Treatment professionals are waiting for your call:

(855) 826-4464

Does Marijuana Kill Brain Cells?

Using marijuana can cause damage to brain cells that results in a number of concurrent symptoms throughout the body. Some effects of heavy marijuana use on the brain may not be reversible among teens.

Start the road to recovery

(877) 746-0480

Treatment Center Locator

Paid Advertising

Annie’s House

Draper, UT

Full Spectrum of Care

866-922-0448

Cove Forge Behavioral Health Center

Williamsburg, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-225-6578

Newport Institute for Young Adults – Southern California

Santa Ana, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-604-7184

Denver Recovery Center

Denver, CO

Full Spectrum of Care

855-729-4891

Newport Academy – Teen Rehab Center – Washington

Port Townsend, WA

Multiple Levels of Care

833-768-7536

Starlite Recovery Center

Center Point, TX

Multiple Levels of Care

855-349-1116

Recovery Unplugged Lake Worth Detox, Rehab, and Treatment Center

Lake Worth, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

888-283-0199

Mount Regis Center

Salem, VA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-539-2026

Amethyst Recovery

Port St. Lucie, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

888-965-6726

Cornerstone Healing Center

Scottsdale, AZ

Multiple Levels of Care

844-931-1105

Newport Academy – Teen Rehab Center

Bethlehem, CT

Multiple Levels of Care

833-768-7536

Northbound Treatment Services

Irvine, CA

Full Spectrum of Care

877-918-9085

Bradford Recovery Center

Millerton, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-769-9928

Southeast Addiction Center – Nashville

Nashville, TN

Multiple Levels of Care

1-855-404-9855

Life Center of Galax

Galax, VA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-428-7940

Oceanside Malibu

Malibu, CA

Full Spectrum of Care

866-275-3956

Bayside Marin Treatment Center

San Rafael, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

866-886-6071

Steps Recovery Center – St. George

St. George, UT

Full Spectrum of Care

844-919-0017

Southeast Addiction Center

Atlanta, GA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-614-6174

Moonlight Mountain Recovery

Pocatello, ID

Multiple Levels of Care

866-831-4706

Northeast Addiction Treatment Center

Quincy, MA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-831-4406

United Recovery Project

Hollywood, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

877-586-7043

St. John’s Recovery Place – Deland

Deland, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

877-660-1713

Spring Hill Recovery

Ashby, MA

Full Spectrum of Care

866-380-1395

St. John’s Recovery Place – Crescent City

Crescent City, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

855-825-4311

Park Royal Hospital

Fort Myers, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

844-763-3294

Boca Recovery Center – Florida

Boca Raton, FL

Full Spectrum of Care

888-608-4977

JourneyPure – Tennessee

Knoxville, TN

Multiple Levels of Care

(844) 899-9541

The Camp Recovery Center

Scotts Valley, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-282-5771

Steps Recovery Center

Payson, UT

Full Spectrum of Care

877-696-0054

Northbound Treatment Services – San Diego

Irvine, CA

Full Spectrum of Care

866-938-0142

Moonlight Mountain Recovery – Nampa

Nampa, ID

Multiple Levels of Care

855-248-2193

The Haven Detox

West Palm Beach, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

855-409-5866

Northlake Recovery

Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

844-222-8954

Clear Life Recovery

Costa Mesa, CA

Full Spectrum of Care

888-638-7182

1st Step Behavioral Health

Pompano Beach, FL

Full Spectrum of Care

844-334-8400

Sierra Tucson

Tucson, AZ

Full Spectrum of Care

855-889-6553

Pinnacle Peak Recovery

Scottsdale, AZ

Multiple Levels of Care

844-225-8937

Greenleaf Behavioral Health Hospital

Valdosta, GA

Multiple Levels of Care

866-692-1694

Boca Recovery Center – New Jersey

Galloway, NJ

Full Spectrum of Care

855-628-9076

Riverwalk Ranch

Mansfield, TX

Multiple Levels of Care

866-634-7479

Azure Acres Recovery

Sebastopol, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

866-477-0274

Pocono Mountain Recovery Center

Henryville, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-589-1547

Blue Ridge Mountain Recovery Center

Ball Ground, GA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-498-9407

Indiana Center for Recovery

Bloomington, IN

Full Spectrum of Care

866-657-4490

Life Healing Center

Santa Fe, NM

Multiple Levels of Care

844-285-2916

Keystone Treatment Center

Canton, SD

Multiple Levels of Care

855-417-3666

St. John’s Recovery Place – Beachside

Cocoa Beach, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

855-807-1577

Sunflower Wellness Retreat

Osawatomie, KS

Multiple Levels of Care

888-411-9183

Ambrosia Treatment Center – Northeast

Philadelphia, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

866-970-0918

America’s Rehab Campuses

Tucson, AZ

Multiple Levels of Care

877-484-7367

Willow Lane Health – Telehealth Addiction Treatment Services

Charlotte, NC

Telehealth

877-648-6250

The Detox Center

Boca Raton, FL

Full Spectrum of Care

855-914-4757

Newport Institute for Young Adults – Northern California

Sunol, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-604-7184

Dana Point Rehab Campus

Dana Point, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

866-944-2609

Timberline Knolls Treatment Center for Women

Lemont, IL

Multiple Levels of Care

855-200-8406

Burkwood Treatment Center

Hudson, WI

Residential

844-251-2961

Duffy’s Napa Valley Rehab

Calistoga, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-766-4576

Asheville Recovery Center

Asheville, NC

Multiple Levels of Care

877-542-1138

The Recovery Team

Lake Park, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

844-999-2545

White Deer Run

Allenwood, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-638-3697

Wilmington Treatment Center

Wilmington, NC

Multiple Levels of Care

877-257-1203

Northlake Behavioral Health System

Baton Rouge, LA

Full Spectrum of Care

855-402-5289

Bowling Green Brandywine

Kennett Square, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-797-7507

The Hope House – Scottsdale

Scottsdale, AZ

Inpatient

877-275-7008

Recovery Unplugged Fort Lauderdale

Fourt Lauderdale, FL

Full Spectrum of Care

855-900-6613

CNV Detox

Los Angeles, CA

Counseling

877-593-1597

SUWS of the Carolinas

Old Fort, NC

Residential

844-811-2644

Recovery Unplugged Austin Rehab Center

Austin, TX

Multiple Levels of Care

844-817-9493

Mountainview Recovery

Asheville, NC

Multiple Levels of Care

877-691-1098

North Tampa Behavioral Health

Tampa, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

844-870-8069

The Poseidon Method

Mykonos, Greece

Full Spectrum of Care

202-370-7462

North Palm Beach Recovery Center

North Palm Beach, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

844-694-6458

Ambrosia Treatment Center

West Palm Beach, FL

Inpatient

866-970-0918

Recovery Unplugged – Harrison House of Northern Virginia

Annandale, VA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-734-4364

The Refuge, A Healing Place

Ocklawaha, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

855-990-1029

Acadiana Treatment Center

Sunset, LA

Multiple Levels of Care

855-548-6273

Sober Life San Diego

San Diego, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

866-667-8629

Ambrosia Treatment Center – Westcoast

Beverly Hills, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

866-970-0918

New England Recovery & Wellness

Concord, NH

Multiple Levels of Care

844-408-1433

Bedrock Recovery Center

Canton, MA

Multiple Levels of Care

877-401-1084

Recovering Champions

Falmouth, MA

Outpatient

855-980-4625

JourneyPure – Florida

Melbourne, FL

Multiple Levels of Care

(844) 899-9541

Atlantic Recovery Center

Davie, FL

Full Spectrum of Care

844-932-3093

Huntington Creek Recovery Center

Shickshinny, PA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-892-1288

SOBA New Jersey

New Brunswick, NJ

Multiple Levels of Care

888-341-1174

Recovery Unplugged – Austin Detox

Austin, TX

Detox

855-958-1650

Silver Lining Recovery

Huntington Beach, CA

Multiple Levels of Care

844-940-0031

How Does Marijuana Affect the Brain?

Whether or not using marijuana will kill brain cells has become a topic of debate in recent years. Weed's long-term effects on the body are not fully known.

As recreational marijuana use becomes legalized throughout the US, many people now wonder how marijuana affects the brain and whether or not it kills brain cells. Just as years of heavy alcohol, meth, and heroin use can cause some irreversible brain damage, prolonged marijuana abuse can affect the ability of brain cells to convey messages (also known as brain activity). Using marijuana can cause damage to brain cells that results in a number of concurrent symptoms throughout the body.

Like other drugs, components of marijuana bind with specific receptors in the brain. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is marijuana’s primary psychoactive ingredient, and it attaches to the brain’s cannabinoid receptors (officially known as cannabinoid receptor type 1 or CB1). These receptors connect to nerves in the brain function which govern memory, appetite, pain regulation, and mood.

When a person smokes marijuana, they may notice they struggle with staying focused or recalling important details. This can worsen with prolonged marijuana use, resulting in problems like poor memory and concentration.  Motor skills can also be affected by the drug. If someone decides to drive while high, they can endanger their lives and the lives of others.

At this time, scientists are not fully aware of the long-term effects of marijuana use and the brain. They have, however, found a correlation between children and adolescence who use marijuana regularly who grow up to have lower IQs due to their marijuana use. Therefore, exposure to THC as a child can cause changes in cognition and memory later on in life. Less research has been done or has found much on adults who begin using marijuana after the adolescent stage.

Effect of Marijuana Use on IQ

The amount of brain cells killed off by marijuana would also depend on the amount a person has smoked and their age of use. The effects of marijuana on the brain mostly affect individuals under 25 as their brains are still developing.  A study of marijuana’s effect on IQ revealed individuals who began using marijuana at a young age lost 6 to 8 points from their IQ by middle age. Moreover, those who smoked marijuana throughout their adolescence, then stopped, did not regain their IQ points. Conversely, individuals who began using marijuana in their adulthood did not endure any IQ loss.

Questions about treatment?

Get confidential help 24/7. Call now for:

  • Access to top treatment centers
  • Caring, supportive guidance
  • Financial assistance options
(855) 826-4464

Synthetic Marijuana’s Effect On The Brain

Synthetic marijuana, a man-made hallucinogenic substance typically sprayed onto plant material, is not safe for human consumption but has become popular in recent years. Also known as “fake weed,” it produces mind-altering affects and can cause the individual to act in an odd manner. Synthetic marijuana is illegal and may have toxic ingredients that can cause increased heart rate, unexplained bleeding, and vomiting.

Similar to marijuana, synthetic marijuana affects the brain by attaching itself to the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) found in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Synthetic weed binds more strongly to CB1 receptors than THC, making it at least 100 times more potent in the brain. Because CB1 receptors have multiple locations in the brain, side effects can be intense and harmful.

Synthetic marijuana may cause the brain and body to experience:

  • Memory loss
  • Seizures
  • Psychosis
  • Cardiac and respiratory problems
  • Stroke
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Altered perception or euphoria
  • Violent behavior
  • Kidney and brain damage

In addition to the above symptoms, synthetic marijuana can be addictive to individuals who take it. Addiction, a chronic disease, can result in drug abuse that directly damages the brain, as well as risky behaviors that can cause further damage. After prolonged use of synthetic marijuana, brain cell activity is likely to decline with a concurrent increase in negative physiological symptoms like the ones above.

Ready to get help?

Don’t waste another second. Enter your number to receive a call
from a compassionate treatment expert.

Make a Call (855) 826-4464

- OR -

Request a Call
(877) 746-0480

Short- and Long-Term Effects of Marijuana Use on The Brain

The immediate, short-term effects of marijuana use on the brain include:

  • Difficulty judging distances
  • Difficulty remembering
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety

Long-term effects include but are not limited to:

  • Some cognitive impairment
  • Some memory loss
  • Increased likelihood to use other drugs
  • Increasing marijuana tolerance
  • Marijuana dependence

Don't Let Covid-19 Stop You from Getting Help

Rehabs are still open!

Get Help Today

Marijuana can have calming effects on the individual, but when over used or combined with other substances, can be very harmful. Stopping marijuana use can be difficult, and if you or loved one struggles to stop or endangers their life, they may need detox and treatment. Treatment takes individuals away from triggers individuals who use marijuana may have like anxiety. Instead, he or she would get counseling to uncover what they need most.

Medications would reduce cravings for marijuana, and detox would eliminate toxins in the body, returning it to its healthy state. The road to sobriety can be achieved without judgement or difficulty. Contact a compassionate treatment provider today.

Treatment professionals are waiting for your call

(855) 826-4464