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The word on marijuana.

Here are some of the key words you need to understand to discuss the drug marijuana and its effects. Review the glossary. Then, fill in the blanks in the article below. Finally, circle the words you filled in within the word search.

GLOSSARY

Blunt: slang term for a hollowed-out cigar filled with marijuana

Cannabinoid Receptors: sites on the surface of brain cells where the active ingredient in marijuana attaches to produce the drug's effects

Cerebellum: part of the brain involved in coordination of body movement

Cerebral Cortex: part of the brain involved in higher-thinking functions

Dopamine: a brain chemical (or neurotransmitter) that helps nerve cells in the pleasure and reward pathway communicate with each other

Hemp: the plant marijuana comes from

Hippocampus: part of the brain's limbic system that helps with learning and memory

Joint: slang term for marijuana rolled into a cigarette

Neurons: cells in the brain; also found in the spinal cord and other organs

THC: tetrahydrocannabinol, the main active ingredient in marijuana

WHAT IS MARIJUANA? WHAT DOES IT DO TO THE BRAIN?

The drug marijuana is the dried, shredded leaves of the--plant. While there are several methods of use, marijuana is often rolled into a cigarette, called a --, or stuffed into a hollowed-out cigar, called a --, and smoked.

The drug's effects on the brain are caused by the main active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol, or --. This chemical attaches to specific receptors in the brain called -- receptors. When it binds to these receptors, it interferes with the normal communication between brain cells, or --.

Several parts of the brain have an abundance of these receptors, including the --, which deals with learning and memory; the --, which helps with coordination of body movement; and the cerebral --, which is in charge of higher-thinking functions.

Finally, research shows that THC triggers the release of --, a chemical that stimulates activity in the brain reward pathway. Other drugs of abuse, like cocaine and amphetamines, also stimulate this pathway.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED

Marijuana, p. 3: 1. hemp; 2. joint; 3. blunt; 4. THC; 5. cannabinoid; 6. neurons; 7. hippocampus; 8. cerebellum: 9. cortex; 10. dopamine.
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Article Details
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Publication:Science World
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 12, 2004
Words:346
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