Addiction Solution Source

Marijuana Facts

May 7th, 2007 · No Comments

Marijuana is the most frequently used illegal drug in the United States. It is a green, brown, or gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the hemp plant. It is called by numerous street names such as pot, herb, weed, grass, boom, Mary Jane, gangster, or chronic. There are also names for different strains or “brands” of marijuana, such as “Texas tea,” “Maui wowie,” and “Chronic.”

Most users roll loose marijuana into a cigarette (called a joint or a nail) or smoke it in a pipe. One well-known type of water pipe is the bong. Some users mix marijuana into foods or use it to brew a tea.

Another method is to slice open a cigar and replace the tobacco with marijuana, making what’s called a blunt. Some blunts include crack cocaine, a combination known by various street names, such as “primos” or “woolies.” Joints and blunts often are dipped in PCP and are called “happy sticks,” “wicky sticks,” or “love boat.” One book of American slang lists more than 200 terms for various kinds of marijuana.

Why do People use Marijuana?

Curiosity and the desire to fit into a social group are common reasons to use the drug. Certainly, youngsters who have already begun to smoke cigarettes and/or use alcohol are at high risk for marijuana use.

Research suggests that the use of alcohol and drugs by other family members plays a strong role in whether children start using drugs. Some young people who take drugs do not get along with their parents. Some have a network of friends who use drugs and urge them to do the same (peer pressure). All aspects of a child’s environment – home, school, neighborhood – help to determine whether the child will try drugs.

Young people who become more heavily involved with marijuana can become dependent, making it difficult for them to quit. Others mention psychological coping as a reason for their use – to deal with anxiety, anger, depression, boredom, and so forth. But marijuana use is not an effective method for coping with life’s problems, and staying high can be a way of simply not dealing with the problems and challenges of growing up.

Health Effects of The Drug

All forms of marijuana are mind-altering and it changes how the brain works. It contains THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the main active chemical in marijuana. It also contains more than 400 other chemicals. Marijuana’s effects on the user depend on it’s strength or potency, which is related to the amount of THC it contains. The THC content has been increasing since the 1970s.

THC in marijuana is rapidly absorbed by fatty tissues in various organs. Generally, traces (metabolites) of it can be detected by standard urine testing methods several days after a smoking session. However, in chronic heavy users, traces can sometimes be detected for weeks after they have stopped using the drug.

Smoking marijuana causes some changes in the brain that are like those caused by cocaine, heroin, and alcohol. Some users can undergo bad effects from the drug. They may suffer sudden feelings of anxiety and have paranoid thoughts. This is more likely to happen when a more potent variety of marijuana is used or other chemicals or street drugs are mixed into the substance.

How can you tell if someone has been using marijuana?

If someone is high on marijuana, he or she might:

– seem dizzy and have trouble walking;

– seem silly and giggly for no reason;

– have very red, bloodshot eyes; and

– have a hard time remembering things that just happened.

When the early effects fade, over a few hours, the user can become very sleepy.

Short-Term Effects

The short-term effects include:

– problems with memory and learning;

– distorted perception (sights, sounds, time, touch);

– trouble with thinking and problem solving;

– loss of motor coordination; and

– increased heart rate.

Marijuana has serious harmful effects on the skills required to drive safely such as making it more difficult to judge distances and react to signals and sounds on the road.

Long-Term Effects

People who smoke marijuana often develop the same kinds of breathing problems that cigarette smokers have: coughing and wheezing. They tend to have more chest colds than nonusers. They are also at greater risk of getting lung infections like pneumonia.

Regular use of the drug may play a role in some kinds of cancer. Studies show that someone who smokes five joints per day may be taking in as many cancer-causing chemicals as someone who smokes a full pack of cigarettes every day. Long-term marijuana use can lead to addiction in some people.

Does Marijuana Lead to the Use of Other Drugs?

It could. Long-term studies of high school students and their patterns of drug use show that very few young people use other illegal drugs without first trying marijuana. For example, the risk of using cocaine is much greater for those who have tried marijuana than for those who have never tried it. Using it puts children and teens in contact with people who are users and sellers of other drugs. So there is more of a risk that a marijuana user will be exposed to and urged to try more drugs.

Scientists are examining the possibility that long-term marijuana use may create changes in the brain that make a person more at risk of becoming addicted to other drugs, such as alcohol or cocaine.

Drug Treatment

There are currently no medications for treating marijuana addiction. Patients should seek out addiction treatment under the guidance of a doctor that has a “holistic” approach that is designed to treat the whole person, not just the symptoms of the substance abuse.

To find a holistic treatment center, see: drug_addiction_treatment/drug-abuse-treatment-facility-locator

Bookmark and Share

Tags: Marijuana Addiction

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment

*