Marijuana Addiction and Treatment
1-800-315-2391 | April 10th
Description of Marijuana
Marijuana comes from the hemp plant called the Cannabis sativa and because of this marijuana is also referred to as cannabis. Marijuana is a mixture of dried shredded leaves and stems including seeds and flowers of the hemp plant and is a green, brown or a gray mixture.
Marijuana is a mind- altering substance which means it's a psychoactive drug. There's a key active chemical in marijuana called THC which is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and it's responsible for the effects a person receives when using cannabis.
Marijuana is used by people of all ages and is one of the most popular drugs throughout the United States. Marijuana is very easy to get and it's usually one of the first drugs tried by young people when they're experimenting with drug use in the beginning. Long term use of marijuana can lead to addiction and it's been estimated that around 9% of the people that use marijuana become addicted to it. Many people disagree with the fact that marijuana is addicting but when a heavy or long term user doesn't have any they experience compulsive drug seeking behavior and experience withdrawal symptoms.
Marijuana can be smoked which is the most common form of administration but some people brew it like tea or add it to foods. Marijuana is smoked like a cigarette most of the time and this is referred to as a joint. Some people smoke marijuana through a bong or in a pipe. Sometimes marijuana users empty cigars and fill them with marijuana before smoking them; this is referred to as a blunt. People who smoke blunts sometimes add other drugs to the marijuana like crack cocaine before refilling the cigar.
The active chemical THC that's found in marijuana finds its way to the brain causing disruptions and is responsible for problems with memory and learning among other effects. Heavy and long term use of marijuana can be especially problematic for young adolescents because their brain is not done developing. This is unfortunate because marijuana or also known as pot is popular among adolescents and teens.
Forms of Marijuana
Other forms of marijuana include sinsemilla, hashish, and hash oil. All of the various forms of marijuana are mind altering drugs and are addictive.
Sinsemilla is a very potent form of marijuana that comes from the female plants that are kept seedless. This is done by taking special care in preventing pollination of the plant.
Hashish is the concentrated resin that comes from the flowering tops of the female hemp plants. Hashish is smoked, chewed or drank.
Hash oil is an evaporated solution of THC and other compounds that's taken from cannabis. Most of the time hash oil is very potent because the levels of THC are so high. Some people put hash oil on their marijuana joint or on their cigarette to increase the potency and mind altering affects. It can be mixed in foods, and made into a vapor and inhaled also.
Marijuana Street names are used for describing cannabis and depending on where you live it can make a difference sometimes to the street slang used for marijuana. Common names are pot, grass, herb, weed, Mary Jane, reefer, skunk, boom, gangster, kif, chronic, and ganja.
Short Term Effects of Marijuana
Short term effects associated with marijuana use includes memory problems, learning problems, distorted perception, and problem solving and thinking skills are difficult. Other short term effects include loss of coordination, elevated heart rate and anxiety.
Long Term Effects of Marijuana
It's impossible to say that using marijuana causes cancer because many cannabis users also smoke cigarettes and use other drugs. We do know that marijuana contains some of the same cancer causing chemicals that are found in tobacco smoke though. Did you know that if a person smokes 5 joints a day they are possibly taking in the same amount of cancer causing chemicals compared to a person who smokes a full pack of cigarettes a day?
Marijuana users that smoke the substance cough and wheeze like cigarette smokers do and they're more prone to chest colds also. People who smoke marijuana are higher at risk of pneumonia too.
Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms
Heavy or long term marijuana users experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit their marijuana use. Long term users report symptoms of irritability, insomnia, and decreased appetite, anxiety, and marijuana cravings associated with their withdrawals. Because of the above symptoms it makes it hard for a marijuana user to remain abstinent when attempting to quit.
Marijuana (Cannabis) Treatment
Counseling, Behavioral Therapy and group support are beneficial for treating marijuana addiction especially if marijuana is the only drug of abuse.