? Some dope, grass, Mary Jane, weed or hash once in a while…heh, did you know grass brewed in tea (ganja chai) is popular along NH 148?

Artwork by Jennifer L Kahn

And the teenagers trying to look cool to their peers are asking a similar question along with folks struggling in their thirties and forties trying to keep it all together. Shouldn’t we all be permitted to use Cannabinols like marijuana and hashish to reinforce/reward feelings of general well-being and relaxation? I mean, c’mon…we’re just tweaking the associated neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.

So what’s the big deal? For starters, all forms of grass are mind-altering (psychoactive). In other words, they change how the brain works. Hmm…that doesn’t sound entirely nice and positively not anything like I would have wanted it to sound. I liked the bits about the euphoria and relaxation effects…does something else also happen in my head that I should know?  Unfortunately, yes!

So what do I need to worry about before I make pot my favourite pastime? The psychoactive chemical THC that binds to cannabinoid receptors and interferes with neurotransmitter systems. This leads to impaired short-term memory, perception, judgement, and motor skills.

A bit disturbing when we see that the highest density of these receptors is found in parts of the brain that influence not only pleasure (which is why we are having this discussion)…but also memory, thinking, concentration, coordinated movement, sensory, and time perception. Marijuana use can also impair a person’s ability to form new memories and to shift focus.

Don’t lose sight of the fact that we haven’t yet even begun to discuss smoking marijuana as a “treatment option”. Guess a separate blog should be devoted to these “healthcare decisions” – wasn’t that the major concern to start with…

Written by —

Ashwani Kumar Anand
Peer Recovery Coach and Mentor at Reboot Wellness
Click here to read more about Ashwani