It is essential to understand the various signs of marijuana use. This drug is acquired from the cannabis plant. Marijuana is typically dried out, then ground up and smoked. It may be put in paper and smoked like a cigarette or in a pipe and smoked, tobacco-style.)
It also comes in the form of edibles. Edibles include baked goods and candies. These edibles will have the active ingredient of marijuana in them. This ingredient is Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. The effects produced will be similar to those of smoking it.
Some people consume a resin-looking substance which is concentrated from the plant. This substance produces a high that is far more intense. This substance is often referred to as dabs. It may be a thick, viscous fluid, a wax-like substance, or perhaps a crystallized material similar to hard candy. This is vaporized and inhaled.
Marijuana can be legal and illegal, depending on the state. In some states, marijuana use is strictly confined to medicinal use. In other states, the recreational use of this substance is legalized. The drug, when taken, has a calming effect. It also makes you high. It is also known by the street names dope, pot, ganja, Mary Jane, grass, weed, and reefer.
It is a bit unclear how long people have been using cannabis as a drug. Archaeologists have unearthed tools that were used to combust psychoactive marijuana, which date back 2,500 years. They found these tools in China. Shen Nung, an ancient Chinese emperor, came up with the first written record of the use of cannabis in 2727 B.C. This is nearly 5,000 years ago.
Although it is apparent that we have been smoking marijuana for thousands upon thousands of years, we are still discovering many of its effects on our bodies. As marijuana becomes legalized in more states and countries, its effects must be known fully.
When you smoke marijuana, the drug will spend most of its time in your lungs. As they are both smoked commonly, marijuana and tobacco are often compared. Cigarettes are believed to cause more damage than marijuana. This is not true. Although cigarettes cause more deaths every year than marijuana does, marijuana's effects are more damaging.
Smoking marijuana will deposit about four times the amount of tar that a tobacco cigarette will in your lungs. This is in part due to the smoking method. Marijuana smokers hold in the smoke for more extended periods than is the case with most smoked drugs. This prolonged exposure allows more molecules of marijuana smoke to settle in your respiratory system.
Ultimately, your lungs are most at ease when inhaling clean air. When you combust anything and inhale the resulting smoke, an inflammatory response is created in the airways and lungs. Smoking the drug may lead to wheezing, coughing, and tightness of the chest.
Persons who self-identify as heavy users of the drug often report more frequent symptoms of bronchitis. They also show increased airway resistance.
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When you use marijuana, the cannabinoid receptors in your brain are activated by Anandamide, a neurotransmitter. This is one of the typical signs of marijuana use. THC mimics and blocks the actions of neurotransmitters like Anandamide. It finally gets to the point where the body can no longer produce sufficient amounts of Anandamide on its own.
Your brain ultimately gets reprogramed to require marijuana to function normally. When you cease to put more THC in your body, you will experience withdrawal symptoms, as there will be a lack of Anandamide. If you want to quit marijuana but find it incredibly hard to do so, then it is likely that you are nursing an addiction.
There are marijuana use risks that may affect your personal life. These risks may manifest into more immediate consequences, with the samples of:
One reliable indicator of marijuana addiction is an insistence on using the drug despite negative consequences, many of which couldn't be more evident in your life. For instance, you may light one up and get high at work, even though you know there is a strict anti-drug policy. You may also spend vast amounts of money on marijuana.
In most cases, marijuana addicts will not feel normal unless they get high. If you find that you require increasingly high amounts of marijuana to get high, then it is likely that you are addicted.
Marijuana is commonly referred to as a gateway drug. This is because marijuana use often paves the way for the use and abuse of harder drugs like cocaine and ecstasy. This is especially prevalent in teens.
Teenagers are increasingly abusing marijuana. Teens who smoke the drug stand a higher chance of becoming lifelong addicts or being addicted to harder drugs down the line.
Marijuana has withdrawal effects, which is news for most people. But they are indeed there. They are just not as pronounced as those of other drugs. The withdrawal effects of marijuana have been compared to those of nicotine because both drugs may:
Other symptoms of withdrawal include:
Most Americans do not have any more of a problem with marijuana than they do alcohol. There are states which have even legalized marijuana use. However, this is not to say marijuana is risk-free. Alcohol is legal as well, and it has a host of risks and adverse effects when abused. The same can be said of tobacco.
Marijuana's short-term side effects are not life-threatening. However, there are potential risks and dangers. From 2006 to 2010, marijuana-related emergency room admissions rose by a whopping 59%. Some of the immediate effects of the drug include:
Marijuana's long-term effects are not as debilitating as those of other drugs. Especially in adolescents, the damaging effects are present for all to see. Some of the possible ones include:
Duke University conducted a study on the potential long-term risks of marijuana use and abuse. The study showed that out of 1,037 persons, those that regularly abused the drug in their teenage years had an 8-point 1Q dip.
One of the more pressing concerns is the potential of getting lung cancer due to using and abusing marijuana. Marijuana smoke has carcinogens (which are cancer-causing chemicals.) However, no useful link has been made between marijuana use and the occurrence of lung cancer.
Research has demonstrated that CBD and THC, the two main active marijuana ingredients, may possess anti-tumor effects. Some scientists have theorized that this may be why there is a relative lack of lung cancer occurrence even among heavy smokers.
The landscape is different when it comes to testicular cancer. New research has begun to unearth a link between heavy cannabis use and testicular cancer. One study conducted on over 40,000 Swedish men showed that in the 50 years since the study's inception, heavy marijuana users were likelier to report testicular cancer incidences.
Scientists hypothesize that CBD and THC bind to some cells in the testes, which may trick the body into kicking off processes, which may lead to the advent of tumor cells. However, more scientific research is needed.
It is possible to abuse marijuana without developing any noticeable signs. Long term use, however, will lead to several symptoms. That said, the signs of marijuana use and addiction include but are not limited to:
- Marijuana use takes center stage in all that you do. You give up activities that once gave you great joy and focus only on accessing and using it.
What if you think you are addicted to the drug? The first step is to take a long, hard look at your life. How closely can you relate with all the signs and symptoms listed above? If you are reading this, you are already past the denial stage, which is where most people get stuck. You would already be in a position where you can make decisions that will steer your life away from addiction.
If you believe that you have crossed over from casual marijuana use to addiction, you must seek help promptly.
Many users of marijuana can quit without necessarily enrolling in a treatment center. However, if your environment makes it challenging to stay away from the drug or influences that steer you toward it, it is smart to go to a rehab center.
Marijuana may not be physically addictive, like with many other drugs. However, the psychological addiction of the drug is real and can be very potent.
Marijuana addicts will usually be able to lead more normal lives and be significantly more productive than addicts of meth or heroin. This is because these latter drugs are a lot more potent, and their addictions are very powerful. However, just because the addiction isn't as intense does not mean that it does not exist. If you believe that you are addicted to the drug, promptly look for help. Marijuana addiction, in most of the cases, is usually worse than the addict thinks it is.
Some standard options for marijuana addiction treatment include:
Some people require inpatient treatment so they can indeed start to recover. With marijuana addiction, a considerable amount of inpatient rehab patients is put there by the criminal justice system. However, some persons recognize that they require inpatient treatment and make the necessary effort to enroll in a facility.
Many people in treatment for marijuana addiction will be recommended behavioral therapy to tackle the intense psychological aspect of their addiction. The amount of time that you spend in behavioral therapy will vary from individual to individual. Behavioral therapy typically lasts 12 weeks.
Going through behavioral therapy will help you understand your addiction as well as the motivations, which fuel your addiction better. You will also be better armed against cravings and relapsing.
Support groups are instrumental in helping addicts stay sober. Numerous support groups are available. Marijuana Anonymous (M.A.) is one such group, and it is the most marijuana-specific support group available.
This group has been modeled after A.A., Alcoholics Anonymous, with the inclusion of a 12-step program to help you work through your addiction. The only issue with M.A. is that many communities do not offer it. As such, many former users seeking support will find Na, Narcotics Anonymous, to be more accessible. This is one of the effective options for managing the typical signs of marijuana use.