One of the most common misconceptions about marijuana is that it’s not an addictive substance, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Marijuana is one of the most widely used and socially accepted drugs on the market, but that isn’t an excuse to remain ignorant about it effects on the human brain and body. Since medical marijuana is already legal in Canada as long as you have a prescription and the federal government is expected to legalize it for recreational use this year, there are a few things you should known about the drug, especially how it influences your physical and mental functions.
1. What is marijuana?
Marijuana is a psychoactive (mind or mood-altering drug) that comes from the cannibis plant. It contains over 400 active chemicals, including delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the main active ingredient. The potency of marijuana is largely correlated with its THC content. Over the years, the amount of THC in marijuana has increased substantially to render a stronger high for users. Marijuana is classified as a schedule 1 drug, which means it has no accepted or perceived medical healing purposes (although it has been used to treat anxiety, depression, and relieve chronic physical pain) and it has a high risk of developing an addiction or dependency. Street names include “Mary Jane,” “pot,” “weed,” “green,” and “grass.”
2. What determines how marijuana affects an individual?
There are many different factors that can determine how marijuana will affect each individual person. Since marijuana is a psychoactive drug, it manipulates your mental functions. Oftentimes, individual circumstances and pre-existing mental or emotional conditions can largely influence a person’s experience with marijuana and how they react to the drug.
3. How is marijuana used?
Marijuana can be rolled up and smoked as a joint or inhaled through a bong. It can also be baked into various foods such as special brownies or chewed like tobacco. Marijuana or hash oil can also be dabbed onto the skin and absorbed directly into the bloodstream.
4. What are the health risks of marijuana use?
Frequent marijuana use can have a number of damaging effects on your health. While there’s little evidence that links marijuana smoking to lung cancer, some studies have shown that regularly inhaling marijuana smoke can cause minimal damage to the lungs and lead to infections such as pneumonia. The problem is that with continued use, many people tend to develop a strong dependency on marijuana which prevents them from being able to function normally without it.
5. What are the effects of mixing marijuana with other drugs?
In recent years, it’s become increasingly trendy to mix marijuana use with other toxic substances such as alcohol and hard drugs. This is dangerous because it can lead to a series of problems for the user such as lack of inhibitions as impaired judgment and decision-making skills. Additionally, drug cocktails can lead to strong overdoses and even death.
6. Is marijuana a gateway drug?
Studies have shown that while people who use or have tried marijuana are more likely to move on to heavier substance abuse or addiction, this isn’t always necessarily the case. People who use marijuana generally know someone who’s dealing or selling the drug and therefore, they can be more easily influenced or manipulated into trying other drugs that person may be selling simply because they have access to them.
7. Does marijuana hinder your memory, concentration, or motivation?
Marijuana can have short- and long-term effects on your mental and physical functions. It can lead to learning difficulties, memory retention, a distorted sense of reality, increased heart rate, poor hand-eye coordination skills, and it can inhibit or weaken your judgment skills and decrease your attention span. Despite all of this, the most widely known side effect of marijuana use is developing an increased appetite, otherwise known as the “munchies”. All of these side effects are signs that you might need marijuana addiction help immediately.
8. Where can you get help with marijuana abuse?
Freedom From Addiction is one of the few privately owned and operated drug rehab clinics in Toronto that is accredited by Accreditation Canada. We pride ourselves on having some of the best staff that are not only certified, but also experiences in drug rehabilitation. Our inpatient drug and alcohol treatment programs are second-to-none. Contact us today to discuss your marijuana addiction treatment options!
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