Marijuana Addiction Treatment
Marijuana is a green, brown, or gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa). Cannabis is a term that refers to marijuana and other drugs made from the same plant. Other forms of cannabis include sinsemilla, hashish, and hash oil. All forms of cannabis are mind-altering (psychoactive) drugs.
The main active chemical in marijuana is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Short-term effects of marijuana use include problems with memory and learning, distorted perception, difficulty in thinking and problem solving, loss of coordination, increased heart rate, and anxiety.
Marijuana is usually smoked as a cigarette (called a joint) or in a pipe or bong.
Marijuana has also appeared in blunts, which are cigars that have been emptied of obacco and refilled with marijuana, sometimes in combination with another drug, such as crack. It can also be mixed into foods or used to brew a tea.
Marijuana abuse is associated with many detrimental health effects. These effects can include frequent respiratory infections, impaired memory and learning, increased heart rate, anxiety, panic attacks and tolerance. Marijuana meets the criteria for an addictive drug and animal studies suggest marijuana causes physical dependence and some people report withdrawal symptoms. Someone who smokes marijuana regularly may have many of the same respiratory problems that tobacco smokers do, such as daily cough and phlegm production, more frequent acute chest illnesses, a heightened risk of lung infections, and a greater tendency toward obstructed airways. Cancer of the respiratory tract and lungs may also be promoted by marijuana smoke. Marijuana has the potential to promote cancer of the lungs and other parts of the respiratory tract because marijuana smoke contains 50 percent to 70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than does tobacco smoke.
Marijuana’s damage to short-term memory seems to occur because THC alters the way in which information is processed by the hippocampus, a brain area responsible or memory formation. In one study, researchers compared marijuana smoking and nonsmoking 12th-graders’ scores on standardized tests of verbal and mathematical skills. Although all of the students had scored equally well in 4th grade, those who were heavy marijuana smokers, i.e., those who used marijuana seven or more times per week, scored significantly lower in 12th grade than nonsmokers. Another study of 129 college students found that among heavy users of marijuana critical skills related to attention, memory, and learning were significantly impaired, even after t hey had not used the drug for at least 24 hours.
For further Information from The White House Drug Policy go to: