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What Is Marijuana?
Weed, Pot, Maryjane, Bud. Marijuana is known by many aliases, often by users to describe the plant in secrecy while others are around. Marijuana is the second-most common and abused drug in the United States and much of the world, behind alcohol.
Marijuana is a plant that contains flowers, buds, and leaves. It is possible to smoke any of these, the most popular being the bud of the plant which produces the most Cannabinoids, or the chemicals that produce the desired high. Marijuana can be smoked in tobacco rolling papers (known as a “joint”) or in tobacco cigars (known as a “blunt”), smoked in a device known as a pipe or bong, or it can be consumed orally, most typically in food called edibles. Using the plant in these forms allows the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in Marijuana, in the plant to be absorbed by the body, producing a “high.”
In recent years, Marijuana extracts are also being produced at high levels. These are generally THC-rich resins that are extracted from the Marijuana plant. There are many forms of Marijuana extracts, including hash or honey oil, wax or budder, or shatter. Using Marijuana extracts is typically done by using a vape pen or through a process known as “dabbing.”
Strains of Marijuana
There are two types of plants known as Marijuana – Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica. Strains from the Indica plant are known for their soothing effects, putting the user into a sleepy trance. On the other hand, the Sativa strain produces uplifting energy and is commonly abused at parties and other social events. There is one more strain – Hybrid. Hybrid is a mixture between the two main strains and produces a blend of the features its parents are known for.
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Is Marijuana Legal?
Smoking Marijuana medically as well as recreationally is legal in many states across the US; however, it is still illegal to carry or sell Marijuana in many other states and federally. Most states that have legalized Marijuana use allow their citizens the right to carry up to an ounce of the drug. Maine took it up an extra notch by granting their residents the right to carry up to 2.5 ounces without legal repercussion. Not all states allow both recreational and medical Marijuana use. However, looking at past patterns of legalization, permitting use for medical reasons makes recreational legalization very likely afterward.
Sale and commercialization of Marijuana is a giant industry that has been growing for years by legally using and selling parts of the plant for reasons beside typical drug use. Hemp, which is a part of the Cannabis family, is used to make a variety of things. Demand for Cannabidiol oil, or Hemp oil, has been increasing for some time now, and not for the reasons you may think. Only containing small amounts of THC, it does not produce the same psychoactive effects the plant typically does. Instead, the oil improves our homeostatic state. It is also used to cure some medical issues such as anxiety, epilepsy, or chronic pain.
Hemp was valued in the production of fabric and clothing way back in 8,000 BC, China. Seeds sprouting from Hemp are known as a high source of protein and are blended into several food and drinks. The fiber of Hemp is utilized in making ropes due to its texture and sturdiness. Jewelry, twine, plastic, and of course medicine can be made from the plant as well.
Side Effects of Marijuana
Marijuana can take a toll on your body. It can produce physical and mental side effects both in the short-term, during the use of the drug, and the long-term, after the drug has left the body.
The short-term side effects can include:
- Short-term memory loss
- Panic attacks
- Altered perception about oneself
- Lowered reaction time
- Food cravings
- Altered sense of time
- Impaired body movement
- Difficulty thinking
- Difficulty problem solving
The long-term side effects can include:
- Loss of motivation in life
- Decreased intellectual abilities
- Higher sense of paranoia
- Heightened anxiety
- Financial difficulties
- Poor performance in school
- Neglect of essential duties
Any of these side effects can affect you in a negative way. Perhaps the most negative effect of using Marijuana is its potential to increase your willingness to experiment with other, harsher drugs.
Can I Overdose on Marijuana?
Overdosing on a drug simply means you took too much of it. When it comes to many other drugs such as Opioids, Benzodiazepines, or Cocaine, you can certainly die from an overdose. You cannot, however, die from an overdose of Marijuana. An overdose of Marijuana, however, can lead to uncomfortable feelings such as being “too high.” Nausea, dizziness, and an excessive amount of anxiety and paranoia are usual side effects from taking too much of the drug. Death cannot occur from using Marijuana alone; however, Marijuana has been known to cause lack of judgement, resulting in injuries and even death from actions due to impairment from the drug.
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Can I Get Addicted to Marijuana?
Addiction is a neurobiological disease with many characteristics, including psycho-social stressors and cravings. It is entirely possible, and in fact common, to get addicted to Marijuana without even knowing it. Just like with any other drug, your brain and body start to adjust and become dependent on the drug. Although the mild effects of the drug will not disturb the brain as intensely as other harsh drugs such as Heroin, you can still feel some minor dependent effects. After a long period of abusing the drug in large amounts, withdrawal symptoms have been reported such as irritability, insomnia, decreased appetite, and decreased motivation. These symptoms may also arise during the process of detox.
Finding Treatment for Marijuana Addiction
Many people think Marijuana is harmless and that it can’t affect you negatively. However, the drug alone can cause temporary impairment and long-lasting unfavorable feelings. Decreased motivation from using the drug can also play a role in negatively affecting your future.
You don’t have to live with a Marijuana addiction just because you think it’s too mild to seek out help. Bring back hopes of a brighter future, and contact a treatment provider today for advice.
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