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Marijuana

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
  • glaucoma
  • migraines
  • movement disorders
  • pain caused by structural, muscular, or psycho-physiological disorders
  • to address symptoms of AIDS
  • to treat malnutrition (an appetite stimulant)

Marijuana effects

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:

  • concentration
  • memory
  • movement
  • perception

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
  • nausea
  • sleepiness

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:

Marijuana

2 What is marijuana used for?

What is marijuana used for?

July 12th, 2014

Marijuana can be used recreationally or medically. More on marijuana’s uses AND its effects on the body here.

1 Bob Marley quotes about weed (INFOGRAPHIC)

Bob Marley quotes about weed (INFOGRAPHIC)

June 8th, 2014

“When you smoke the herb, it reveals you to yourself.” “Herb is more a consciousness.” “Music and herb go together.” MORE QUOTES from Bob Marley about weed, herb, and ganga here.

3 Physical addiction to marijuana

Physical addiction to marijuana

January 19th, 2014

Physical dependence on marijuana manifests as withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use. What else characterizes this condition? And how is it different than addiction? We explore here.

23 Marijuana overdose: How much amount of weed to OD?

Marijuana overdose: How much amount of weed to OD?

January 2nd, 2014

Can marijuana cause overdose? Yes. Symptoms include mental impairment and distressing emotional states, such as paranoia, hallucinations, and disconnection from reality. More on how much marijuana it takes to overdose in this article.

4 Teenage pot smoking statistics (INFOGRAPHIC)

Teenage pot smoking statistics (INFOGRAPHIC)

December 16th, 2013

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.

64 How to withdraw from marijuana

How to withdraw from marijuana

November 21st, 2013

Most people can withdraw from marijuana at home. But how can you ease symptoms of marijuana withdrawal? We review here.

24 Mixing marijuana with alcohol

Mixing marijuana with alcohol

November 11th, 2013

What are the effects of mixing marijuana and alcohol? More here on possible harms and warnings for mixing marijuana with alcohol.

33 What is marijuana withdrawal?

What is marijuana withdrawal?

October 10th, 2013

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.

4 Help for marijuana addiction

Help for marijuana addiction

September 7th, 2013

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.

18 What are marijuana withdrawal symptoms?

What are marijuana withdrawal symptoms?

July 19th, 2013

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.

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Leave a Reply

3 Responses to “Marijuana
Tokey
5:22 am December 14th, 2016

Please help me as I am forgetting that I am a dad and my kids are young and they need me to sober up and be responsible for them.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
2:09 pm December 19th, 2016

Hi Tokey. I suggest that you call the helpline you see on the website to get in touch with a trusted treatment consultant.

Bill
10:10 am June 3rd, 2017

Marijuana is not physically addictive. It is, however, emotionally addictive. Withdrawal side affects from cannabis could hardly classify it as physically addictive.

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