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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

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.

1 Palliative medicine and illegal drugs

Palliative medicine and illegal drugs

February 10th, 2011

Artist Nash Hyon explores the question, “What is a Poison? What is a Remedy?” in her series on plants (some illegal) that can be used in medicine. Explore the questions she raises about the use of plants and plant derived drugs in palliative medicine here.

43 Top 10 medical uses for marijuana

Top 10 medical uses for marijuana

February 8th, 2011

Although marijuana has been stigmatized for the cognitive impairment of people who use it, can it actually help some people manage medical problems? We review the top legitimate uses for medical marijuana here.

20 Medical marijuana cards: Top 10 medical conditions people can fake

Medical marijuana cards: Top 10 medical conditions people can fake

January 24th, 2011

Even medical marijuana advocates agree that many people are not using pot for pain related to medical conditions, but to get high. So how are people getting doctor notes for medical marijuana cards? We list the 10 most likely medical conditions that people can fake in order to obtain a prescription for medical marijuana here.

6 Decriminalized marijuana: Top 10 countries in the world

Decriminalized marijuana: Top 10 countries in the world

November 11th, 2010

Interested in decriminalized marijuana? From South America to Europe to the Middle East and back to North America… learn which countries rank highest in legal permission for the personal or medical consumption of marijuana here.

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Leave a Reply

8 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.

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