An addiction to Marijuana can happen if the drug is abused, and there is help out there for anyone suffering from a Pot addiction.

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Marijuana Side Effects and Dangers

Marijuana is the term used to depict the dried seeds, leaves, and flowers of the Indian hemp plant. In the streets, marijuana is called by many names like astro turf, ganja, dope, hemp, grass, dagga, Mary Jane, J, Texas tea, reefer, pot, roach, and weed.

Marijuana Side Effects and Dangers

Marijuana Side Effects and Dangers

A related form of this drug is known as Hashish, and this is created from the resins of the same Indian hemp plant. This form of marijuana is six times stronger compared to the traditional marijuana, and this form is also referred to as hash, shit, or chocolate. Cannabis, on the other hand, describes any of the various kinds of drugs that come from the Indian hemp plant. Cannabis may also be the term used to portray hashish and marijuana.

Regardless of the term used, this drug is considered a hallucinogen. A hallucinogen is a substance that distorts how the user’s mind perceives the normal world. The chemical composition of cannabis actually creates the distortion, that is known as THC. The THC amount found in marijuana may vary substantially.

How Is Marijuana Used?

Marijuana is actually a mixture of dried stems, leaves, seeds, and lower parts of the Indian hemp plant. The color of marijuana is typically brown, green, or gray. On the other hand, the hashish comes with a tan, black, or brown resin which is dried and then pressed into sticks, balls, or bars. When smoked, both the hashish and marijuana will give off a distinct sweet odor.

Marijuana is considered as the most frequently used illegal substance in the world. In fact, a survey conducted in the year 2007 revealed that about 14.4 million people in the United States have smoked this drug at least once in the previous month. Most marijuana users smoke this as a cigarette or joint. However, this drug may also be smoked through a pipe. In some cases, this drug is brewed as a tea or perhaps eaten with food.

Whenever a person smokes a marijuana joint, he or she will typically feel the effects of marijuana within minutes. The immediate effects will include increased heart rate, less coordination, and a dreamy state of mind. The effects will peak within 30 minutes from usage. These short- term effects typically wear off in about 2 to 3 hours. However, the effects can last longer depending on the amount of marijuana the user has taken, the potency of the THC, and the existence of other drugs in the mixture.

International Statistics of Marijuana Use

According to the UN, there are about 158.8 million people in the world who use marijuana. This number is about 3.8 percent of the world’s total population. In the US alone, more than 94 million individuals have admitted to using the drug at least once. In the 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 2.1 million individuals in the US have abused marijuana for the first time on that year.

Marijuana abuse is most commonly occurring in the age group 12 years old to 17 years old. In fact, in 2007 about 6.7 percent of individuals of this age group were current marijuana users.

Marijuana Use and Its Harmful Effects

The immediate effects of marijuana use will include increased heart rate, lack of physical coordination, and disorientation. These effects are often followed by sleepiness and depression. However, some users report that they suffer severe anxiety and panic attacks. While these effects may just wear off in a couple of hours, the active ingredient of the drug known as THC will remain in the body for several weeks and possibly longer.

In addition, marijuana smoke contains as much as 50 percent to 70 percent more cancer causing elements compared to tobacco smoke. In fact, a study has revealed that a single marijuana joint can actually cause as much damage to the smoker’s lungs as smoking about 5 cigarettes one after another. Long time marijuana smokers also suffer from a respiratory condition known as bronchitis. Bronchitis is the inflammation of the respiratory tract.

Marijuana abuse affects more than the physical health of the user. This drug can also be associated with brain abnormalities. Changes in the brain are present in people who use marijuana. In addition, several studies have identified the connection between the use of marijuana and psychosis. Mental functions of marijuana users are also significantly diminished as the THC found in the drug disrupts the brain’s nerve cells, which eventually affect the memory.

This drug also has the tendency to change the structure of the sperm cells. This can deform the otherwise normal and healthy sperm cells. Thus, even small quantities of marijuana use can cause sterility in men. In contrast, marijuana use in women can disrupt the normal menstrual cycle.

Marijuana use can also cause abnormal cell division, which will lead to severe hereditary effects. Pregnant women who regularly smoke marijuana may give birth to a premature, underweight, and undersized baby. Babies of marijuana users often have reduced initiative and reduced abilities to concentrate, as well as pursue goals. Birth defects, increased risk of leukemia, and mental abnormalities are also common to babies of marijuana users.

Marijuana Abuse, Addiction, and Treatments

Frequent marijuana use can lead to marijuana dependence. Users are also prone to consume high amounts of the drug just so they can achieve the same high. Whenever the effects start to wear off, the user will turn to a more potent drug just so he or she can rid himself or herself of the previous conditions which caused him or her to use marijuana in the first place. This drug can mask the problem for a certain period when the person is high. Whenever the high feeling fades, these problems or conditions return and become more intense than before. Thus, the user will turn to stronger drugs.

Once addiction sets in, addiction treatment is needed to stop the dependence to the drug. There are various dependence treatment options available. However, the treatment will depend on the condition of the marijuana addict. Some treatments will include detoxification, counseling, and group therapy.