What does smoking dagga do to your brain?

Marijuana (also called dagga, weed, zol or spliff) is a commonly used drug, and some people say it is harmless. But it’s important to know that smoking dagga can actually change how your brain works.

6 ways smoking weed affects your mind:

  • Memory: Marijuana affects the way your memory works.
  • Concentration: It can be harder to focus, learn and remember things when you are under the influence of dagga. Your reaction time will also be slower, which means you might act more slowly if you are in danger.
  • Thinking skills: People who smoke marijuana as teenagers may have lower IQs when they get older.
  • Motivation: Often people who smoke dagga have less motivation and feel tired or lazy more of the time.
  • Sleep: After smoking, people may struggle to sleep normally.
  • Mental illness: Weed can make some people more scared or paranoid. And if you have a mental illness, dagga can make it worse. 

No drug is totally harmless. If you or someone around you is smoking dagga, be aware of the risks. For help with quitting, call the SANCA 24 Hour Helpline at 0861472622 or the Department of Social Development (DSD) Substance Abuse Line at 0800121314 or SMS 32312. You can also learn more about dagga in our article, “Smoking dagga: The facts”

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