Marijuana: Everything You Need To Know
What Is Marijuana?
Marijuana is an extract of dry leaf and flower of the plant Cannabis Sativa or Hemp Plant. The extract of Marijuana contains several chemicals, some of the chemicals are harmful and habit forming. The chemicals are known as cannabis. The cannabis is extracted in 3 forms known Marijuana, Hashis and Hash oil. Marijuana is used as cigarette or is mixed with tobacco in cigar.
What Is Cannabis?
Cannabis are alkaloids and produced by plant Cannabis Sativa. Several compounds of different chemical structures are stored in leaf, stem and flowers of Cannabis Sativa plant. Most cannabis chemical produces unwanted side effects and few helps to reduce some of the chronic neurological symptoms. The most discussed cannabis compounds are delta-9 tetrahydro-cannabinol is also known as THC and Cannabinoids. THC causes stimulant effects and the individual using marijuana feels 'high'. Feeling of "High" leads to dependence and abuse. On the contrary Cannabinoid is considered helpful to treat neurological symptoms.
Does Marijuana Plant Grow In Any Climate?
The plant is a wild plant and grows in tropical climate. During last 15 to 20 years the plant has been cultivated in almost all climate. The most popular recent technology to grow marijuana is indoor hydroponic technology. The plant is planted and cultivated in indoor surroundings in any outdoor climate.
What Are The Different Names Of Marijuana?
Marijuana is known as Grass, Pot, Weed, Herb and Mary Jane. The crude method is used to improve percentage of THC in extract, so individual inhaling or ingesting marijuana feels with few inhalations of smoke.
What Are The Different Routes Used For Marijuana Consumption?
Marijuana is inhaled as a cigarettes or cigar. In cigarette tobacco is replace with marijuana extract and in cigar extract is mixed with tobacco. Marijuana is also added in food or teas.
Is THC Content In Marijuana Extract Harmful?
Marijuana extract contains THC in variable quantity. THC is harmful when inhaled or ingested in large quantity. The quantity of THC is unknown in any marijuana extract. In most cases of marijuana abuse, very rarely fatal effects have been documented. The life threatening effects of marijuana depends on amount of cannabis inhaled or ingested. The chances of life threatening complications are higher when marijuana is used with other illicit drugs like cocaine, heroine or diazepam.
What Is Hashish And Hash Oil?
Hashish is separated as a resin from gum secreted by the cannabis sativa plant. Resin block contains high concentration of the cannabis chemicals. The hashish is potent and can be toxic if taken in relatively large quantity. Hashish is used as a smoke or mixed in food. Hash oil is further concentrated from hashish and extracted and produced as thick oil with highest concentration of cannabis chemicals. Oil is mixed in diet or smoked.
Is Hashish Or Hash Oil Harmful?
Hashish and hash oil contains higher concentration of cannabis and can definitely cause higher harmful effects than marijuana.
Is Marijuana Considered Illicit Drug?
Federal government and several states considered marijuana as an illicit drug. The use of cannabis for medicinal purpose is considered legal in few states and thus marijuana is not considered illicit drug in these states. The federal law considers cannabis as illicit drug.
Why is Marijuana Considered A Harmful Illicit Drug?
Marijuana is considered harmful for following reasons-
Harmful Effects of Marijuana-
- Drowsy and sleepy- Individual consuming large quantity of marijuana are often found unconscious or confused.
- Loss of inhibitions resulting in quarrel, assault or similar harsh behavior,
- Loss of coordination results in difficulties in concentration, driving and fall. Fall often causes head injury or fracture.
- Marijuana also induces nausea and vomiting.
Changes in Cognitive Effects Caused By Marijuana Consumption-
- Consumption of marijuana often causes anxiety resulting in obnoxious behavior in public.
- Chronic daily consumption of marijuana causes personality changes, person become irritable, suspicious and impulsive.
- Marijuana causes lack of motivation and loss of memory.
- Daily marijuana consumption causes lack of interest and drive, which results in loss of job and family hardship.
Life Threatening Conditions Due To Marijuana Use-
- Few fatal cases have been documented when unconscious individuals were found choked and asphyxiated following vomitus obstructing breathing passage.
- The drug often influences to consume other street drugs and side effects may cause slowing of breathing resulting in low blood oxygen and irreversible brain damage from brain ischemia.
Lung Cancer Caused By Marijuana Use-
- Continuous smoking of marijuana for prolonged period of time causes disease like lung cancer.
Which Age Group Mostly Uses Marijuana For Recreational Purpose?
The national Survey of 2012 suggests marijuana has been used by 7.3% of Americans with average age of 18 years. Federal guideline suggests, it is one of the most widely used illicit drugs by adolescent. Marijuana is second most abused drug after alcohol among junior and senior high school children.
Do Minors And Children Use Marijuana For Recreational Purpose?
Yes, young adult use marijuana mostly as a party drug. Children as young an age 12 years have tried smoking marijuana.
What Makes Marijuana Second Most Abused Drug Among Young Population?
Individual smoking marijuana enjoys the mild euphoria, feeling of well-being and mental relaxation. The euphoria, mental relaxation, loss of recent memory and tendency to forget immediate problems results in "high" feeling. In addition marijuana induces alter experience while watching movie, television shows or listening music. Individual gets depended on marijuana, which results in frequent abuse of the drug.
Why Is Marijuana Being Promoted As Medical Marijuana?
Psychoactive and neuro-protective properties of marijuana are well documented in research publications. Psychoactive properties are caused by cannabis, THC (9)-tetrahydrocannabinol. Psychoactive properties result in abuse and harmful effects. On the contrary neuro-protective effect of marijuana is caused by cannabidiol.1 Clinical studies of medical benefits of marijuana have shown significant reduction of symptoms in patient suffering with spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis, dystonia, tics, tremors, epilepsy, migraine headache and glaucoma. At present, data are limited in regards to adverse events and safety.
What Are The Side Effects Of Marijuana?
Psychoactive effects cause weakness, mood changes and dizziness. Systemic effects causes low or high blood pressure and irregular heart beats.
Is There Scientific Data For Medical Use Of Marijuana?
There are several studies published in the scientific journals. The study performed in 2014 involving 776 physicians who were treating epilepsy patient suggests symptoms were significantly reduced by treatment using cannabidiol (CBD).2
What Is Diversion Of Medical Marijuana?
Marijuana is diverted for profit or shared with family and friends. Recent study involving 623 participants indicates 282 (47.6%) participants had marijuana medical card. The survey of 282 patients further suggests 15.1% used marijuana during last 12 months and initiated use of marijuana before age 25 years. 133 participants (41.4%) shared or sold their medical marijuana to friend or family member. 3
Should Use Of Medical Marijuana Be Permitted To High School Students Or Adolescent?
The data of medical benefit is not yet conclusive and serious side effects after long-term use is also not known. The analysis of survey involving high school seniors suggests 33% students felt abuse of marijuana should be considered as minor offense, 48% student felt marijuana should be sold to adult.4
Should Pharmaceutical Companies Be Allowed to Produce Medical Marijuana?
Marijuana extract contains several psychoactive cannabis. The cannabis effective as a neuro-protective cannabis is cannabinoid. Cannabinoid is effective in treating several neurological abnormalities. The isolated manufacturing of cannabinoid is necessary to prevent THC influence. Recently the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has given state directed permission to Leaf Line Labs and Minnesota Medical Solutions ("Minn Med") to isolate and produce cannabinoid in pill and liquid form. The benefit of treatment of neurological diseases using selective cannabinoid is yet to be investigated. The lab isolation and manufacturing of neuroprotective cannabis is essential to prevent side effects of THC.
1. Medical marijuana in neurology.
Benbadis SR1, Sanchez-Ramos J, Bozorg A, Giarratano M, Kalidas K, Katzin L, Robertson D, Vu T, Smith A, Zesiewicz T.
Expert Rev Neurother. 2014 Dec;14(12):1453-65.
2. Fewer specialists support using medical marijuana and CBD in treating epilepsy patients compared with other medical professionals and patients: Result of Epilepsia's survey.
Mathern GW1, Beninsig L, Nehlig A.
Epilepsia. 2014 Nov 20.
3. Use and diversion of medical marijuana among adults admitted to inpatient psychiatry.
Nussbaum AM1, Thurstone C, McGarry L, Walker B, Sabel AL.
Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2014 Nov 6:1-7.
4. An examination of opinions toward marijuana policies among high school seniors in the United States.
J Psychoactive Drugs. 2014 Nov-Dec;46(5):351-61