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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

92 Synthetic weed ban : Yes or No?

Synthetic weed ban : Yes or No?

January 20th, 2012

To date, synthetic weed is banned in certain countries and states. Here we review the top 5 reasons legal weed should be made illegal in all jurisdictions.

43 Motivation to stop smoking weed

Motivation to stop smoking weed

December 21st, 2011

Need more motivation to stop smoking weed? Here are four (4) practical exercises to get and stay motivated when quitting weed. Your questions about motivation in addiction recovery are welcomed.

26 Do you get high if you eat weed?

Do you get high if you eat weed?

October 23rd, 2011

Yes. Eating weed can get you high. But it usually takes longer and is less intense than inhaling marijuana smoke. More on bioavailability of marijuana smoked vs. eaten here. Plus, what to do if you want to quit weed totally.

28 Does weed cause lung cancer?

Does weed cause lung cancer?

October 16th, 2011

We don’t know if weed causes lung cancer yet. But marijuana use and cancer risk are associated. Learn more about lung cancer and marijuana here.

15 Do legal buds get you high?

Do legal buds get you high?

October 14th, 2011

Yes. Second generation legal bud can get you high. What’s the difference between types of legal bud? And do you risk more than just time? More here.

589 Spice synthetic marijuana side effects

Spice synthetic marijuana side effects

September 29th, 2011

Side effects of synthetic marijuana can be similar to hallucinogenic drugs. Side effects of Spice can even include hallucinations and delusions. Learn more here.

419 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.

114 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.

296 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.

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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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