Marijuana Abuse Information
- Parent Category: Drugs
- Category: Marijuana
- Written by Stop Admin
There are a lot of misleading facts about marijuana abuse information. This page will give you an inside look on the real facts on marijuana abuse.
What is marijuana? Aren\t there different kinds?
Marijuana is a green, brown, or gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the hemp plant. You may hear marijuana called by street names such as pot, herb, weed, grass, boom, Mary Jane, gangster, or chronic. There are more than 200 slang terms for marijuana. Sinsemilla (sin-seh-me-yah; it's a Spanish word), hashish ("hash" for short), and hash oil are stronger forms of marijuana.
All forms of marijuana abuse are mind-altering. They all contain THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the main active chemical in marijuana. They also contain more than 400 other chemicals. Marijuana's effects on the user depend on it's strength or potency, which is related to the amount of THC it contains. The THC content of marijuana has been increasing since the 1970s.
How is marijuana used?
Marijuana is usually smoked as a cigarette (called a joint or a nail) or in a pipe or a bong. Recently, it has appeared in cigar wrappers called blunts, when it is often combined with another drug, such as crack cocaine.
How many teens smoke marijuana?
Among students surveyed in a yearly national survey, only about one in six 10th graders report they are current marijuana users (that is, used marijuana within the past month). Fewer than one in four high school seniors is a current marijuana user.
Why do young people use marijuana?
There are many reasons why some children and young teens start the cycle of marijuana abuse. Many young people smoke marijuana because they see their brothers, sisters, friends, or even older family members using it. Some use marijuana because of peer pressure. Others may think it's cool to use marijuana because they hear songs about it and see it on TV and in movies. Some teens may feel they need marijuana and other drugs to help them escape from problems at home, at school, or with friends. No matter how many shirts and caps you see printed with the marijuana leaf, or how many groups sing about it, remember this: You don't have to use marijuana just because you think everybody else is doing it.
What happens if you smoke marijuana?
Some people feel nothing at all when they smoke marijuana. Others may feel relaxed or high. Sometimes marijuana makes users feel thirsty and very hungry?an effect called "the munchies." Some users can undergo bad effects from marijuana abuse. They may suffer sudden feelings of anxiety and have paranoid thoughts. This is more likely to happen when a more potent variety of marijuana is used.
What are the short-term effects of marijuana use?
The short-term effects of marijuana include:
- problems with memory and learning;
- distorted perception (sights, sounds, time, touch)
- trouble with thinking and problemsolving;
- loss of motor coordination; and
- increased heart rate.
These effects are even greater when other drugs are mixed with the marijuana; and users do not always know what drugs are given to them.
Does marijuana affect school, sports, or other activities?
It can. Marijuana abuse affects memory, judgment and perception. The drug can make you mess up in school, in sports or clubs, or with your friends. If you're high on marijuana, you are more likely to make mistakes that could embarrass or even hurt you. If you use abuse marijuana a lot, you could start to lose interest in how you look and how you're getting along at school or work. Athletes could find their performance is off; timing, movements, and coordination are all affected by THC. Also, since marijuana abuse can affect judgment and decisionmaking, its use can lead to risky sexual behavior, resulting in exposure to sexually transmitted diseases like HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
What are the long-term effects of marijuana use?
Findings so far show that regular use of marijuana or THC may play a role in some kinds of cancer and in problems with the respiratory and immune systems.
It's hard to know for sure whether regular marijuana use causes cancer. But it is known that marijuana contains some of the same, and sometimes even more, of the cancer-causing chemicals found in tobacco smoke. Studies show that someone who smokes five joints per day may be taking in as many cancer-causing chemicals as someone who smokes a full pack of cigarettes every day.
- Lungs and airways
People who smoke marijuana often develop the same kinds of breathing problems that cigarette smokers have: coughing and wheezing. They tend to have more chest colds than nonusers. They are also at greater risk of getting lung infections like pneumonia.
How can you tell if someone has been using marijuana?
If someone is high on marijuana, he or she might
- seem dizzy and have trouble walking;
- seem silly and giggly for no reason;
- have very red, bloodshot eyes; and
- have a hard time remembering things that just happened.
When the early effects fade, over a few hours, the user can become very sleepy.
How does marijuana affect driving?
Marijuana abuse has serious harmful effects on the skills required to drive safely: alertness, concentration, coordination, and reaction time. Marijuana use can make it difficult to judge distances and react to signals and sounds on the road. Marijuana may play a role in car accidents. In one study conducted in Memphis, TN, researchers found that, of 150 reckless drivers who were tested for drugs at the arrest scene, 33 percent tested positive for marijuana abuse, and 12 percent tested positive for both marijuana and cocaine. Data have also shown that while smoking marijuana, people show the same lack of coordination on standard "drunk driver" tests as do people who have had too much to drink.