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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

418 Does synthetic weed show up on drug tests?

Does synthetic weed show up on drug tests?

September 19th, 2011

Synthetic weed shows up on specialized urine-based tests for up to 3 days after use. More on synthetic marijuana drug testing here.

21 Does weed cause cancer?

Does weed cause cancer?

September 14th, 2011

Weed (marijuana smoke) has been shown to be carcinogenic. But does weed cause cancer? And if THC may help treat cancer, why the confusing messages? More on weed and cancer here.

110 Does weed kill brain cells?

Does weed kill brain cells?

September 13th, 2011

No, weed does not kill brain cells. But it can quicken age related memory loss. Still, long term physical alteration of the brain has not been linked to marijuana use. More on structural changes in the brain and marijuana here.

289 Does marijuana cause brain damage?

Does marijuana cause brain damage?

September 12th, 2011

We think so. Marijuana affects the brain but marijuana use has not been conclusively linked to brain damage. What do scientists know about marijuana and the brain? Learn about how marijuana impacts the brain and the factors that can increase risk of brain damage here.

1350 Smoking herbal incense effects

Smoking herbal incense effects

September 11th, 2011

Herbal incense can mimic the effects of cannabis. But users report more adverse than positive effects when smoking herbal incense. More here.

30 Does weed cause memory loss?

Does weed cause memory loss?

September 9th, 2011

Yes, weed causes memory loss. Is it only short term memory loss or is long term memory affected, too? How does weed work on the brain? We discuss here.

5 Can you get addicted to weed?

Can you get addicted to weed?

September 5th, 2011

Yes, you can get addicted to weed. If you smoke chronically, your risk of addiction is high. More on weed addiction here.

126 Ingredients of legal weed

Ingredients of legal weed

September 1st, 2011

Is fake weed harmful? Yes, fake weed ingredients can cause harm. The active compound present in legal weed is a synthetic cannabinoid(s). More here.

1237 How long does marijuana, weed, pot (THC) stay in your system?

How long does marijuana, weed, pot (THC) stay in your system?

July 25th, 2011

The half life of THC depends on potency, frequency of use and mode of administration. But generally, the THC found in marijuana can stay in the body for days or weeks after use. More on how long THC stays in the system here.

155 Why people use marijuana: Top 10 reasons

Why people use marijuana: Top 10 reasons

June 9th, 2011

Marijuana: medicine or illict drug? Top 10 reasons people use marijuana here, plus a comment section for debate.

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Leave a Reply

7 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.

Kenna
9:08 pm February 11th, 2018

I weigh 170 lbs how long will 2 hits stay iny sysyem

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
11:24 am February 13th, 2018

Hi Kenna. Usually, marijuana can be detected up to 3-4 days after the last use. But, this detection period is longer for long-term users and/or binge users. If you want to learn more about drug testing and detection period of certain substances, download our free e-book ‘The Definitive Guide To Drug Testing’ here: http://addictionblog.org/ebooks/the-definitive-guide-to-drug-testing/

Jim
10:54 am April 21st, 2018

I agree about the benefits of cannabis. I had the worse insomnia ever, but when I started vaping cannabis and eating edibles with cannabutter, I always have the most relaxing sleep ever! Thanks for the informative article here!

Margo
12:28 pm July 4th, 2018

Hi there.
I know for sure that marijuana is addictive. My husband likes such things and sometimes he relaxes in such a way. But a few weeks ago we’ve realised that our son has maybe allergy or so for these smells.
Can someone help and give a piece of advice? What should we do?
I’ve read a lot of information about that, but still confused. I’ve read about vapes on the Vapingdaily. Maybe it’s not that dangerous while using vape? Have someone tried? Or maybe someone knows?
Would be grateful for any advice.

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