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Marijuana

A basic definition of marijuana as a psychoactive substance, with info on addictive properties and most common effect

2
minute read

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.

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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.

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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:

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  1. i am an underage user and i ive been addicted to marijuana,i used to smoke at the least 6 times everyday and now i’ve cut it to once a day and i cant go 2 days without withdrawing and becoming depressed and i recognized i was addicted when i went a week without smoking dealing with goosebumps, being hot when its cold and vice versa, i would like to seek help at a rehab but i’m afraid id get social workers involved and my mom doesn’t know i’ve been smoking, i’m sure she has an idea but our neighbors also smoke which makes it partially harder for me to wanna remain sober and my plug just recently went to jail so i need advice on what to do until i start fiending again

    1. Hi ali. Marijuana can cause a lot of problems especially to an underage person. Here’s a link where you can find more info :https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/marijuana
      Also, I advise you to talk with your mom and tell her about your problem. I’m sure she will understand and be supportive. Then, both of you can explore some treatment options. Please feel free to call us so we can help you find the best treatment options.

  2. Was an every day weed smoker for about 5 years , recently quit for 4 months . But did take a few tokes for the first time 9 days ago . I have a swab test tomorrow for a new job , do you think I’ll test positive ?

  3. Marijuana has some well-proven benefits, including relief for long-term pain. But smoking marijuana can have some bad effects on your health, including making breathing problems worse.

  4. Is this website still active? I am in desperate need of help With want to do. Ive Known for a while that my 16 yo son has smoked weed but I just found out that my son is now selling it. I’ve been telling him to stop Since I found out he was smoking. Not only has he not listened, he has now elevated his game to selling. I’m distraught. he’s a nice kid, respectful to others but has been making stupid impulsive decisions his whole life due to his ADHD. I’m not making excuses but I’ve seen this coming pretty much his whole life and I’ve been trying to do everything I can as a parent to avoid it yet here it is.. not only has he not listens, he is now elevated his game. I’m distraught he’s a good kid but has been making stupid impulsive decisions his whole life due to his ADHD. I’m not making excuses but I’ve seen this coming pretty much his whole life I’ve been trying to avoid it yet here it is

    1. Hi Nicole. It is really tough to stay strong in your position, especially as a parent. But, you should keep trying. I suggest you call the helpline number displayed on our site to get in touch with our trusted treatment providers who can help you access adequate treatment program for your son.

  5. There’s no such things as addiction when you know your limitations. Just use Marijuana with a proper usage . Just limit your self and use it moderately.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

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

  9. 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.

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

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