Misinformation has proliferated as a result of the continuing discussion about the risks, benefits, and consequences of marijuana use. Many people think that the drug poses no danger to their health and, on the contrary, helps them live better lives.
Opponents argue that marijuana, regardless of its legal position in certain jurisdictions, is a kind of drug.
Both sides of the issue have legitimate points to make. Medical marijuana is very successful at reducing pain and allowing individuals with chronic diseases to deal with their daily challenges. However, recreational marijuana, particularly when smoked or vaped, increases the risk of addiction. It's also often referred to as a gateway drug, meaning it may quickly lead to addiction to other drugs.
Marijuana Quick Facts
- It may be smoked (dry) or eaten (edibles)
- It is legal in certain places but prohibited in others.
- Weed, marijuana, ganja, reefer, Mary Jane, grass, and dope are common street names.
- Marijuana was named the top drug of choice by more than 20% of rehab patients.
- Over 3 million new marijuana users have been recorded in the past ten years.
Abuse and Side Effects
Marijuana is notorious for changing the user's perspective because of its psychoactive component THC. The effects vary depending on the person's general physical and mental condition, how the drug is taken, and if it is combined with other drugs. When opposed to oral use, smoking marijuana produces faster and shorter-lasting effects.
The following are some of the most frequently reported marijuana side effects:
- “Munchies” owing to an increase in appetite
- Overall better mood and feelings of contentment
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Moderate to severe hallucinations
While marijuana's side effects may seem to be innocuous at first glance, the drug may nevertheless offer serious dangers to users, particularly when mixed with other drugs. Marijuana overdoses have never been recorded, although it is the second most common emergency department substance, behind cocaine.
THC: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?
The active ingredient in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which affects brain function. It is the source of the euphoric sensation sought by most recreational users. What they don't realize is that its substance has risen dramatically over the last several decades.
THC concentrations have increased by more than 300 percent since the 1960s. This harms marijuana tolerance and misuse. It increases the likelihood of establishing a greater dependence on the medication while also increasing tolerance.
Addiction to Marijuana
Marijuana, like any other narcotic, is accompanied by a slew of drug addicts. Marijuana addiction is as genuine as any other disease. It may be diagnosed medically, and the patient has a variety of side effects, withdrawal symptoms, and other long-term consequences.
What happens to one's brain when they use marijuana is proof enough of its addictive potential. When the drug enters the body, a particular neurotransmitter (Anandamide) activates cannabinoid receptors in the brain. THC then inhibits the Anandamide receptors, tricking the mind into thinking it can no longer make it naturally. This affects the user, causing him to need a continuous supply of THC to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms caused by the intentionally induced depletion of Anandamide. Marijuana addiction is apparent if a person has reached the point where they can no longer live without it.
• Marijuana as a Precursor to Other Substances
The hazards of marijuana use are inextricably linked to its use as a gateway drug. Teenagers and early adolescents are the groups most in danger. They often see the content as lighthearted, innocent, and unpretentious. However, in the vast majority of instances, it pushes children to experiment with harsher drugs later in life, increasing their chances of becoming addicted.
Obtaining Assistance and Treatment
You should confront someone who is smoking marijuana if you see them doing so. To start a discussion, you must be courteous, empathetic, and nonjudgmental. Drug users are often protective and fearful of what others may think of them. As a result, they choose to stay quiet until they reach rock bottom, at which point assistance is required.
Getting treatment as soon as possible may help someone avoid developing a more serious marijuana addiction. The patient's health, lifestyle, and personal preferences all influence treatment choices. Choosing the proper treatment center is critical to an addict's long-term rehabilitation.
If you're not sure where to start, a simple Google search for “best marijuana rehab in Virginia” may lead you in the right way. Before making any final choices about your health, always speak with a medical expert.