What are the different effects of marijuana? Many say that it has plenty of benefits. If a person uses it medicinally with the doctor’s instructions, it may be able to help him or her with the treatment. However, if an individual is addicted to marijuana, then there will be negative effects. Let’s take a look at some of these adverse consequences of consuming marijuana. We will begin by learning more about the drug. Let’s begin.
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What is Marijuana Addiction?
Marijuana is a mind-altering drug with origins from the plant known as cannabis. Users typically dry out and grind the leaves of the plant, and then smoke the dried out and ground leaves using paper and pipe. There are also edible forms of marijuana, such as candies and cookies. They contain the psychoactive ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Some users also consume concentrated doses of marijuana known as “dabs.” Dabs are a resin-like substance or solid, crystallized stuff that contains a high concentration of THC and other cannabinoids. Since they have a high concentration of the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, dabs produce a more potent effect than other forms of marijuana.
The Endocannabinoid System
A lot of people think that using marijuana doesn’t have adverse effects. But scientific studies reveal that there are risks, especially for teenagers. The drug impairs a person’s judgment and can negatively affect his/her ability to perform tasks such as driving. Regular use of marijuana can also result in poor academic performance or addiction.
For several decades, researchers have studied the impact of marijuana on the human brain and body. Now, there’s a considerable amount of data that doesn’t only show how the drug works. But they also reveal the vital communication system in the body known as the endocannabinoid system. It is directly affected by the cannabinoids contained in marijuana.
The knowledge about how marijuana works started in the mid-60s with the identification of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical compound in marijuana. In the 80s, researchers discovered the areas in the human brain and body known as cannabinoid receptors. It is where cannabinoids like THC act.
Scientists then identified the natural chemicals in the human body (2-arachidonoyl glycerol and anandamide). They also work on the cannabinoid receptors. These natural chemicals and the CB receptors constitute the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system is responsible for many functions of the body. It regulates memory, mood, pain sensation, appetite, and other bodily functions.
Effects of Marijuana
When you use marijuana, THC reaches the brain quickly and binds into the CB receptors. THC prevents natural cannabinoids in the endocannabinoid system from doing their proper function. It destroys the balance of the whole system. Thus, short- and long-term effects on the brain and body occur.
Short-Term Effects of Marijuana
- Memory issues
- Irregular heartbeat
- Extreme sweating
- Redness of eyes
- Mood changes
- Decreased energy
- Delayed reactions to stimuli
- Distorted sense of time
- Impaired motor function
- Sexual problems
- Increased appetite
- Aggravation of existing lung problems such as asthma
Long-Term Effects of Marijuana
- Poor academic performance
- Higher risk of developing lung problems
- Higher risk of developing heart problems
- Difficulty sleeping
- Impaired judgment
- A decline in cognitive functions
- Anti-social behaviour
- Relationship problems
- Lower life satisfaction
- Financial difficulties
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Addiction to Marijuana
Marijuana is considered an addictive substance under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition. According to the DSM-5, people who are using the drug can develop a marijuana use disorder.
The problematic use of marijuana is on the list of diagnosable conditions in the manual. Furthermore, the DSM declares that individuals who regularly use marijuana may start to show similar symptoms and troublesome behaviours observed in other substance use disorders.
Most individuals who have a cannabis use disorder don’t develop other forms of problematic drug use. However, some of them may get hooked with alcohol, heroin, cocaine, and other addictive substances.
Marijuana users often get physically dependent on the drug, and they will rely on it to function in their everyday lives. Once they stop taking the drug or decrease the dose, users may begin to feel withdrawal symptoms, such as cravings, difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, irritability, and anxiety.
How Addiction Starts
Dependence on marijuana often develops when the user becomes tolerant to the drug. Once tolerance to marijuana develops, the user won’t get the same effects of the same dosage. Thus, he or she will take more doses of the drug to get the feeling of euphoria or high.
The development of dependence or tolerance to the drug isn’t sufficient to diagnose it as marijuana addiction, however. It’s because not all marijuana users who become tolerant or physically dependent on marijuana will automatically start to take the drug compulsively. However, tolerance and dependence are signs that addiction is already developing.
One of the most reliable indicators of marijuana addiction is consistent use despite the adverse effects on the person’s health and personal life. The user finds it hard to control his or her marijuana use even though it’s already causing problems. It can be issues such as poor performance in school or work, broken relationships, and issues with the law.
Current Legal Status of Marijuana
In recent years, we have seen many countries that approve the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana. In some places, the medical use of the drug is legal, while others have both approved the medical and recreational use of the drug.
Marijuana has some therapeutic benefits, such as reducing pain and stress and treating symptoms of epilepsy. That’s why marijuana advocates have succeeded in encouraging governments in some parts of the world to legalize the drug for medical purposes. For recreational use, marijuana has calming and euphoric effects on users.
However, despite the drug’s benefits, the risks that come with abusing marijuana are real. Thus, people must read scientific evidence and separate facts from myths that typically surround marijuana use.
Treatment for Marijuana Addiction
According to research, there’s a significant increase in the number of people seeking treatment for marijuana addiction over the years. Marijuana addiction treatments mostly include therapy and counselling. Here’s the list of treatment options that can help a user recover from marijuana addiction.
- Family counselling
- 12-step community support groups
- Cognitive-behavioural therapy (individual or group)
- Motivational enhancement therapy
Although marijuana has some health benefits, marijuana addiction is also real. The drug contains a psychoactive chemical compound known as THC that can cause feelings of euphoria and may lead to addiction. That’s why you should not abuse marijuana. If you think you’re already developing an addiction to it, it’s crucial to seek treatment right away.
Negative Effects of Marijuana
Cannabis, which is more known as marijuana, is a controversial plant these days despite it being with us for thousands of years. Its uses are very well known. Many people are using it for recreation, which often leads to addiction. However, some use it for medical purposes, on which grounds they argue for its legalization. However, in many places, this plant remains illegal, and for a good reason.
Marijuana has many adverse effects, addiction, not least of them. Its recreational use is mind-altering. But in the process, it also affects the users’ bodies in the long run. Let’s look at some of these adverse effects a little further, so that you will know better, thinking twice about using weed.
THC, the main component of marijuana, triggers the brain to release dopamine. It is known as the happy chemical. It’s the reason why many use marijuana and get hooked. However, continued and frequent use of marijuana will alter the brain’s processes, causing its users to be dependent on it. The extent is such that, if a person quits using marijuana after an extended period of its use, the body may react negatively to the withdrawal.
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A very common short-term side effect of the drug and the stimulation caused by marijuana often comes to an excess level. Senses can be heightened, inhibitions lowered, and behaviours are altered as well.
Some users even forget their identity or also assume another while they are using the drug. Indeed, a person who is high because the drug can act very differently. Users can expect this sort of impairment to last for over 48 hours after consumption. Thus, significantly limiting an individual’s cognitive skills in his or her day to day activity. Its use can also cause painful headaches after use, which can further impair the user.
Related to marijuana use is increased susceptibility to mental problems. The highs produced by marijuana can also cause paranoia, delusions, and psychosis. Psychological issues can include symptoms very similar to schizophrenia, with individuals perceiving smells, tastes, or even objects that are otherwise not there. Severe cases can also contain dangerous panic attacks which could trigger users to erratic and uncontrollable behaviour.
Long-term use can produce numerous debilitations, and chronic users are at more risk of developing clinical depression. It can also significantly lower IQ, up to a noticeable decline of 8 points if used very early as teenagers.
It can be very devastating for the adolescent population trying to enter higher education or technical fields. Numerous studies point to decreased retention rate in information and difficulty in learning new skills. It’s not surprising to note that chronic marijuana users have an increased rate of financial problems compared to their non-using peers.
Users usually have a harder time forming long-term relationships with increased rates of abuse between partners. Similarly, there is an increased rate of petty criminal behaviours, such as fraud or small-time theft. It is to sustain their lifestyle and addiction.
Chronic marijuana users are noted as being more likely to be unemployed and on government assistance. As a result, it can lead to a vicious cycle of substance dependency as users seek more marijuana to provide short term relief for their current life situations.
As previously mentioned, marijuana alters the brain’s processes, causing addiction. But beyond causing dependence, it also makes it harder for the brain to function correctly. Among the possible effects on the brain is lowered IQ.
If marijuana use started in the adolescent period, the decrease in IQ could be even as high as 8 points. An indicator of further brain damage in this aspect would be increased difficulty than average in motor responses and accomplishing complex tasks.
Often, people use marijuana through smoking, similar to tobacco. However, it does not end there, for as per the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, both have the same range of chemicals when smoked. From there, a user is at more risk for respiratory illnesses.
Marijuana use also increases a person’s heart rate for at least three hours. The heart rate will increase from at least 50 beats per minute to as high as 120 beats per minute. If that wasn’t enough, this could put users at risk of heart attack, and even stroke. A study also found that people who used marijuana had 26% more chances of getting a stroke than people who did not.
It almost seems that no organ is safe from the mind-altering effects of marijuana use. And yes, even the stomach is affected as well. Marijuana use alters the appetite of users, leading them to either more hunger or no hunger at all. Nevertheless, the balance of the body is upset in this manner.
There’s more to that though: the risk of contracting Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome. Sufferers of the disease, caused by long-term use of marijuana, experience recurring cycles of nausea and vomiting. They become dehydrated in the process.
THC also causes, at least in males, the body to produce lower levels of testosterone. Providing lower levels of testosterone usually causes a lessened libido, sluggishness, and yes, even sexual problems. Further, marijuana users are also seven times more likely to contract sexually transmitted diseases than those who don’t. At least one study postulates a possible connection between marijuana and testicular cancer.
After the discussion about the effects of marijuana on testosterone, let’s discuss the results of the drug on women. Marijuana use for pregnant women increases the risk that their babies will be born underweight or premature. We all know that babies born in those cases are usually susceptible to health problems early on or even later in their lives.
Also, another study has found out that marijuana use not only alters the mother’s brain but also that of the child in her womb. That, at least, puts the child at risk of having problems with brain functions, especially with regards to memory and problem-solving.
Marijuana can cause a lot of negative effects on your life and in your life. The few negative effects mentioned above are only a few of those negative effects. Keep in mind that even the smallest negative effect of marijuana use can change your life forever. A lot of things can happen to you if you use marijuana. Never forget that there will always be consequences for the actions you take.
Further, it’ll be better for you not to take these drugs since none of these chemicals weren’t meant to be burnt and to be made by your body. The adverse effects of marijuana can seem harmless now. But as you grow older, everything in your life can fall apart. Thus, you should always keep safe and think about the consequences of your actions, especially in taking illicit drugs.
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Why You Should Quit Marijuana
People often believe that smoking marijuana has excellent benefits in their health. There are many arguments and debates about the pros and cons of marijuana use. One of these arguments focuses on the fact that pot is a naturally occurring substance. You can indeed find cannabis in nature, but that doesn’t mean that it’s safe to use. So, here are some reasons why you should quit marijuana.
You’ll Become Financially Stable
Even though you can only find cannabis in nature, it doesn’t mean that it’s cheap. If you tend to smoke weed every day, it might cost you more than you could imagine supporting your habit. Sometimes, people who are addicted to smoking marijuana doesn’t care about their money as long as they can supply their needs.
Perhaps you already calculated your expenses from the day you started until today. If you think about the cost of smoking marijuana, then you might be able to realize that there are more essential things to do with your money.
You could spend all the money to go on holiday or pay for your utilities. If you’re still a student, you could make good use of your money by spending it on your tuition fees or other school fees.
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The Use of Marijuana Can Cause Health-Related Problems
One of the primary reasons why you should quit smoking marijuana is that it can cause lung disease. People who often smoke weed are more at risk of having lung damage. Not only it can cause lung damage, but it can also cause other health-related problems. If you’re smoking weed for almost a couple of years, health problems will slowly accumulate.
There’s a long list of disorders you can get by smoking weed. Some of these disorders are severe such as bronchitis, mouth and lung cancers, respiratory diseases, liver damage, adrenal damage, thyroid damage, and emphysema. This of these disorders as a warning for you to stop smoking marijuana,
A research conducted in New Zealand shows that the damage in your respiratory system caused by smoking weed is equivalent to the damage caused by smoking five cigarettes. People might not be aware of these problems because most people believe that cannabis can somehow be healthy for them. To avoid these problems, you should think twice before smoking weed.
Avoid Losing Yourself
Constant smoking of weed alters your state of mind or consciousness. When you become high, there’s a high possibility that you might lose yourself in the green haze. When you smoke weed, you’ll get the feeling of becoming passive, emotionally numb, and your reflexes become dull and unreflective. Thus, making you unable to process carefully of what’s happening to your body.
When you become high frequently, you tend to forget the feeling of being sober, and this altered state becomes your “Normal State.” It’s at this point in your life you stop enjoying the pleasure of smoking weed, and you come to depend on it to feel normal. It’s like your daily routine becomes incomplete without smoking pot.
The sad thing about this is that you won’t feel that this kind of state is happening to your body as it became a part of your daily life. These patterns have various effects on the ability to gain close relationships with anyone. You become socially unstable, and you can’t express your personality to anyone.
You can Do Well at Work
Weed smokers often don’t do well at work. They are unable to concentrate on their work, thus, becoming unreliable and apathetic. For these reasons, they become lazy, leading to tardiness, accidents, and absences. If you have a child or a family that you’re supporting, it could significantly help by quitting smoking weed.
This way, you could secure your job, not to mention, a brighter future for you and your family. Don’t destroy your life and become addicted to smoking marijuana. Help your family by helping yourself. If you’re addicted to weed, then maybe now is the time for you to think about what will happen to yourself if you don’t stop smoking.
In addition to that, some jobs may require you to have a drug test. Being positive to marijuana could cost you your future, and you may end up jobless. This way, you might have to spend the rest of your life atoning for the mistakes you made.
It’s Illegal in Most Countries
Smoking and becoming addicted to marijuana can destroy your life. It will always start with yourself as you become more socially unstable. You tend to separate yourself from the others, thus making yourself isolated from what is happening in the real world.
Aside from becoming jobless, you might drown in your debts to supply for your habit. Worst is that you’ll end up in jail if you’re not careful. Just a little reminder for you that the use of marijuana is still illegal to the majority of states around the world. Under federal law, you must control the use of cannabis and only you can legally use that if you have a permit.
If you’re caught using or selling marijuana, you can get your driver’s license suspended. In addition to that, some countries have no bail if you’re caught using marijuana. Therefore, you might end up in prison for the rest of your life.
You can Have a Better Life
Some people depend on smoking weed to have a better life. Sometimes their reasons for smoking marijuana is that they tend to relax more and get away from their everyday problems. This type of mindset is a big no. There’s no alcohol or drugs that can solve your problems. It will only make them stronger.
When you use these substances to get away with your problems, you will only make it worse as you have more things you need to think. You have to control yourself as you’re the only one who can help yourself. The sooner you realize that you have to stop smoking weed, the sooner your life will come into pieces.
You can’t compare marijuana with meth, cocaine, and other evil drugs. If you’re using it, it’s better to stop before it’s too late. You’ll understand the benefits when you overcome the addiction. Make your future better. Think of your family as inspiration, and get it together. Once you’re free of marijuana addiction, you can enjoy your life more than you could imagine.
Activities to Enjoy Without Taking Marijuana
It’s not unexpected anymore when you become bored after quitting marijuana. Although abstinence can be hard for a couple of weeks, surely it will be satisfying than being addicted to it. Get rid of your weed and other smoking paraphernalia, and free your surroundings from all the other things that connect you to smoking.
Fun Stuff to Prevent Marijuana Use
Getting hyped over something or even without any particular reason is familiar to everyone. Some people enjoy having their time spent on beaches, taking road trips, reading books and wander over the thoughts from it. Some listen to their favourite songs while wearing headphones to isolate themselves from others.
Others enjoy getting buffed and healthy in the gym, while some do the things they love. There are a lot of things to get involved and revel. The thing is that some people put themselves in ecstasy with the help of marijuana. They claim that taking a dose of it would make them livelier and happy.
To indulge oneself in a joyous mood doesn’t always require to have a taste of marijuana. It is still better to go wild and free without going out of your mind because of drug use. Here are some of the activities you can do without needing marijuana.
If you’re bored, and you don’t know what to do, cleaning helps you clear your headspace and gives you a feeling of fulfillment. Plus having disposed of all your marijuana paraphernalia will prevent your smoking intake in the future.
Like cleaning, getting your clothes washed and folded can help you with your pastime. Having your clothes in place is such an achievement for some. Do this instead of smoking weed to forget the problem.
Cooking can help with depression and serves as a stress reliever. Some people say it boosts their confidence and made them a happier person. Also, cooking makes you more creative while having fun messing with different ingredients.
If you want to have a healthy lifestyle, gardening can burn calories and strengthen your heart. It always feels good to have accomplishment and happiness in the dirt. According to the study, inhaling M. Vaccae, a healthy bacteria that live in the soil, can increase levels of serotonin and reduce anxiety.
One of the vital activities you can do to avoid marijuana is reading. It stops your brain from wasting energy by maintaining it strong and healthy. Like any other bodily tissue, the brain needs the practice to keep it firm and safe. Moreover, reading enhances your knowledge, and everything you read fills your head with other pieces of information.
No matter how you are stressed out with your relationships, countless personal issues, and even at work because of a load of paper works. Everyday activities can help you avoid Marijuana intake.
Related article: Why Quitting Marijuana is Best for You?
Learn and Play Musical Instruments
It’s not just a beautiful thing to do to boost your mind and learn new stuff. It can also be enjoyable! You may even be seasoned enough with enough exercise to begin or enter a local group. Or maybe you’ve always played an instrument, but never played it. Now is your opportunity to showcase your skills.
Choose something that excites you so it won’t feel like a chore. You can choose if you would like woodworking, jewelry making, pottery, crochet, paper crafting, knitting, etc. If you don’t know what you like yet, then try them all. You’ll find out what you love doing by actually trying them out.
Embrace your Inner Artist
Just like crafting. You can also join some art activities, like painting, drawing, etc. Arts is also an example in connecting with human emotion and has a fundamental purpose common to most forms of art.
Take Photography Class
You can take a photography class as your pastime as a photograph captures every moment in your life. Photography affords immortality because it documents your journey through life. Document your special moments. This is also an example of a stress reliever as it inspires your imagination.
Write Your Story
Your story can inspire a lot of people. Write about your struggles and how you were able to overcome them. It will help other recovering addicts because they can find inspiration from your successful recovery.
Museum and Gallery Openings
If you are into arts, galleries, and histories, you can go to a museum. Going into a historic place helps you meet new people who have the same interest as you — no pressure at all in talking about yourself. You can talk about a lot of stuff that’s in the museum.
Meetups in a Community Group
Many groups have frequent meetings where you can sit out with your friends and participate in activities that have an impact on your region. These could include community garden projects, charity events, sports tournaments, and meetings.
If you have nothing to do, you can volunteer to any organization to the community. Volunteering can alleviate depression because you can help some issues society has. Everywhere you go, there are numerous possibilities for volunteers, so you can be sure to discover one that better fits you. You can volunteer in a retirement home if you get along well with the seniors.
By joining groups, you will meet online people who can become your friends personally. One study has shown that playing online games helps people with dyslexia, and it also improves their reading and understanding.
Physical activity is any motion that increases the capacity of your pulse and heart rate. Being physically involved enhances your well-being and wellness. It has advantages for all ages, including decreasing your danger of acute illnesses, improving your sleep, increasing your strength, and boost your social and self-confidence.
In addition to that, more physical activity offers additional wellness advantages. Examples of these activities are running, hiking, meditation, yoga, going to the gym, etc.
If you want to stop your drug use and prevent the negative effects of marijuana, there are a lot of things you can do in your everyday life. Get yourself busy with the small things that can pique your interests. Start thinking about your health, especially to those who suffer from health-related issues. Call Inspire Change Addiction Rehab in Vancouver for addiction treatment programs.
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