Marijuana is obtained from the Cannabis sativa plant. It is also commonly known as ganja, pot, weed, dope, grass, Mary Jane, bud, etc.
Marijuana is a greenish-brown mixture. It is made from the stems, leaves, flowers, and seeds of hemp plants. It is available in several forms. However, hashish and hash oil are most preferred by the users. These two are also the most potent forms of marijuana. Hashish is the resin-like form, while hash oil is a rich black sticky liquid. Marijuana contains more than 0.3% THC; thus, it exerts mind-altering effects. It can also affect the functioning of the lungs if taken in excess.
This implies that prolonged use can lead to abuse and dependency. Moreover, marijuana poses the threat of overdoes. Many states of the US have legalized the use of hemp. It is still illegal to possess marijuana under federal law in some states. However, the research facilities approved by the government can legally have marijuana.
How Does Marijuana work?
Delta-9 THC is the main component of the marijuana plant. It is responsible for the mind-altering effects and typical high.
The flowers or buds of the marijuana plant contain the highest amounts of THC. When people smoke these buds or flowers, THC quickly enters the lungs. From here, it diffuses into the bloodstream and goes straight to the brain. THC then attaches itself to specific receptors in the brain. These receptors, called cannabinoid receptors, are a vital part of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS).
Once attached to the receptors, cannabinoids in the THC set off a chain reaction that induces the high. A state of euphoria and relaxation follows this. The beginners might feel the effects of differently. The first-timers feel paranoia, anxiety, and panic since the body is not used to marijuana.
Statistics of Marijuana Use in the Recent Years
Numerous studies have shown that marijuana is one of the most used and abused drugs in the US. Although it is used in medicine, its use is highest among the younger people.
NIDA published a survey in 2019. The study put light on the extent of marijuana use. According to the study, vaping marijuana was rising among teenagers in 2019. Moreover, it revealed that 35.7% of the 12th-grade students reported consuming Marijuana that year. Meanwhile, the statistics were 11.8% for 8th graders and 28.8% for 10th graders.
According to a 2018 survey by NIDA, marijuana was the most abused drug in 2018. The majority of consumers were people between 18 to 25 years of age (34%). Meanwhile, the number of marijuana users aged between 12 to 17 years was over 3 million. A total of 43 million people over the age of 12 reported using marijuana in 2018.
This shows that marijuana use is rising at an alarming rate. Therefore, the authorities need to put strict measures in place to control the harmful effects of this drug.
Effects of Marijuana
IJERPH published a survey in 2020. The survey reported that over 192 million people used marijuana that year. There is hype toward the legalization of marijuana in the US. Therefore, the hemp users ignore the regulation of marijuana and health policies.
The more you use marijuana, the more upset you become. Therefore, you can say that marijuana use is a vicious cycle. With time, it becomes challenging to break the pattern.
Marijuana has severe adverse effects on your physical health. Furthermore, your mental health takes a toll as well. The abuse of this drug comes with both immediate and long-term side effects.
You can experience the instant side effects right after using the drug. These effects are far more intense and severe for new users. Cannabis use results in memory loss, dryness of the mouth, loss of critical thinking, enhanced senses, and loss of sense of time.
The long-term side effects of marijuana abuse generally affect the brain’s functioning. This results in the loss of personal as well as social life. Marijuana use can negatively impact your decision-making abilities and learning capabilities. Moreover, it affects the attention span, focus, and memory. This results in poor performance in academic and social settings.
The use of marijuana develops tolerance in your body. Therefore, a certain amount of dose does not have the same effects. Thus, the user tends to increase the dosage more than the need. It can also cause dependency on the drug. This means that your body refuses to function normally without marijuana.
Marijuana and Anger Issues
Studies have shown that smoking marijuana causes a euphoric effect. Therefore, people become less likely to get angry. However, most people get panic attacks and feel paranoia resulting in violent behavior. This behavior starts to improve once the effects of the drug wear off.
The violence is more common in regular marijuana users than in those who smoke occasionally. Research has shown that people who exhibit violent or aggressive behavior after using Marijuana mostly have a history of other psychological problems. Therefore, the use of cannabis acts as fuel for the fire.
Moreover, people who stop using Marijuana also show violent tendencies. This is because withdrawal symptoms make you irritable and angry. In short, Marijuana is responsible for bringing out the worst in people, whether intentional or unintentional.
Marijuana has both uses and side effects. However, the negative side of marijuana use outweighs its pros. It can severely harm your mental and physical health.
The most harmful effect of marijuana use is the violent behavior the use shows. These behaviors harm others and end up isolating you from society. Moreover, the use of Marijuana also worsens the other psychological conditions you might have, such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.
There are numerous helplines and self-help websites that help you deal with the side effects of Marijuana. These platforms are entirely anonymous and do not share your personal information. Therefore, if you feel that the recreational use of Marijuana is becoming a problem, you should always reach out and ask for help.