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Marijuana Abuse

Marijuana, probably the world’s oldest psychoactive plant known to humanity, is a dry, shredded green and brown mix of flowers, stems, seeds, and leaves derived from the hemp plant Cannabis Sativa. It contains a chemical called tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. This is the one responsible for the “high” feeling when taking marijuana. The “bud” of the plant contains the higher levels of THC.

This substance is commonly smoked in a pipe. It could also be smoked in blunts, which are cigars that have been emptied of tobacco leaf used to wrap the cigar. This makes the marijuana more potent because it is being combined. Marijuana can also be mixed in food. When marijuana is smoked, it goes fast into the blood through the lungs and then to the brain. The “high” sense is felt within a few minutes and could last up to five hours. When marijuana is eaten, it is immersed gradually because it has to the pass the stomach and intestine for digestion. The altering feeling could take up an hour but would last longer, for about twelve hours.

In the brain, THC connects to specific sites called cannabinoid receptors on nerve cells and thereby influences the activity of those cells. Some brain areas have many cannabinoid receptors; others have few or none. Many cannabinoid receptors are found in the parts of the brain that control pleasure, recollection, thought, attention, sensory and time perception, and coordinated movement. Cannabinoid receptors are mostly concentrated in the hypothalamus, amygdale, spinal cord, brain stem, central gray, and nucleus of the solitary tract. These areas in the brain are most likely affected with THC, thus will cause a dysfunction in behaviors related to these areas. THC activates the reward system of the brain which causes the release of dopamine, which in turn is responsible for the “high” feeling.

The continued use of marijuana makes the body to become dependent of the substance. Just like any other abused drugs, marijuana could cause withdrawal symptoms when usage is terminated. When the body tolerates the substance, higher doses is required, and in turn, causing more damage in the person’s life. In order to avoid withdrawal symptoms, the person would find ways for continuous use of the drug. This attitude, then, results to marijuana addiction. Marijuana is considered as both mentally and emotionally addictive. Users believe that they need to take marijuana to live normally and to have fun.

Marijuana could change anyone for the duration of the use. It can affect one’s state socially, emotionally, physically, and even psychologically. One would lack the interest in doing any mundane activities. The addict would then keep away from their friends who do not use marijuana and settle to those who use the substance. It is rooted in their minds that they could not do things without being stoned of smoking marijuana first. They believe that smoking marijuana could solve all their problems. Furthermore, as indicated by how the brain is affected with marijuana, memory and cognition is very much affected. Studies have shown that intense users have difficulty sustaining attention, shifting attention to meet the demands of the changes in the environment, and in registering, processing, and using information. It has been recommended that the greater impairment among heavy users is likely due to an adjustment of brain activity produced by marijuana. Furthermore, smoking marijuana could lead to abnormal functioning of lung tissue and other respiratory problems.

The plant marijuana has the capability to make you an addict or not. For people with dependency tendency, then yes, marijuana could be addictive. However, there are those who squabble that they can take or leave it and have stop for a long duration. Well, probably, in their case, the answer is thumbs down.

Like any other drugs, marijuana may have something positive to give to humanity, however, when humans tend to abuse it, it becomes the evil hand that stirs your mind into something you couldn’t imagine.

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