The question that is often at times asked to experts about drug abuse and why people are attracted to it is, what is it that causes them to feel good and positive when high on drugs. When an individual is “High” on a drug like marijuana, there is a flow of energy within his body, which makes any tiredness to fly out of the window. His mood all of a sudden becomes positive about everything surrounding him.(2)
When “high,” on a drug, the individual feels a sense of calmness with no worries or tension hounding him. When a former drug abuser was asked this question, he replied by stating that he felt as “he was flying on air.”
Experts state that the chemicals that form the main ingredient of a drug like cocaine, cannabis or marijuana is what causes these people to feel so good about them. What exactly happens in the brain that makes an individual feel good when “High” is what has been explained in detail below in the article.
What Causes You To Feel Good When High On Marijuana?
Coming to this question, there are many chemicals present in marijuana that work on simultaneously on parts of the brain that are involved with emotions of an individual. This is what makes them feel so good when “High” on marijuana. Out of all the psychoactive chemicals present, THC, which is an abbreviation of delta-
9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the primary ingredient of marijuana (cannabis).(1) When an individual smokes marijuana, this THC goes into the lungs and then gets mixed into the bloodstream by the heart through which it reaches the brain. Chemicals of drugs which are sniffed or snorted reach the brain directly. Once THC is in the brain, it activates the protein receptors in the brain which is what makes an individual feel “High” on marijuana. These protein receptors bind to the THC triggering off a series of chemical reactions, which affects the way the person feels emotionally and physically. There is a sense of euphoria in the individual just like the way alcohol does when it reaches the brain that is by releasing dopamine, which is a chemical that stimulates the brain cells.
Another prominent feature of smoking marijuana is that the individual loses the sense of time when “High” .(2) It not only affects the thinking, but also the short term memory of the individual (2). THC again is the chemical that is to blame for this perception when high on marijuana.(2) There is also increased sound and light sensitivity; however, these effects are variable and may be different depending on how much marijuana has been consumed.
In people who are chronic users of marijuana, there comes a stage when the individual starts to feel anxious and paranoid after smoking a joint.(3) For them, THC then acts as an agent that enhances depression and an active hallucinogen. People start to hallucinate when high on marijuana.(4) This can occur for up to four to five hours after getting intoxicated.
In summary, our body has certain systems in place which give us pleasure after certain activities like sexual intercourse or after completing the target at work or school. This is the body’s way of rewarding us. Similarly, there are certain cells in the brain, which have the same function of rewarding the body, but they only get activated when certain chemicals like THC that activates them. One of the sources of THC is marijuana and certain other recreational drugs.
The other source, which activates these receptors, is called the Anandamide, which is released by the brain. However, THC gives far more pleasure than Anandamide and thus individual feels good when “High” on marijuana.
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