Marijuana is one of the most controversial psychotropic drugs, the benefits or harms of which have been debated for many years. Marijuana is currently legalized in several countries around the world, with some allowing its use only for medical purposes and others banning all types of drugs altogether. It is essential to understand that the scientifically proven number of positive effects of marijuana on the human body and some adverse effects on human health can vary depending on the age and other factors taking it.
For this paper, five scientific articles on the effects of marijuana use on human brain function were researched. The first study explores the theory that marijuana use causes structural changes in the human brain hemispheres, amygdala, and hippocampus. Marijuana use, especially during adolescence, can disrupt the developing human brain, causing significant structural and functional changes in the adolescent brain (Kurnijuanto, 2021). Researchers also note that the impact of marijuana use on adult brain activity and structure is much lower, as the adolescent brain is in an active phase of development and transformation.
The following study, which also focuses on adolescents, is built on the correlation between changes in brain structure and marijuana use. Marijuana use, according to the theory put forward, can have long-term effects on a person’s brain activity, with the effect increasing with more incredible years of use (Orr, 2016). Continuing with the topic of the effects of marijuana use on the adolescent brain, essential to note another study. According to it, several factors determine adolescents’ predisposition to use cannabis in the future. The study was conducted among boys and girls ages 14 and found a direct correlation between neurobiological predictors of cannabis use in a child’s body and their future psychotropic drug behavior (Spechler, 2019). Notably, this relationship is more pronounced in girls, but further research is needed to confirm the theory. Nevertheless, the research holds great promise for marijuana use prevention, as it can effectively prevent specific children from developing the problem.
The following study also focuses on determining the causes and effects of marijuana use on the human brain. The study presented a theory that impaired volitional regulation of a person’s emotions may be a consequence or cause of a person’s active use of marijuana (Zimmermann, 2017). It is a critical question whether marijuana affects a person’s concept and value of will or vice versa. This indicator predisposes a person to future use of the drug.
Finally, the Ramaekers study written in 2022 seeks to examine the difference between the effects of chronic and acute marijuana use on a person’s brain structure. According to the study, short-term marijuana use is very different from long-term use in terms of its effect on the human brain (Ramaekers, 2022). It is a critical study whose theory is essential for understanding the effects of treatment modalities based on marijuana use and how the timing of the drug use differs in its effect on the human brain.
The authors adhered to several essential points of ethical conduct within the research studies reviewed. First, the authors provided appendices of the research results, information about bias, and other risks of falsification. In this way, the authors were answering the ethical question of the reliability of their work, which is the first ethical norm of scientific papers. Second, the authors acknowledge the intellectual contributions of other scholars to their research, as seen in the examples of citing literature reviews and citations in the reference list. It is essential for respecting intellectual law, avoiding plagiarism, and expressing ownership of other authors’ work. Third, researchers have worked hard to ensure the safety of their respondents or observed patients. Concerning drug use, it is vital to provide respondents with the possibility of anonymity, as there are specifics of working with adolescents and others who depend on the opinion of their parents or other relatives. It consists of the fact that respondents are rarely interested in providing truthful information about their experiences of drug use. All research on these topics usually involves careful protection of any personal information about study participants at all observation stages.
The ethical standards listed above are significant in a person’s everyday life. Presenting quality work with an evidence base is essential for any worker. A person’s integrity determines their image and the degree to which others trust their words or work, which is essential in today’s endless flow of information. People tend to listen to verify sources and reputable professionals who are responsible for their work quality. Also, in my opinion, the ethical rule of acknowledging other scientists’ contributions to one’s work is significant. It is, after all, acknowledging the contribution of other people, colleagues, and all civilizations to one’s success. It helps one to remember that each of his achievements is the result of the influence of many people who have worked in that field, which makes the world’s integration of knowledge faster and more efficient. In life, this means appreciation and the ability to work with those who already know something about your chosen topic, and the skills of such collaboration are always critical.
Finally, the ethical standard of protecting research participants applies everywhere. Getting honest feedback on your product is worth allowing clients to respond anonymously. The Federal Witness Protection Program was invented to make witnesses of crimes freer to testify in court. The principle of protecting the rights of those who have any information is used in real life and is beneficial even in solving everyday problems. For example, getting information from a little brother about something is much easier if you convince him that his parents will not find out.