What is Marijuana?
Description of Marijuana
Made from the leaves, as well as the flowering tops, of the Cannabis sativa plant, marijuana is one of the most commonly used drugs in the US. It’s estimated that about 34 percent of Americans, ages 12 and up, have used marijuana in their lifetime, according to the 2000 National Survey on Household Drug Abuse. Another form of marijuana is the resinous material called hashish, which is more concentrated and has sticky black liquid called hash oil. The substance “hemp” comes in low THC varieties of cannabis. It’s made for industrial uses like making rope or clothing. The major chemical part of the marijuana plant that has some psychoactive effects is the delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or the THC. However, marijuana also has about 400 other chemicals inside of it. The potency of marijuana has increased in the last twenty years, but the potency affects can vary depending on the plant and its origin.
What is Scientific Name of Marijuana?
- Cannabis Indica
- Cannabis Sativa
What is the Chemical Formula of Marijuana?
The chemical formula of marijuana is C21H30O2 (THC).
What is the Origin of Marijuana?
Made popular by Mexican immigrants in the United States in the 1920s, marijuana was adopted by the jazz community quickly. People during the Great Depression Era actually had increased hostility towards marijuana over time because it was linked to immigrants. Control of the cannabis plant was taken by the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. The federal government released exaggerated tales of the effects of marijuana would have on people to discourage use and then proceeded to make the drug illegal. These exaggerated stories, along with the ban on private use, kept marijuana abuse down until the 1960's. The hippie counterculture of the 1960s rediscovered the desire and demand for marijuana. The use of the substance continued to grow until about 1978 when the favorable attitudes about the drug reached their peak. Since then, feelings about whether the drug is good or bad have varied greatly. The drug has gone from complete intolerance to legalization in many places.
The Indian hemp plant, from which cannabis drugs like marijuana and hashish are made, was grown for use as a hallucinogen more than 2,000 years ago.
What is the Legal Status of Marijuana in the US?
The drug marijuana is considered a Schedule I Drug.
What are the common street names of Marijuana?
- Texas tea
- Zacatecas purple
- Mary Jane
- Yen pop
- Pack a bowl
- Stink weed
- Mary Ann
- Smoke a bowl
- Dirty joints
- Laughing grass
- Jefferson airplane
- Black ganga
- Purple haze
- Killer weed
- Candy blunt
- Cannabis tea
- Salt and Pepper
- Wacky weed
- Wake and Bake
- Paper blunts
- Ditch weed
- Happy Cigarette
How is Marijuana Used?
The most common way to use marijuana is to smoke it. Marijuana is rolled into what users refer to as “joints” or marijuana cigarettes and lit at the end then inhaled. Another way to use marijuana is by making a “blunt”, or rolling marijuana into the leaf wrap of a hollowed-out cigar. Other common ways to use marijuana are with a pipe, a bowl, or a water pipe, often called a bong. Modern day methods include using a vaporizer to smoke. Marijuana is smoked most of the time, but it can also be ingested by being eaten as food. People who are familiar with the drug have taken to adding it as an ingredient in brownies or cakes. These are most notoriously called “hash brownies”. Additionally, marijuana can be brewed in tea, or “bhang”, which is a highly potent beverage from India.
Sometimes joints and blunts are laced with other various forms of powerful drugs like crack cocaine or even PCP. It’s important to know what you’re getting involved with when using marijuana.
How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your System?
The “high” from smoking marijuana is typically felt in the first 10-30 minutes, when the feeling really peaks. The short term effects start to wear off within 2 to 3 hours. If marijuana is eaten, the effects don’t wear off for about 30 to 60 minutes, and can actually last up to 6 hours.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Short-Term Marijuana Use?
What are the Short-Term Effects of Marijuana Use on the Body?
- Increased Heartbeat
- Red, Bloodshot, or Glazed Eyes
- Increased Heart Rate
- Poor Coordination or Movement
- Lowered Reaction Time
- Bad short term memory
- “Dreamy” State of Mind
- Poor Coordination
- Difficulty Balancing
- Sensory Distortion
What are the Short-Term Effects of Marijuana Use on Behavior?
- Acting silly or giggly for no reason
- Disinterest in social activities
- Sudden Hunger
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Long-Term Marijuana Addiction?
What are the Long-Term Effects of Marijuana Use on the Body?
- Memory Troubles
- Reduced Male Sex Hormones
- Growth Disorders
- Reduced Immunity
- Rapid Destruction of Lung Fibers
- Daily Cough
- Permanent Lesions in the Brain
- Obstructed Thinking
- Lung Damage
- Brain has trouble receiving information
- Increased Blood Pressure
- Risk of Heart Attack
- Chest Infection
- Abnormally Structured Cells in the Body
- Increased Risk of Cancer
- Phlegm Production
- Lowered Sex Drive and Function
What are the Long-Term Effects of Marijuana Use on Behavior?
- Lack of Motivation
- Ditching Responsibilities
- Ruined Relationships
- No Educational or Professional Progress
How to diagnose if you are Addicted to Marijuana?
Behavioral changes that may be symptoms of marijuana addiction include:
- Difficulty Thinking Clearly
- Ongoing Problems with Memory
- Distorted Perceptions
- Difficulty in Problem Solving
- Ongoing Problems with Learning
- Impaired Coordination
- Additionally, several other signs of marijuana abuse are frequently visible in users:
- Loss of Control
- Mucus-Filled Cough
- Anxiety, Paranoia, or Fear
- Poor Coordination
- Hunger, or the “Munchies”
- Rapid Heartbeat
- Constant Cough
- Slow Reaction Time
- Poor Memory
- Bloodshot Eyes
- Blurry Eyes
- Red Eyes
- Dry Mouth
What are the Withdrawal Effects of Marijuana?
- Severe Depression
- Increased Anxiety
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Suicidal Thoughts
- Feelings of Agitation
- Cravings for Marijuana
- Intense Paranoia
How is Marijuana Addiction Treated?
As is the case with any drug addiction, a marijuana abuser must first recognize and admit that they have a problem before treatment can be effective for them. Once an addict views the situation objectively, they are able to realize how much the drug has taken away from them and hurt the people around them. Intervention by family and friends can be helpful, especially if the detrimental effects of marijuana use are obvious and substantial. It’s rare for a drug user to enter a rehabilitation facility as an outpatient and successfully come off of the drug, but it is possible. When psychological functioning has been impacted, this option is worth considering.
A self-help routine is recommended if the marijuana abuse is less severe. It’s good to enter marijuana rehab
or join a support group and talk to a therapist as well. Treating a cannabis addiction relies on the user readjusting to life without the substance. A heavy user may want to slowly taper off their consumption of the drug, but this will require professional monitoring. Powerful cravings and emotional dependency can take place, which means that effective coping strategies must be developed. Social support is really important for the recovering user to prevent relapse. Cannabis use is often an addition to other drug abuse, and all of these issues need to be treated prior to quitting marijuana. Although many feel that cannabis is a gateway drug to harder drugs, statistics show that this is not necessarily true.
Treatment for marijuana dependence is being studied every day. Marijuana is likely to become legal in more states in the US, and its potency has been steadily increasing over the last 50 years. Currently there is no medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating marijuana dependence. Many of the people who do seek treatment for marijuana dependence are unable to stop using the drug in the long run. One study showed how 71 percent of users returned to marijuana use within six months. The combination of oral THC and lofexidine is used in the UK for opiate withdrawal and is said to be good for marijuana withdrawal as well, though it is still not approved in the US.
What is the Extent of Marijuana Use?
More than 158.8 million people around the world use marijuana, according to the United Nations. That’s more than 3.8 percent of the entire planet’s population. In the US, over 94 million people have admitted to using marijuana at least one time. In 2007, current marijuana abusers were between the ages of 11-18 years old. The US government estimates that marijuana production has actually increased ten times over in the last 25 years. $10.5 billion was spent on marijuana in the year 2000. In 2005 there were 242,200 visits to the emergency room because of marijuana use in the United States. About 40 percent of males who are arrested for crimes test positive for marijuana in their system, according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration. Marijuana is the second most frequently found substance in the bodies of reckless drivers in fatal car accidents. Alcohol is the first. Marijuana has won the title of the most illicit drug in the nation. Psychotherapeutic drugs come in at a distant second place, with 15 million to 6 million users respectively.