Can marijuana cause you harm? Yes, especially among adolescent and teen onset users (who can experience long term cognitive and neural impairment). More here, with statistics on smoking pot during the teen years and how smoking weed affects teen IQ later in life.
Most people can withdraw from marijuana at home. But how can you ease symptoms of marijuana withdrawal? We review here.
What are the effects of mixing marijuana and alcohol? More here on possible harms and warnings for mixing marijuana with alcohol.
Marijuana withdrawal is a set of physical and psycho-emotional symptoms that occur when you stop using marijuana after a period of dependence. More on marijuana withdrawal here.
Help for marijuana addiction includes psychological therapies, educational sessions as well as physical stabilization while THC leaves the system. Where can you find it? More here.
Marijuana withdrawal smyptoms include irritability, anxiety, and restlessness as well as decreased appetite, headaches, and gastrointestinal problems. More on what to expect during marijuana withdrawal here.
Think you can’t become dependent on marijuana? Think again. Dependence on marijuana results in withdrawal symptoms upon cessation. More on characteristics of marijuana dependence here.
You know you’re developing tolerance to marijuana when you no longer feel its effects or need to use more marijuana to achieve initial effect. More on the phenomenon of tolerance here.
Yes, contrary to popular belief you have the potential of becoming addicted to THC. Studies report that THC use can lead to dependence and heavy use can result in withdrawal symptoms when you stop using THC. More on the addictive properties of THC here.
YES. Weed is addictive. In fact, becoming addicted to weed is more common than you may thing. We review how you get addicted to weed here.
What is marijuana?
Marijuana is a preparation made from parts of the cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa) which often appears as dry crumbly mixture of leaves, flowers, seeds and stems. Each part of the cannabis plant has different concentrations of THC, and the flowers have the highest concentrations followed by the leaves. Therefore, most marijuana preparations are made from flowers and leaves.
THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the principal psychoactive constituent of marijuana. THC has a chemical formula C21H30O2 and is the psychoactive element which triggers euphoria in users. Still, marijuana is just one of many psychoactive products made from the cannabis plant. Other psychoactive preparations made from cannabis include kief (trichomes from the flower), hashish (concentrated resin from the flowering buds), hash oil (highly concentrated oil from the plant) and edibles, which are food and drink prepared with added cannabis extracts or actual marijuana.
Why do people use marijuana?
Several factors may trigger marijuana use. These include medical or therapeutic use, euphoric effect, or as a coping mechanism for psychological/emotional issues.
In fact, marijuana can subjectively help people relieve the stress, anxiety, fear, pain or anger related to personal, psychological or family issues. And, because popular culture increasingly endorses marijuana use with a low perception of harm, some people use marijuana to relax.
Further, people may use marijuana recreationally to feel altered senses and perception of time, place and present situation. Therapeutic uses of marijuana include treatments for:
- as an adjunct cancer therapy
- diseases affecting the nerves or nerve cells
- movement disorders
- pain caused by structural, muscular, or psycho-physiological disorders
- to address symptoms of AIDS
- to treat malnutrition (an appetite stimulant)
Marijuana mainly targets the nervous system. Our brain, made of nerve cells, include areas called cannabinoid receptors, which are places at which THC can attach and cause effects. However, these cannabinoid receptors are located in areas of the brain involved with memory, concentration, perception and movement. Therefore, marijuana use often cause changes to these cognitive functions. Marijuana can affect:
In low to moderate doses, marijuana can cause the following effects:
- a sense of relaxation
- an altered sense of time, sound and space and sight
- bloodshot eyes
- dryness of the mouth
- lowered attention
- lowered inhibition
High doses of marijuana can cause hallucinations, delusions and disorientation, and/or impaired memory. Regular marijuana users report hunger and increased appetite for food, altered ‘magical’ or ‘random’ sense of thinking, inability to concentrate, paranoia, anxiety, or depression.
Is marijuana addictive?
Absolutely. The marijuana abuse potential is great, since it is a psychoactive drug. Users can become addicted to marijuana, and develop both physical and psychological marijuana dependence. If you use marijuana, you may be addicted to it if you use it daily, experience cravings for marijuana, or if you are having drug-related problems that affect your school, work, or home life.
For more on marijuana, see: