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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

15 When does marijuana kick in?

When does marijuana kick in?

January 1st, 2015

The way marijuana is administered determines its onset of effects. Smoked marijuana = seconds or minutes to kick in. Oral consumption of weed = 20-45 minutes to onset. More here.

6 Snoop Dogg on drugs and smoking marijuana (INFOGRAPHIC)

Snoop Dogg on drugs and smoking marijuana (INFOGRAPHIC)

December 11th, 2014

“Weed: it makes me feel the way I need to feel.” “Break it down, roll it up, pass if you’ve had enough.” Read more of Snoop’s quotes related to weed, drugs, and attitudes on both here.

9 Rehab for weed: Should you go or not?

Rehab for weed: Should you go or not?

December 7th, 2014

Yes! Addiction is more than the substances someone uses. It’s a disease centered in our thinking and our actions. More on why pot smokers can benefit from rehab here.

2 Signs and symptoms of marijuana addiction

Signs and symptoms of marijuana addiction

November 14th, 2014

Do you suspect that someone you know is addicted to marijuana? Do you perhaps think that you are becoming an addict yourself? How can you know for sure?

12 How to Treat Marijuana Addiction

How to Treat Marijuana Addiction

October 7th, 2014

Treatments for marijuana addiction mainly include behavioral and psychological therapies. More on the protocols and evidence based practice of treating addiction to marijuana here.

24 Help for marijuana withdrawal

Help for marijuana withdrawal

September 29th, 2014

Marijuana withdrawal is real. So, how can you cope with the physical and psychological symptoms of dependence? We review treatment suggestions here.

12 How is marijuana abused?

How is marijuana abused?

September 17th, 2014

Marijuana abuse occurs when you use marijuana for non-medical reasons. More on the definition of drug abuse as related to weed.

Smoking marijuana

Smoking marijuana

September 12th, 2014

What does smoking marijuana do to you and is it bad for you? More on the effects of smoked weed here.

3 How to help a marijuana addict

How to help a marijuana addict

September 7th, 2014

Is someone close to you addicted to marijuana? We review effective treatments and interventions for marijuana addicts here, as well as the steps for getting help.

7 Is my son or daughter smoking weed?

Is my son or daughter smoking weed?

September 4th, 2014

There is no medical indication for use of marijuana in youth. So how can you tell if your kids is under the influence? We explore here.

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Leave a Reply

13 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: https://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.

Canada
10:44 am August 9th, 2018

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.

Nicole
11:26 pm October 16th, 2018

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

4:53 pm November 9th, 2018

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.

Gilbert
5:39 am October 22nd, 2018

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.

Cody
5:35 am November 10th, 2018

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 ?

4:55 pm November 13th, 2018

Hi Cody. The sensitivity of saliva tests is not well established in the case of marijuana. But, in most cases, marijuana is only detected for 1 day on a saliva tests.
You can find more info here: https://addictionblog.org/infographics/marijuana-detection-timelines-infographic/
Or you can download our e-book-The Definitive Guide to Drug Testing. You can check it out here: https://addictionblog.org/ebooks/the-definitive-guide-to-drug-testing/

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