What is Marijuana
- Marijuana is a depressant drug, which means it slows down messages travelling between your brain and body. It is a mild sedative (often causing a relaxed feeling or actual sleepiness) and it’s also a mild hallucinogen (meaning you may experience a state where you see objects and reality in a distorted way and may even hallucinate).
- Other names for Marijuana are: cannabis, pot, weed, hash, dope, gunja and joint. Marijuana is usually smoked or eaten and comes in 3 different forms:
- Marijuana − the dried plant that is smoked in a joint. This is the most common form.
- Hashish – the dried plant resin that is usually mixed with tobacco and smoked or added to foods and baked.
- Medicinal cannabis – can be marijuana, tablets or a mouth spray used to treat chronic diseases and conditions.
- When marijuana is smoked, its compounds rapidly enter the bloodstream and are transported directly to the brain and other parts of the body. The feeling of being ‘stoned’ or ‘high’ is caused mainly by the drug’s agents binding to cannabinoid receptors in the brain. A receptor is a part on a brain cell where certain substances can stick or “bind” for a while. When Marijuana is smoked, it has an effect on the cell and the nerve impulses it produces. Most of these receptors are found in the parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thought, concentration, sensory and time perception. Cannabis compounds can also affect the eyes, the ears, the skin and the stomach.
- It takes about an hour to feel the effects of eating cannabis, which means it’s easy to have too much. If it’s smoked the effects are usually felt straight away. However, smoking can cause a number of negative side effects, especially with prolonged use. Cannabis can also come in synthetic form, which may be more harmful than real Cannabis.
Effects & Risks of Marijuana
- Some people think using cannabis is harmless just because it’s a plant – but it isn’t. Cannabis, like tobacco, has lots of chemical qualities, which can cause severe health problems.
- Regular use of Marijuana doubles the risk of developing a psychotic episode or long-term schizophrenia. Research has associated a clear link between early Marijuana use and later mental health problems in those with a genetic vulnerability. If you have a history of mental health problems, depression or are experiencing paranoia, then taking Marijuana will worsen these conditions.
- Marijuana is risky for anyone with a heart problem as it increases the heart rate and can affect blood pressure. Regular use of Marijuana makes it difficult to learn and concentrate. Some people begin to feel tired all the time and can’t seem to get motivated. Frequent use of Marijuana can cut a man’s sperm count and suppress ovulation in women. If pregnant, smoking Marijuana may harm the baby.
- Prolonged use of Marijuana leads to the development of the disease of addiction. marijuana addicts spend their life seeking, buying and using marijuana. They cannot stop even when other important parts of their life (family, school, work) suffer. Marijuana addicts develop tolerance, meaning they need more of the drug to experience the same effect. If users try to reduce or stop, they can experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms such as: craving, decreased appetite, sleep difficulty, weight loss, aggression, anger, irritability, restlessness and nightmares. These withdrawal symptoms usually appear 10 hours after the last use and can last up to one week thereafter.