What is Marijuana?
Marijuana is a brown, green or gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the cannabis plant. There are more than 200 street names for Marijuana, most common are pot, herb, weed, grass, boom, Mary Jane, gangster, or chronic.
Marijuana is used for both recreational and medical purposes, as well as for religious or spiritual rites. It is estimated that 4% of the adult global population uses marijuana annually. It is the most commonly abused drug in the United States.
Marijuana production, sale and use restrictions within the United State. Marijuana is legal with a medical prescription in 19 states for the relief of nausea and vomiting, to stimulate hunger in chemotherapy and AIDS patients, lowered interocular eye pressure (treatment of glaucoma), as well as used as an pain reliever.
How Marijuana Works
Marijuana is a mind-altering drug that changes the way the brain works. There are over 400 chemicals found in marijuana with the main active chemical being THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). The THC in marijuana is what produces the psychoactive and physical effects of the drug.
Marijuana is most commonly smoked but can also be cooked into foods and eaten. The user will experience a change in perception and mood after smoking or ingesting marijuana. Physically the user will have a rise in heart rate, a decrease in blood pressure, their short-term and working memory will be impaired, appetite increased, impairment of psycho motor coordination, and inability to concentrate normally.
Marijuana is used by over 4% of the worlds adult population for recreational purposes. The psychoactive and physical effects of the drug make Marijuana a desired recreational drug. Users enter into a state of euphoria, calm, relaxed and experience a sense of well being. They are able to escape from their troubles by changing their mood and outlook on life while high on marijuana.
Many feel Marijuana is a gate way drug because youth will abuse Marijuana and eventually move onto other illicit drugs and alcohol. Others feel marijuana is a peaceful drug that brings out the calm and caring part of people. Regardless to if it is a gate way drug or the drug of pacifist Marijuana use is illegal unless prescribed by a medical Doctor for legitimate medical conditions.
Marijuana is used medically to relieve nausea and vomiting, to stimulate hunger in chemotherapy and AIDS patients, lowered interocular eye pressure (treatment of glaucoma), as well as used as an pain reliever. Marijuana shows benefits to in treatment of conditions such as multiple sclerosis and depression. Just as with other prescription drugs there are many adverse effects that go along with the use of this drug for both medical or recreational purposes.
Signs of Marijuana Abuse
A person who is high on marijuana will have bloodshot eyes, increased heart rate, increased appetite and memory impairment, difficulties paying attention and with problems solving. They may have other physical and behavioral changes in their lives that raise concern to friends and family such as:
- Loss of interest in usual activities
- Lack of motivation
- Trouble at home, work or school
- Over eating
- Change in apperance
- Poor hygine
- Financial difficulties
- Withdrawal symptoms when stopping the use of Marijuana
- Unable to experience pleasure unless high
Symptoms of Marijuana Withdrawal
- Mood swings
- appetite change
- weight loss/ weight gain
- digestion problems
- loss of the sense of humor
- decreased sex drive / increased sex drive
Marijuana Addiction Treatment
Marijuana addiction is considered to be less severe than any other substance addiction. However that does not mean people who are addicted do not need help. A major obstacle marijuana addicts face is overcoming cravings. When withdrawing from marijuana the physical symptoms tend to be less intense, peak sooner and fade more quickly than the psychological symptoms. For this the person needs psychotherapy as a form of treatment to overcome their addiction to marijuana.
Aspects to Marijuana Treatment Programs
- Individualized treatment plan
- Medical Detoxification
- Individual Counseling
- Group Counseling
- Cognitive Therapy
- Family Counseling
- Chemical Dependency Education