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Throughout the United States marijuana is the most common illegal drug used by people in all age groups. Marijuana is usually the first drug a young person tries when they're first experimenting with drug use. Marijuana is a mind altering drug and is also referred to as cannabis. It's a greenish colored mixture of dried stems, flowers, seeds, and leaves that have been shredded and marijuana also contains more than 400 chemicals.
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is THC which is the active chemical in marijuana that's responsible for the effects a person experiences when using the drug. Most people smoke marijuana to get high but some people combine it in food or brew it like tea and drink it. When marijuana is smoked, the THC in the vapors goes into the lungs and from there, directly into the bloodstream. The bloodstream transports the THC chemical to the brain and other body organs.
There are certain areas of the brain that THC reacts with, these areas are called cannabinoid receptors. This causes reactions in the cells and leads to the high a marijuana user is looking for. Unfortunately along with the high marijuana produces it can also distort perceptions, impairs a person's coordination, effects a person's thinking and ability to solve problems. Frequent marijuana use can affect a person's ability to learn and can affect their memory.
Marijuana use does speed up a person's heart rate not long after smoking it and can continue for up to 3 hours. People who smoke marijuana can have respiratory problems that are the same as tobacco smokers like coughs, phlegm, and chest illnesses more often and their risk of lung infections is higher.
Marijuana is very easy to get, partially due to illegal drug trafficking from Mexico and the production in the United States from many different drug trafficking organizations and criminal groups. The amount of marijuana that's produced throughout the U.S. is very high; this is based on the amount of plants that have been destroyed by law enforcement throughout the country from outdoor and indoor sites.
Marijuana Street Slang
All drugs of abuse have slang names given to them when users or sellers refer to them and depending on where you live the slang names can be different. Street names for marijuana include:
pot, grass, weed, herb, Mary Jane, reefer, skunk, boom, gangster, kif, chronic, and ganja.
When an individual uses marijuana frequently for any length of time they can become dependent. If a person is addicted to marijuana because of long term use they can experience withdrawal symptoms, according to users. According to research that's been done, around 9 percent of the people that use marijuana become addicted to it. The younger a person starts using marijuana the percent goes up to around 17% and for people that use marijuana daily the percent can increase anywhere from 25 to 50%.
Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms
The symptoms frequent marijuana users have reported when they stop using the drug include feeling irritable, trouble sleeping, their appetite decreases, feelings of anxiousness, and cravings or urges for repeated use. Marijuana withdrawal symptoms are quite similar to the symptoms experienced to nicotine withdrawal.
Marijuana's Medicinal Potential
As we all know there's been a lot of research and even more debate when it comes to the medicinal potential of marijuana. It's been confirmed by scientists that the cannabis plant does contain active therapeutic potential for relieving pain, controlling nausea, stimulating appetite, and decreasing ocular pressure which is pressure in the eyes.
There are medications that are cannabinoid based and include synthetic (man-made) compounds that are approved by the FDA which are called Marinol and Cesamet. Sativex is a new chemical pure mixture of plant derived THC and cannabidiol which comes in the form of a mouth spray. Sativex is approved in Canada and parts of Europe for the relief of pain associated with cancer and spasticity and neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis.
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