Marijuana (Cannabis) happens to be the most common illicit drug abused around the world. Regardless of where you come from, chances are high that by the time you become an adult, you have encountered marijuana either through rumors from peers or physically where you might even try it out. Research suggests that about 9 percent of users become addicted to marijuana; this number is much higher among those who start using marijuana at young age and those who use it daily.
Everyone has their own version of what it does and how it works, usually because a friend told them after trying or it is just a myth that has spread throughout the environment without being challenged. Either way, it is important that one gets to know what marijuana really is or what it does. Marijuana goes by many street names usually depending on your location, it can be called weed, dope, Mary Jane, grass or dagga.
Marijuana is extracted from a plant called cannabis sativa which has spiky leaves and is well known for containing several compounds known as cannabinoids but the most dominant is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which also determines the quality of marijuana. THC is fat soluble and so can accumulate in the fatty tissues of the body including the brain and sex glands, this explains why a single dosage can last up to 3 weeks in the body. It also contains other cannabinoids of which just about 36 have been identified and they have various effects including hypnotic, analgesic, sedative and tranquilising effects.
When intoxicated with marijuana, a person experiences several effects including light headedness, euphoria, talkativeness, changes in perception, increased heart pulse, disruptions in the short term memory and hallucinations. These effects vary from person to person, not everyone experiences them all because the drug affects them differently.
Consistent use of marijuana can cause dependence, impair concentration, worsen a person’s schizophrenic condition and trigger demotivation where an individual no longer feels like doing anything productive. If this happens to students in school then they are most likely going to stop attending class and may eventually drop out.
Marijuana is known to affect several body systems like the immune system where it leaves many users are at high risk of getting bacterial and viral infections. Severe marijuana use is associated with infertility and reduction of both male and female hormones. The respiratory system is affected as well with several cases of respiratory illnesses like lung cancer, bronchitis and asthma.
Several myths surround the use of marijuana and are most probably the reason why it has become the most profitable illegal drug despite the many problems associated with its usage. A number of people believe it is not as harmful as alcohol, others think it does not cause cancer but can treat asthma, some think it increases concentration but many think it is not addictive. All these myths have one thing in common, none of them has been proved right but many people believe in them to initiate their first encounter with marijuana.
The central argument around marijuana is based on its ability to relieve pain and many people would love to legalise it but the big question is “can ONE health benefit outweigh the MANY negative health impacts marijuana has on the body?”
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