What is Marijuana (Weed)?
Marijuana—also called weed, pot, herb, grass, Mary Jane, bud, ganja and a variety of other slang terms, is a cannabinoid drug that contains chemicals such as THC (delta9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (non-psychoactive cannabidiol).
The marijuana plant or ‘cannabis plant’ is made up of dried flowers called Cannabis Sativa or the Cannabis Indica plant that are a greenish-gray mixture. Some people smoke marijuana in hand-rolled cigarettes called joints; in blunts (marijuana rolled in cigar wraps) in water pipes (sometimes called bongs), or in pipes.
People also eat or smoke (referred to as smoke weed) different forms of the marijuana extracts, which delivers a large amount of THC which can potentially result in dangerous side effects. The bad effects of weed is covered in this article.
Cannabinoids in marijuana are made up of different compounds, including THC, CBD, and CBDV. CBD and CBDV are non-intoxicating and are under investigation for their neurological effects and for their potential use in the treatment of epilepsy.
However, the most important cannabinoid in marijuana is CBG. Both THC and CBD are produced from CBG, the chemical parent of both compounds. Interestingly, marijuana strains contain a small amount of CBG, but they are essential for the production of the cannabinoids.
Found in cannabis, cannabinoid cannabitriol (CBT) is a natural phytocannabinoid. Not enough research has been conducted to make firm determinations on the psychoactive effects.
THC has been linked with reduced motor skills and psychiatric disorders. The findings were based on 21 studies in different countries, with a sample size of almost 240,000 participants.
Although there has been no evidence of death from THC overdose, it is important to remember that high levels of THC can affect cognitive function and may increase the risk of psychosis. Several of the side effects of marijuana use are related to its use in humans, including increased heart rate or heart attack.
There are many different types of concentrates for regular marijuana, including live and extracted resins. The way in which they are extracted varies from one cultivar to the next. Live resin contains more essential oils and terpenes than distilled and dried resin and has a more sluggish consistency. It can be consumed via vaping or dabbing, although it can also be sprinkled in joints or thrown in a bowl. The final product is yellow, waxy, and usually has a high THC content.
Concentrated resins for marijuana are extracted by putting dried cannabis in a solvent, which is usually butane, propane, or some other solvent. The dried plant material is then refined to create different types of concentrates. The process of separating the oils from the trichomes preserves the cannabinoids and terpenes, which make them very potent and potentially addictive.
What is Synthetic Marijuana?
The addictive properties of synthetic marijuana may be more dangerous and lead to chronic drug use. Its chemical formulation produces a high-quality euphoric effect, and people who abuse it are more likely to develop dependency. Withdrawal symptoms may include depression, anxiety, mood swings, and paranoia. Furthermore, prolonged drug use of synthetic marijuana can cause cardiovascular damage and kidney failure. Because of these risks, it is critical to seek medical treatment for anyone who abuses synthetic marijuana.
Most synthetic marijuana chemicals are produced in Asian countries without regulation and illegally imported to the US. While some are legal and safe for human consumption, many others are highly toxic and pose a health risk. Several of the synthetic marijuana chemical variants are Schedule I substances, the same category as Heroin and Crack Cocaine. Many of the synthetic marijuana compounds have been found to cause a fatal heart attack, severe bruising, and violent behavior. Hence, it is important to find out how the product you are using is safe and legal.
What Does Weed do to the Brain?
Cannabis weed affects the mind. In addition, the affects of weed can inhibit learning and affect the ability of the user to perform difficult tasks and perform certain responsibilities. THC inhibits brain functions such as balance, posture, coordination, posture and reaction time as well as cerebellar function.
Side Effects of Marijuana Use
Marijuana use and cannabis consumption can cause:
- Dry mouth and dry eyes
- Lightheadedness and dizziness
Other damaging effects of marijuana from frequent marijuana use may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased heart rate
- Psychosis (risk is highest with regular use of high potency marijuana)
- Increased appetite
Marijuana withdrawal symptoms usually begin two to four days after the last use and peak in the first week. Some people may experience severe sleep problems for up to 30 days. Similarly, a person suffering from marijuana withdrawal may experience difficulty concentrating, irritability, restlessness, and other symptoms of cannabis. However, these effects may be accompanied by other physical or mental problems, such as depression.
Can Someone Overdose on Marijuana?
Yes, a person can overdose if they have enough of the drug to cause serious illness. Despite the euphoric effects, many marijuana users experience unpleasant side effects, especially if it comes from high amounts of THC. Some people report symptoms that may include panic attacks, paranoia, or depression. The use of edible cannabis may cause psychosis, but emergency medical services have noticed increased cases.
Is Marijuana Addictive?
Yes, smoking pot can cause a marijuana addiction and become addictive due to the development of a dependence to the drug. Some researchers believe that up to 30% of people consuming marijuana have a marijuana dependence or marijuana addiction problem. The prevalence of marijuana use disorders is 4 to 7 times the normal rate of young people using the substance. Many people using marijuana for longer periods of time have reported mild withdrawals that make quitting difficult.
Marijuana Drug Abuse
Marijuana drug abuse can include the compulsive need to consume the drug, for example, or behaviors that involve getting, using, and hoarding the drug. Even in states where marijuana use is legal and regulated, individuals may struggle with compulsive marijuana use and find that they have become dependent on the drug to help manage social interactions or stress and anxiety.
Short Term Effects of Weed
The short-term effects of marijuana use vary, based on the size of the person, amount consumed, and experience with marijuana. The effects are particularly different in men and women and may vary according to the type of weed smoked and body chemistry. The short-term effects of marijuana are not harmful to everyone, but may be unpleasant in some cases.
Consequences can include short-term memory problems, anxiety, paranoia, panic, loss of sense of personal identity, hallucinations or other very strange behaviors.
Long Term Marijuana Use
Generally, the long-term effects of weed use are more severe than those associated with its short-term effects. However, there is one exception: cannabidiol, which is found in cannabis plants, may offer protection against THC’s negative impacts. Regardless of its effects, long-term weed use may change a person’s personality. Specifically, heavy pot smokers may experience general and social anxiety.
Studies suggest that chronic marijuana use is linked to mental illness and behavioral problems, and that marijuana may have physical health effects such as causing lung infections, reducing lung function and sperm motility. It may also interfere with ovulation, prenatal development, and heart function.
Children and young adults are especially susceptible to the marijuana. Symptoms of marijuana use may include an “amotivational syndrome” characterized by energy loss and poor school performance. Children and young adults may also suffer behavioral disruptions.
In a different study, marijuana use was associated with a higher risk of heart attacks, asthma, COPD, arthritis, and kidney disease. Researchers found a link between marijuana use and the likelihood of developing certain diseases and mental health conditions, including depression.
Marijuana has also been linked to an increased risk of mental health problems or mental diagnosis, including schizophrenia. While regular cannabis users are at risk of experiencing these mental illnesses, chronic marijuana use is also associated with an increased risk of psychotic disorders.
The psychological effects of cannabis are not an ever-present horror, but there are instances where people experience panic or psychosis.
The psychoactive substance in marijuana (THC) changes the way people process information. The hippocampus, the cerebellum, and the basal ganglia in specific brain regions play roles in movement and balance. Because THC alters these brain regions, the effects can affect coordination and reflex response. In high doses, marijuana users experience hallucinations and delusions. It has also been linked too many mental health conditions, including depression.
Increased risk of Psychotic Disorders
These include paranoia, delusional thinking, and bizarre behaviors. Furthermore, the marijuana-induced effects are more common in people who abuse the drug frequently. It is not clear if the effects are permanent or temporary.
Risk of Heart Attack
Tweed (the active component of cannabis) enters the lungs and can cause changes in blood pressure. The drug can cause up to 50 heartbeats in minutes that can last up to three hours. Smokers with cardiovascular problems are more vulnerable to cardiovascular diseases.
32The Journal of the American Heart Association suggests regular marijuana use can cause heart disease, strokes and other cardiovascular problems even in children with fewer heart problems.
Lung Damage and Persistent Coughs
There is a risk factor for lung damage or persistent coughing due to the cannabis smoke being ingested, similar to tobacco smoking. Studies show that marijuana is toxic because it can affect bronchial tubes and lungs. Regular smoking marijuana has increased the risk of cough or breathing difficulties. Journal of General Internal Medicine says marijuana is similar in its impact on respiratory health.
Marijuana Use Disorder
Marijuana use disorder (cannabis use disorder) is a diagnosis given for problematic marijuana use. CUD was first introduced in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition or DSM 5. The previous definition in the DSM classified the problem as two different disorders: cannabis dependence and cannabis abuse.
SAMHSA – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a manual titled “Brief Counseling for Marijuana Dependance.” This manual is helpful as it describes common issues in treating adults with a marijuana use disorder.
Signs of Marijuana Use Disorder
Symptoms of synthetic cannabinoid abuse are similar to those of marijuana but may also include:
- Disconnection from thoughts, feelings, memories, and sense of identity (dissociative state)
- Fast and irregular heart rate
- Chest Pain
- Racing thoughts
Marijuana Addiction Treatment at Turning Point of Tampa
At Turning Point of Tampa, our programs feature highly-credentialed staff providing real structure, teaching clients how to practice 12-Step principles, in a residential setting where solid group counseling is the keystone. Our mission is to provide effective 12-Step based addiction treatment that is affordable and maintains high clinical standards and quality of care.
If you or a loved one are concerned about marijuana addiction or substance use, please contact an addiction treatment professional as soon as possible. Licensed professional treatment providers can provide vital resources to assist with managing withdrawal, selecting the appropriate program, and maintaining your recovery for the long term.
Turning Point of Tampa has helped individuals find recovery from addiction and substance use since 1987. If you need help or know someone who does, please contact us at (866) 845-7840 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome
Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) is a condition where individuals who consume large amounts of cannabis (marijuana) repeatedly experience nausea and vomiting.
This condition can be caused by various health issues, including the over-stimulation of the endocannabinoid system, which is a system of receptors in the body that responds to the compounds found in marijuana. Risk factors for cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome include chronic cannabis use over a prolonged period of time.
Codeine and Weed
Codeine and weed are two drugs that are often used together. Codeine is an opioid painkiller that is prescribed for moderate to severe pain relief. Weed is a psychoactive drug that alters how the mind perceives things.
Codeine can be addictive and lead to tolerance, which means you need more of it to get the same effect as when you first started taking it. Codeine also has a high potential for abuse because it can be injected or taken intravenously as well as orally through tablets or liquids.
Side Effects of Marijuanas Tea
Marijuana tea is a cannabis-infused drink that can be made by steeping the marijuana leaves in hot water for a certain amount of time. It is not as potent as smoking marijuana, which means that the side effect of weeds are less intense. Some of the common side effects of Marijuana teas include dry mouth, dizziness and increased appetite.
The term antiemetics is used to refer to drugs that prevent nausea and vomiting. These drugs are also called antiemetic agents, and they work by blocking the signals from the brain that cause nausea and vomiting.
There are many different types of antiemetics drugs, including medications for motion sickness, and medications to relieve chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, radiation sickness, post-operative nausea and vomiting, morning sickness during pregnancy, vertigo due to labyrinthitis or Ménière’s disease.