Many Ohio residents know that tetrahydrocannabinol, which is more commonly referred to as THC, is the constituent that provides marijuana with its psychoactive properties. However, they may not understand how this chemical interacts with the brain to produce these effects. Cannabinoid chemicals occur naturally in the body, and they use the nervous system to send messages between neurons. Because it is so similar to the body’s natural endogenous cannabinoids, THC is able to attach to and activate the brain’s cannabinoid receptors.
The parts of the brain that THC affects influence concentration, memory, time perception, movement and coordination. Those who smoke or otherwise consume marijuana are often portrayed as having poor short-term memories or difficulty shifting their attention, and this is likely due to the way that the drug changes the functioning of the orbitofrontal cortex and hippocampus. This is also the reason that some marijuana users find it difficult to follow instructions or complete complicated tasks.
The basal ganglia and cerebellum control balance and reaction times, and they are also disrupted by THC. This is why driving or operating machinery while under the influence of marijuana can be dangerous. An increased appetite is another well-known effect of THC, and this is caused by the chemical stimulating neurons to influence the brain’s reward system.
While marijuana has been made legal for recreational use in a few states, Ohio residents may still face severe sanctions if they are convicted of selling the drug. Criminal defense attorneys may seek to have drug charges dismissed by questioning the behavior of police officers or the legality of search warrants. Defense attorneys could also urge prosecutors to reduce drug charges by bringing mitigating factors to their attention during plea negotiations. These factors could include the genuine remorse and prior good behavior of their clients.