What is Pursue Your Passion?
It’s a campaign launched by Health Canada to educate you about risks of cannabis use on your mental health and brain function.
It is also about pursuing activities that can make you feel your best, without the potential health and safety risk of cannabis.
At what age is your brain fully developed?
Research shows that the brain is not fully developed until around age 25.
What we’re covering today
- Fact-based information on the effects of cannabis on your mental health and brain function
- Activities you can pursue that produce similar chemical reactions in the brain but in a healthier way
The compounds in cannabis affect the same systems in the brain involved in brain development.
Together let’s access different parts of the brain and learn about what they do and the impact cannabis use can have on each one.
What part of the brain registers and stores memories?
The compounds in cannabis (e.g., THC) bind to brain receptors (cannabinoid receptors) located in the hippocampus, which impairs memory and can make it difficult to learn
Did you know…
Youth and young adults who consume cannabis, especially cannabis containing THC, are more likely to experience mental health problems?
This happens because cannabis can interfere with healthy brain development until your mid 20s.
SHORT-TERM EFFECTS OF CANNABIS
Affects mood and feelings
Makes it harder to learn and remember things
Impairs your ability to drive safely or operate equipment
LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF CANNABIS
Affects mental health in some people
Starting to use cannabis early, regularly and continuously over time can lead to the development or worsening of mental health problems related to cannabis dependence, anxiety, depression, and even schizophrenia in those who have a family history.
The likelihood of experiencing these mental health problems is greatest in those:
Who start using cannabis at an earlier age
Who use cannabis frequently and over time
Who use cannabis products containing higher levels of THC
Who have a family history of mental health disorders
Effects of reducing or stopping cannabis use on mental health
Using cannabis can reduce the effect of medications that some may take for mental health conditions.
Reducing or stopping cannabis use can help improve mental health.
Let’s explore some activities you can pursue that produce similar chemical reactions in the brain but in a healthier way!
Name an activity that demonstrates the need for one or more of these:
- reaction time
Name your favourite song.
How does it make you feel when you hear it?
Engaging in a creative activity triggers the release of the "feel-good" chemical known as?
Dopamine is an important brain chemical that results in feelings of happiness. It also plays a large part in how we learn, focus, and find things interesting.
So, let’s Pursue Your Passion
Select 2 activities – 1 minute each
- Mountain climbers
- Jumping jacks
- Sun salutations
- Shadow boxing
Frequent and long-term cannabis use can have a significant impact on brain development and mental health. The best way to protect your health is to not use cannabis.
Engaging in physical activity, music, art, and general activities that you are passionate about, can activate the same areas of the brain as cannabis, especially when trying to relieve stress or anxiety.