The Definition of Cannabis
Cannabis is most commonly known as marijuana. It is a psychoactive drug that comes from the cannabis plant. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main chemical within the cannabis plant that produces the psychoactive properties. Cannabis is used for both recreational and medical purposes. The drug has even dated back to the 3rd millennium BC where it was used for spiritual and religious purposes. The possession, use and sale of cannabis is under legal restrictions throughout the United States. Certain states within the US have controlled legal status of cannabis for medical use only due to its medicinal purposes as of pain relief anti-nausea and appetite enhancer.
Cannabis Use Statistics
The United Nations 2004 study states that there are approximately 4% of adults world wide using marijuana annually and 0.6% using marijuana daily. Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in the united states with 5.1% of Americans additively using cannabis within the last thirty day. In 2011 a United States study showed that 23% of 12th graders used cannabis within the past thirty days. The United Nations states that cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug world wide.
Medical Use of Cannabis
Cannabis has been legalized for medical use in various states throughout the US. Those receiving treatment with marijuana are typically chemotherapy and AIDS patients. The drug acts as an pain reliever due to its analgesic properties, it stimulate hunger, and relieves nausea and vomiting. Cannabis is also used in the treatment of glaucoma due to its proven ability to lowered interocular eye pressure. Cannabis has shown positive effects in treating various symptoms in patients with diseases from multiple sclerosis to depression. In states and countries where the medical use of Cannabis is illegal there are Synthesized cannabinoids being sold with similar properties and treatment abilities.
Recreational Use of Cannabis
Cannabis is illegal in nearly every country for recreational use. However it is the most commonly used illicit drug world wide. People of all ages, sex, race and cultures use cannabis for its psychoactive and physiological effects. When an individual is high on cannabis they will experience change in their perception, mood, appetite, and heart rate. Their blood pressure will be lowered, they will experience impairment of short-term and working memory as well as change in psychomotor coordination, and concentration. Long term use of cannabis can result in the body building a tolerance, dependency and withdrawal syndrome.
Addiction To Cannabis
Prolonged use of cannabis often results in the body building a tolerance to cannabis. The individual requires more of the drug to acheive the desired effects. With increased doses of cannabis and its regular use the body soon develops a physical and psychological dependency to cannabis. When the individual attempts to stop the use of cannabis they will experience withdrawal symptoms that vary in severity.
Signs of a Cannabis Addiction
- Inability to stop use of the drug without experiencing withdrawal
- Thoughts and actions consumed by the use of cannabis
- Lack of interest in normal activities and hobbies
- Work and school production lacking
- Negative effects on health and other aspects of the individuals life
- Inability to stop its use despite the knowledge of the negative effects cannabis is having on them
Symptoms of Cannabis Withdrawal
- Decreased Appetite
- Stomach Pain
- Strange Dreams
Addiction Treatment for Cannabis
Cannabis is falsely viewed as harmless. Long term us of cannabis often results in an addiction in which the addict requires treatment to overcome. Thousands of people each year enter into private and government owned treatment facilities. When entering into a treatment facility the patients addiction to cannabis is assessed by a psychological and physical exam involving blood work to determine the level of cannabis in the patients system. The patient will then be detoxed to cleanse the body of the chemicals and toxins related to chronic cannabis use. The patient will go through behavioral modification therapy, individual and group counseling as well as other treatment aspects tailored to their individual recovery needs.