(DISCLAIMER: this article was written based on the information provided by NIDA, which is heavily lobbied, funded and pressured by large corporations involved in tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceuticals)
Marijuana Abuse , [PDF format, 4.1 MB]
Source: NIDA Drug Abuse
In today’s times, marijuana (also known as hemp, weed, and cannabis) is one of the most abused and illicit drugs. In this piece of information, we will be reading about effects of marijuana so that all of us are on the same knowledge platform.
The active ingredient in marijuana, Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), rapidly passes to the bloodstream from the lungs to carry it throughout the human body, including the brain. THC binds to specific sites known as cannabinoid receptors (CBRs) that are located on the surface of nerve cells. The CBRs are part of a vast communication network called the endocannabinoid system that plays an all-important role in the normal development and function of the brain.
Effects of THC are similar to those of naturally-occurring chemicals known as endogenous chemicals that control many of the mental and physical functions that could be disrupted by use of marijuana. The smoke of marijuana stimulates the CBRs artificially to disrupt function of the endogenous cannabinoids, which can lead to addiction over a long period of time and withdrawal symptoms when marijuana use is stopped. Prolonged or addictive use of marijuana can lead to anxiety, distrust, fear, panic, change in appetite or weight, altered perception of time, and heightened sensory perception.
Image Source: http://www.nida.nih.gov/researchreports/marijuana/
In addition to these effects of smoking marijuana, negative effects of weed may include loss of the sense of identity, hallucination, and delusions. The effects of smoking weeds may also include impairment of an individual’s ability to form new memories and disruptions in terms of posture, coordination between organs of the body, and ability to learn.
The following 8 cannabis-associated disorders have been recognized by The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR):
Cannabis-induced psychotic disorder, with delusions
Cannabis-induced psychotic disorder, with hallucinations
Cannabis-induced anxiety disorder
Cannabis-related disorder not otherwise specified
Cannabis intoxication delirium
The list of effects of marijuana may also include short-term and long-term complications such as sleep impairment, increased heart rate, psychotic episodes, chronic cough, bronchitis, or schizophrenia in vulnerable individuals. Prolonged or addictive marijuana use may also be associated with unexplained need for money or financial problems, secretive or suspicious behaviors, slurred speech, irritability, angry outbursts, bloodshot eyes, and drop in attendance and performance at work or school.