Information on Illicit Drugs
What is Marijuana?
Marijuana is also widely known as Cannabis and by various other names such as ‘pot,’ ‘weed,’ or ‘bhang.’ Marijuana is a preparation of the hemp plant, Cannabis Sativa, used as a psychoactive drug or medicine. It has close to 500 active ingredients, but the primary psychoactive part of marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which makes you feel high.
What are the Consequences of Using Marijuana?
The other active compounds in Cannabis also affect how your body works. Sometimes, marijuana is used as a medicinal drug while at times used for recreation. In some legalized states or countries, it is used during chemotherapy to reduce vomiting and nausea, to help with muscle spasms, chronic pain and to improve appetite. When used for recreational purposes, it gives immediate desirable effects such as ecstasy and relaxation.
The drug can be smoked, vaporized or added to tea or food, but whichever way the drug gets into your body, the effects are still adverse. The active ingredients in the drug affect almost all organs of your body including the nervous system and the immune system. Taking marijuana increases your heart rate up to two-and-a-half times the average rate and can, therefore, result in a heart attack. It affects your blood sugar, lowers blood pressure and increases bleeding.
Signs and Symptoms of Marijuana Abuse
After using marijuana, its effects can last for 3-6 hours. One will suffer from dizziness, shallow and quick breathing, impaired psychomotor or slowed reaction time, red eyes, dilated pupils, or dry lips and mouth. Again, using the drug results in anxiety and an individual is always paranoid. You may also experience short-term memory loss, randomized thinking, and loss of the sense of time. Additionally, one is always confused, far from the real world, relaxed, or euphoric.
Effects of Marijuana Abuse
Long-term use of marijuana may lead to severe physiological and psychological damage. Heavy use lowers a man’s testosterone levels, and sperm count and quality that can affect your libido thereby resulting in infertility. Its use can also worsen health problems if you are suffering from conditions such as diabetes, low blood pressure or liver disease. The psychological outcomes could be suicidal thoughts, schizophrenia, and short-term psychosis. Smoking the drug adds tar to the lungs and may easily lead to cancer.
A 2015 review uncovered a connection between the use of Cannabis and Testicular Germ Cell Tumors (TGCTs) development. Long-term use of Cannabis is also suspected to be a cause of rare cases of a cardiovascular condition called arteritis. It may also lead to permanent impairment of attention and memory, which results in a decline in IQ.
What are the Withdrawal Symptoms of Marijuana?
Cannabis withdrawal symptoms are less severe compared to those of alcohol. Heavy users of marijuana are most likely to suffer withdrawal symptoms when they try quitting the use of the drug. These symptoms could be irritability, cravings, sleep disturbances, anxiety, and boredom. According to a 2013 review by the National Institute on Drugs Abuse (NIDA), those with a history of academic under-performance, deviant behavior in adolescence and childhood, rebelliousness, poor parental relationships, and a parental history of alcohol and other drugs abuse are at the highest risk of dependence.