Marijuana, What is Marijuana?

Marijuana is one of the most widely used drugs in the United States today. According to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, in 2007, almost 13 million people in the United States were current users of illegal drugs. Of these 13 million, approximately 77 percent used Marijuana. In 2006, 28 percent of high school seniors had used Marijuana in the past.
Studies also show that Marijuana is a dangerous, potentially habit-forming drug. Many myths surround this drug.
Regular use of Marijuana can have serious consequences, including loss of short-term memory, distorted perception, loss of coordination, increased heart rate, anxiety, panic attacks and a lack of motivation. Smoking one Marijuana joint can be as harmful to your lungs as smoking an entire pack of cigarettes.
Marijuana can also affect regular users psychologically. Users may begin to lose interest in the other aspects of their lives. They stop caring about school or work and their future. They stop hanging out with friends and often spend their days doing nothing but smoking the drug. Perhaps the most dangerous effect of Marijuana is that people who experiment with it sometimes go on to use hard drugs. It is considered to be a threshold drug! A Marijuana user may experiment with much more dangerous drugs such as Cocaine, Crack Cocaine, LSD or Heroin and will become addicted.

The Usage & History of Marijuana

It has many slang names, among them “grass”, “pot”, “weed”, “ganja”, “herb”, and “Mary Jane”. Being high on Marijuana also has many different slang names, such as “stoned”, “baked”, “fried”, and “zooted”. The amounts of the chemicals in Marijuana plants change enormously. They are different depending on where the plant grows, the time of year, and even the time of day. Marijuana contains more than 400 different chemicals you really don’t want to place inside your body. However, only one chemical is responsible for the high feeling. This chemical is called THC. What does THC do to your body? THC expands the blood vessels in the lungs and in the brain, letting more oxygen into the rest of the system. It lowers your blood pressure and limits the blood flow into the brain. This is why you feel high or light-headed.

It’s something like hyperventilating. Unfortunately, with frequent use the blood vessels can be damaged and you can severely damage your heart. The most common form of Marijuana sold is a mixture of leaves, seeds, and stems. The seeds and stems are removed, and the leaves are most often smoked in a joint, or “reefer” or “jay”. The butts of joints, called “roaches”, contain the most THC of the joint. These can be smoked using a “roach clip”. Sometimes pot is smoked in other ways too. It can be smoked in a pipe. It can be smoked in a bong, a jar or plastic tube with water in the bottom to filter the smoke. Usually pipes and bongs are used with stronger Marijuana to avoid burning the lungs. Sometimes the resin is pressed out of the plant’s leaves and hardened. The cake produced is called hashish, or hash. Such cakes are much stronger than the leaves alone. Distilled resin is called hash oil. This is the strongest form of Marijuana. Often hash oil is secretly put into food or drinks at parties. Hash brownies, brownies made with hash oil, are a favorite food of users and party goers.

What Does Marijuana Do to You!

This extra oxygen is what causes the “high” feeling. Often people who are stoned become exceedingly paranoid. In some cases people felt that the police or the FBI were going to arrest them at any moment! The morning after getting high, many people experience something rather like a hangover from alcohol. This is often called being “burnt”.

Marijuana is a Drug.

Drug is a medical term that describes any substance that affects the functioning of living creatures. In addition to the drugs used for medical treatment, many legal and illegal drugs are used to create feelings of pleasure and excitement. Such drugs that affect the mind or behavior of the user are often termed psychotropic, which means the drug moves toward the mind rather than other parts of the body. This group includes Marijuana as well as ethyl alcohol, nicotine, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, hallucinogens, and many other substances. Many people use drugs to get “high” to feel good but don’t realize that the drug is anchoring itself in over 3 Trillion body cells. When your body wants more of this drug each cell in your body begins to scream at your mind! I want to be fed and I want it now! Here begins the downfall of the individual!

If they have a good job then they will start buying enough of the drug so that they can have it available all the time! As they climb the drug ladder to reach for higher highs they now are spending more money for more expensive drugs! Now their drug habit has taken over their lives and they just live for the next fix! Excessive or non-medical use of drugs is often described as drug abuse. Drugs that have medical value are listed in a special type of catalog called a Pharmacopocia.

Dangerous Drugs

Drugs cause a great variety of effects in humans! Some of the effects can make drugs difficult or dangerous to use even when they have medically important properties and you are under the advice of your Doctor. Two of these effects are called dependence and tolerance. These effects make drugs like morphine, a troublesome medication that requires careful management by a physician! Morphine is one of the strongest painkillers known to medicine.
Casual use becomes a habit, then dependence, then addiction! Dependence means that a person’s body chemistry responds to a drug by developing the need to continue taking it to avoid unpleasant, painful, or even deadly reactions, in addition to whatever else a dependence-causing drug does (for example, kill pain, relieve fever, make a person high), it also produces extremely undesirable effects when the person tries to stop using it. These effects, called withdrawal symptoms, include breathing difficulty, muscle and joint pain, headaches, irritability, nausea, sweating, hallucinations, sleeplessness, psychosis, and, in the worst cases, death.

When a drug causes severe dependence, meaning that the withdrawal symptoms themselves are severe, it is said to be addictive. Three of the most powerfully addictive drugs are cocaine, heroin and morphine. But Marijuana is a doorway to hard drugs! As users begin taking such a drug more often, larger quantities of the drug are needed to achieve the same effect and to avoid unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. In most cases any drug that causes dependence, tolerance, and withdrawal is considered unsafe for human use. An addict will surrender their common sense and their moral compass to fill their need for any drug that will satisfy their bodies need for that drug! Often drug pushers will take advantage of young under age girls who are now under the pusher's spell because they need the drug!

Source and Appearance of Marijuana

Hashish, often called Hash, is a form of Marijuana that is popular in Europe and Asia. It is an aromatic, solid material made by collecting the resin droplets that cause the leaves and flowers of mature cannabis plants and pressing them into patties of hashish. One of the most potent forms of cannabis is a thick green or black oil, known as Marijuana oil or hash oil, that is made by cooking Marijuana or hashish in alcohol to concentrate the active ingredient. Another reason smoking Marijuana is more widely practiced than eating is it is that smoking allows for more precise dosage control. When the drug is smoked, users can tell almost at once if they have taken in enough for the desired effect. With eating, it can be an hour before users can tell if they have too much or too little THC in their bloodstream.

Effects of Marijuana

The most commonly reported unpleasant side effects of occasional Marijuana use are anxiety and panic. These effects are reported more often by inexperienced users, and these unpleasant feelings are often the reason new users stop taking the drug. More experienced users also have reported feelings of anxiety and panic after receiving a much longer than usual dose of THC. One reason Marijuana causes anxiety is that it can increase the user’s heart rate by 20-50 percent within 10 minutes of smoking it! This increased heart beat will then alarm the user! This elevated heart rate, will continue for as long as 3 hours! The light-headedness that can result from this may also intensify the user’s feeling of anxiety. Nevertheless, Marijuana, like tobacco and alcohol, has the potential to cause permanent harm to children if used by their mothers during pregnancy. There is evidence that low birth weight and physical abnormalities have occurred among babies whose mothers used any drugs during pregnancy.

There is stronger evidence that Marijuana use has a negative impact on athletic performance, a result of research showing impairments in coordination, reaction time, and concentration caused by Marijuana. Furthermore, some studies have found that athletic performance might be impaired for as long as 24 hours after Marijuana use.

Marijuana’s Effect on the Heart and Lungs

The increased heart rate associated with Marijuana use can cause other problems. A 1999 report on medical Marijuana from the US Government’s Institute of Medicine (IOM) noted that an increase in heart rate experienced by Marijuana users could cause a rise in heart rate which could be fatal. Evidence has been found that Marijuana might trigger a heart attack in susceptible individuals. Marijuana smoke contains tar, carbon monoxide, and over 400 complex chemicals, almost all of which are respiratory irritants and potential cancer-causing agents.

A “Gateway” Drug?

One of the most common reasons opponents of Marijuana view the drug as harmful is that they believe it leads to the use of “harder” drugs such as heroin, LSD, and cocaine. Indeed, numerous studies have found that most users of heroin, LSD, and cocaine used Marijuana before they used the more addictive and harmful substances.

Does Marijuana Use Cause Dependence or Addiction?

Most scientific medical evidence shows that Marijuana use will help introduce more dangerous drugs to users! Parents should be alert to their children actions.
Here are a few signs that you should look for;

   1. New friends that you have never met before!
   2. Slipping grades and no homework from school!
   3. Always in his room with the door closed!
   4. No longer interested in Sports!
   5. No longer as open with you as before!
   6. Moves slower when doing tasks for Mom!
   7. Talks on phone with a lower voice then before!
   8. Matchs in his pants pockets!
   9. Has tobacco breath!

Watch out for these tell ale signs that your child’s behavior has changed from what you would always see!