With marijuana becoming legal in increasingly more places, it only makes sense to look at how marijuana and education fare. Many teens and young adults who might otherwise avoid marijuana usage are considering it acceptable now that it is legal, or say they will consider it once it is legalized. The brain has been proven to keep growing until the age of about 25. These are years when most of us are still in some type of educational setting. Let’s take a look at the effects of smoking marijuana and education. You may be surprised.
People have long argued that marijuana is a lot safer than alcohol. Yet nobody would argue that using alcohol at a young age is setting yourself up for poor educational outcomes. After all, alcohol alters brain chemistry, creates a false sense of competence in many areas, and can have effects even once the substance is out of your system. Marijuana does the same things, only in different areas of the brain.
While under the influence of marijuana, the brain takes longer to process information, may find it difficult to focus or change direction, and often creates a distracting feeling that causes the person to hyper-focus on the unimportant and misses the big picture. None of this adds up to a brain that can take advantage of the educational system of the user. Let’s break this down more.
Marijuana and Education Retention
The effects of marijuana and education become entwined even at times when the individual has not smoked that day. Over time, there is lasting damage. While under the influence, you may find concentration is not something you can do. Yes, you may be able to focus on one minor thing but to learn, you need to be able to examine a subject from a variety of angles and memorize many facts. Marijuana makes causes a loss of memory ability. What you think you understand while under the influence may be forgotten in only an hour or two. Focusing is difficult, and being able to process highly complicated subjects requiring precision, such as math and higher sciences, is nearly impossible. The longer you smoke, and the greater the amount you smoke, the more damage is being done to brain cells.
Mental Health Considerations
While there has been no direct evidence that marijuana usage causes mental health problems, there has been direct correlation found with it triggering these in people who are susceptible to the problems to start. This includes individuals who may show no signs presently but are at high risk due to family history and other factors. These mental health disorders, in turn, adversely affect your ability to get a proper education. The more you find yourself falling behind in your education, the greater your stress becomes. This makes it even more difficult to learn. It becomes a circle that quickly increases to a whirlpool you find yourself drowning in.
Marijuana has been directly linked to increased depression, loss of memory, and early-onset paranoid psychosis. Anxiety has also been shown to increase with regular usage. Think about how these things can cause havoc with learning. When anxiety or depression is present, concentration becomes almost non-existent. You have no energy or wish to learn. When you are afraid that something is wrong, as with paranoid psychosis, you are hyper-vigilant and unfocused because you need to be watchful of everything and everyone. You can’t focus on what you need to do to learn and retain that information.
If you or a loved one has been experiencing the adverse effects of marijuana and education, Five Palms can help. Call us today at 1.844.675.1022.