Marijuana is the most widely used illegal substance in the world today. Its use is also the most controversial. With legalization efforts underway, it is important to have the facts.
Effects of Marijuana
When a person smokes marijuana, THC quickly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream. The blood carries the chemical to the brain and other organs throughout the body. The body absorbs THC more slowly when the person eats or drinks it. In that case, they generally feel the effects after 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Marijuana over activates parts of the brain that contain the highest number of these receptors. This causes the “high” that people feel. Other effects include:
- Altered senses (for example, seeing brighter colors)
- Altered sense of time
- Changes in mood
- Impaired body movement
- Difficulty with thinking and problem-solving
- Impaired memory
- Hallucinations (when taken in high doses)
- Delusions (when taken in high doses)
- Psychosis (risk is highest with regular use of high potency marijuana
Marijuana also affects brain development. When people begin using marijuana as teenagers, the drug may impair thinking, memory, and learning functions and affect how the brain builds connections between the areas necessary for these functions. Researchers are still studying how long marijuana’s effects last and whether some changes may be permanent.
Is Marijuana Addictive?
Marijuana use can lead to the development of a substance use disorder, a medical illness in which the person is unable to stop using even though it’s causing health and social problems in their life. Severe substance use disorders are also known as addiction. Research suggests that between 9 and 30 percent of those who use marijuana may develop some degree of marijuana use disorder.
Many people who use marijuana long term and are trying to quit report mild withdrawal symptoms that make quitting difficult. These include:
- Decreased appetite
Treatments for Marijuana:
No medications are currently available to treat marijuana use disorder, but behavioral support has been shown to be effective. Examples include therapy and motivational incentives (providing rewards to patients who remain drug-free). Continuing research may lead to new medications that help ease withdrawal symptoms, block the effects of marijuana, and prevent relapse. At Health Republic, we have the finest treatment, therapies and environment which can manage all types of marijuana addicts.