Scientists agree that there are certain benefits to smoking marijuana, like easing pain, anxiety, and PTSD. But chronic smoking has negative repercussions as well, such as a decrease in dopamine levels in the brain.
However, it’s well documented that people who stop smoking weed soon after experience withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, vivid dreams, irritability, physical tension, poor sleep, and a decrease in appetite.
Some have found that they are only pronounced in the first ten days after quitting, while others have found that they peak two to six days after quitting then cease after two weeks.
Apparently, the brains of chronic smokers had less gray matter in the orbitofrontal cortex while compared to non-smokers, which means that the part of the brain that deals with decision making and emotional processing had a smaller volume than usual. But they also found evidence that this part of the pot smoker’s brain had more connections to other regions, suggesting that the brain is trying to compensate for what it has lost.
Chronic weed use is “associated with complex neuroadaptive processes,” changes occurring in the brain “as a result of marijuana use remains equivocal.” They also mention that other researchers have found a decrease in volume in other parts of the chronic smoker’s brain, like the amygdala, hippocampus, and the striatum.
However, more number of pot smokers need to commit to the demands of the study in order to gain more information.