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Marijuana

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MJA leaf 

 

Marijuana (also known as pot, ganga, weed, green, grass, dope etc.)  

 

 

How does marijuana affect the body? 

 

 

Some immediate effects include:  

 

                Faster heartbeat & pulse rate 

 

          Bloodshot eyes 

 

          Dry mouth & throat 

 


 

 

Marijuana use increases the heart rate by as much as 50 %, depending on the amount of THC (Marijuana’s principal psychoactive compound). It can cause chest pain in people who have a poor blood supply to the heart & it produces these effects more than cigarette smoke does. 

 

Scientists believe that marijuana can be especially harmful to the lungs because users often inhale the unfiltered smoke deeply and hold it in their lungs as long as possible. Therefore the smoke is in contact with lung tissues for long periods of time, which irritates the lungs and damages the way they work. Marijuana also contains some of the same ingredients in tobacco smoke that can cause emphysema and cancer. In addition, marijuana users generally smoke cigarettes; the combined effect of smoking these two substances creates an increased health risk. 

 

“Burnout” is a term first used by marijuana smokers themselves to describe the effect of prolonged use. Young people who smoke marijuana heavily over long periods of time can become ‘dull’, ‘slow moving’ and ‘inattentive’. These ‘burned out’ users are sometimes unaware of their surroundings that they do not respond when friends speak to them, show little or limited emotional responses to conversation and they do not realize they have a problem. 

 

Marijuana is not conducive to studying or educational pursuits

 

Withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, stomach pain, aggression & anxiety have been known to occur when the user decides to cease or during abstinence from the drug. 

 

Short term effects include memory & learning problems, distorted perception and difficulty thinking and solving problems.

 

 

Signs of marijuana abuse are: 

 

 

 

  • Rapid, loud talking & bursts of laughter in early stages if intoxication.  

 

  • Sleeping or stuporous in the latter stages.  

 

  • Lack of concentration & coordination  

 

  • Forgetfulness in conversation.  

 

  • Inflammation & ‘redness’ in the whites of the eyes.  

 

  • Odor similar to burnt rope on clothing or breath.  

 

  • Distorted sense of time passage – tendency to overestimate time intervals.  

 

  • Craving for food, especially sweets.  

 

  • Increased appetite.  

 

  • Use or possession of implements for usage including roach clip, packs of papers, pipes or bongs.  

 


 

 

 

 

Perhaps the most alarming consequences and side effects from marijuana use & abuse involve psychotic symptoms which are becoming more prevalent. Due to the varying types & strengths of marijuana on the market, there is an ever increasing risk of the development of psychosis. With prolonged usage, this can, & often does, become permanent. In some cases the user of marijuana can develop ‘full blown’ schizophrenia, for which there is no cure. 

 

 

Signs of developing psychosis are: 

 

 

 

  • Delusions (particularly grandiose & often with religious themes)  

 

  • Auditory Hallucinations  

 

  • Paranoia (very common amongst users)  

 

  • Increasingly deteriorating social functioning & withdrawal.  

 

  • Deteriorating hygiene & attendance to basic appearance.  

 

 

 

There are many in-patients of mental health facilities who have simply smoked marijuana and have never indulged in any other illicit substance. Some will recover moderately with the aid of abstinence and medication and yet there are others who will never recover. 

 

As stated previously, there are many arguments supporting the use of illicit drugs, particularly marijuana. The facts above give rise to serious concerns regarding it’s’ use and the notion that it is ‘harmless’. Irrespective of your viewpoint, the inescapable truth is that it is illegal, & possession & usage will generally result in criminal action by the law, fines & a criminal record you will carry for life. 

 

 


 Marijuana & its' effects on the Brain

 

Click here for Marijuana 'Fact Sheet'

 

 

 
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Should you have concerns regarding any issue relating to your 'mental or physical well-being', 'Kick off' strongly recommend you seek professional assistance. This may entail contacting your GP or similar clinician (Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Counsellor etc.). You may also contact the appropriate agency or service that might assist you. Irrespective of your choice, ensure you see someone who might help. 

 

 

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