Marijuana is a drug acquired from the cannabis plant. The plant is typically dried out, ground up and smoked (in paper like a cigarette or in a pipe like tobacco). Marijuana also comes in the form of “edibles.” Edibles are foods, such as baked goods and candies, that contain the the active ingredient in Marijuana, Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, and produce the same effects as smoking it.
Some people consume a resin-like substance concentrated from the plant that produces a far more intense high. This substance, often referred to as “dabs,” may be a viscous liquid, a wax-like substance or a hard, crystallized material similar to hard candy that is typically vaporized and inhaled. Other names for dabs include wax, budder and shatter. Dabs are made in several ways, most commonly with butane or isopropyl alcohol, both of which can be very dangerous.
Marijuana is legal in some states and illegal in others. In some states, only medical use is legal, while some others have also legalized recreational marijuana. Medically, marijuana is used for stress and pain relief and to increase appetite. Recreationally, marijuana is used for its calming effects and to achieve the notorious “high.” Street names for marijuana include: pot, dope, ganja, grass, mary jane, reefer, weed and buds.
Marijuana has a very long history of legislation for and against its use. Fueled by mixed feelings and misinformation, confusion about the existence and risks of marijuana addiction is still around today. However, it is widely accepted that both marijuana addiction and withdrawal are VERY real.
Marijuana Abuse & Effects
Marijuana is a psychoactive narcotic drug that alters perception. Marijuana contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it’s this chemical compound that causes the drug’s effects to the human brain. The effects of marijuana may be different for everyone and depend on how it is consumed. Smoking marijuana produces a faster, shorter-lived buzz than eating it orally. The effects of dabs can be immediate and last for hours due to their concentrated amounts of THC. Those are strong buds with intense highs and lows.
The effects of marijuana include:
- Feelings of happiness
- Mild hallucinations
- Increased appetite
- Red Eyes
- Reduced anxiety
While there ‘s no risk of overdosing, marijuana comprises the second highest rates (minus cocaine) of emergency room visits caused by abusing illicit substances. These hospital visits are mostly attributed to accidents that occurred when individuals were intoxicated on weed and pot
Increasing THC Content in Marijuana
The THC content of marijuana has increased as much as 300 percent since the 1960s, which affects marijuana abuse and tolerance. The higher doses of THC in today’s marijuana can contribute to increased intoxication-related risks and an increased risk of dependence; its way stronger now than it ever was before.
Addiction to Marijuana
Marijuana addiction can be clinically diagnosed and has a negative impact on the person’s life. People can develop a psychological dependence on marijuana in the same way other addictions develop.
When one uses weed, cannabinoid receptors in the brain are activated by a neurotransmitter called Anandamide. THC mimics and blocks the actions natural neurotransmitters like Anandamide, to the point where the body no longer produces sufficient Anandamide on its own. The user’s brain gets reprogrammed to need marijuana just to feel like a normal person. When the user stops bringing more THC into the body, they often experience withdrawal symptoms because of the resulting lack of Anandamide. Wanting to quit using marijuana, but being unable to do so, is a strong indication of an substance abuse addiction.
There are also risks of using marijuana that can affect someone’s personal life. These risks can manifest into more immediate consequences such as:
- Legal complications
- Falling behind in school
- Having problems at work
- An impaired ability to learn and remember things
If you have continued to use marijuana despite the negative consequences, you may have an addiction. Contact us today for a free addiction consultation. Remember, Just Say No To Weed!