A psychoactive drug is a chemical substance which, when consumed, can affect the brain and nervous system, resulting in an altered mental state. The potent effects of psychoactive drugs have led some to be used as prescription medicines, while others have become some of the most widely prohibited illicit substances in the world. So what are the effects of drugs on the brain? What are the different types of psychoactive drug, and how do these various chemicals affect behaviour, consciousness, mood, perception, and the functioning of the brain?
Depressants slow brain and nervous system functionShow moreShow less
Depressant drugs inhibit signals in the brain and nervous system, reducing neuronal messages and slowing the brain's activity down.
The active compounds within cannabis are called cannabinoids. These compounds interact with and activate specific cannabinoid receptor molecules throughout the body, including in the brain and nervous system. Cannabinoids also increase the activity of dopamine in the brain's mesolimbic pathway, also known as the reward pathway, which can affect motivation, desire, and pleasure responses after consumption. Prolonged use of cannabis can result in cognitive impairment and worsen the symptoms of mental illness as tolerance to the effects of cannabinoids increases.
[P1] Cannabinoid compounds increases the dopamine in the brain.