Marijuana also known as: pot, ganja, weed, grass, and dope. Marijuana is usually rolled into cigarette form and smoked (joint) or smoked through a water pipe (bong). Occasionally, it is brewed as tea or mixed with food, such as brownies. The main active chemical in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which moves quickly through the bloodstream to act on cannabinoid receptors found in areas of the brain that control memory, concentration, perception and movement.
Intoxication due to cannabis consumption is commonly known as a high, a state in which mental and physical facilities are noticeably altered. Marijuana users experience different highs, which may vary according to potency, dose, chemical composition, method of consumption and setting.
An individual who is addicted to marijuana will display compulsive drug-seeking activities and abuse pot despite the harmful consequences. The short term effects of marijuana include impaired coordination; skewed sensory and time perception; difficulty thinking, concentrating and problem solving; shortened attention span and distractibility; decreased alertness; impaired learning and memory; and euphoria. In addition, marijuana is often coined the “gateway drug” as it normalizes and demystifies the concept of drug abuse. This can lead to later usage of more hardcore drugs such as heroin, cocaine or meth.
Long-term users often experience lowered motivation and an impaired ability to function in daily life. Some also experience anxiety, panic attacks, respiratory illnesses and increased heart rate and risk of heart attack. Though research is not definitive, chronic marijuana use has been linked to mental illness such as anxiety, depression and schizophrenia. Marijuana use also poses a major threat to lung health.
Rehabilitation & Recovery
Treatment for marijuana addiction is highly effective. Like most other drug addictions, marijuana addiction is most effectively treated when an individual undergoes an intensive treatment program that lasts for an adequate amount of time. The first step in treating a marijuana addiction is to assess the addict’s distinctive needs and develop an individualized treatment plan accordingly.
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