What is Marijuana?

What is Marijuana and What is its Source?

Cannabis sativa is the plant from which marijuana is derived. This plant has many uses and you can commonly identify it as hemp.



It not only acts as a source of marijuana but also provides seeds, fiber, and oil and has medicinal uses as well.  On the streets, what is marijuana can be termed differently as it has many names such as Mary Jane, Aunty Mary, pot, ganja, hash, joint, bud, weed etc. It has a greyish green color and is available in a dried form. It is mostly obtained from the leaves and flowers of the Cannabis plant, and from the top stems and seeds as well.

 

How is Marijuana Used?

One of the most common ways of marijuana is smoking a joint, which is when it is hand-rolled in the form of a cigarette. Some people like to use bongs also known as water pipes. There are also other users which find it interesting to smoke as a cigar by replacing the tobacco entirely or partly with marijuana. However, marijuana has also been used in medicinal purpose as well, with many positive results.

 

What is Marijuana Uses for Medicinal Purposes?

Medical MarijuanaIt is by all means a drug because of its addictive nature, but it does find use for medicinal purposes. When used for medicinal purpose, although a drug can have great effect for easing pain and things alike. It is sometimes added to sweet foods like candies and brownies when it is meant for oral consumption. Apart from this some concentrated resins like honey do contain some of its active ingredients like waxy budder, hash oil etc. It is very popular for recreational and medicinal purposes, and even used by some to treat their cancer.

 

What are the Constituents of Marijuana?

TetrahydrocannabinolTo fully understand what is marijuana and how it works, it’s important to get accustomed with some of the constituents that it has. Most plants have about 500 different chemical constituents out of which the most debatable one is the delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol. Not all of these are responsible for the effect that it has for which it is most popular among recreational drug users, but the ones that do are known as cannabinoids.

 

What is Marijuana and its Significance as a Recreational Drug?

Marijuana is popular among addicts for its psychoactive effect, the stoned feeling and the high it delivers. This illicit drug provides euphoric effects and even leads to an increased libido and increased appetite. It also distorts the perception of location, time, identity and a lot more. It also enhances illusions, temporary impairment in case of polysynaptic reflexes. If taken in very high doses can impair motor skills temporarily, increase the heart rate, lowers blood pressure, memory loss etc., it is because of these effects that this is immensely popular among adults and adolescents. Most people try this out of curiosity for what is marijuana and end up getting addicted to it. Some religions do have a special place for marijuana and hence it is not considered illegal everywhere. It is consumed in numerous ways, but no strong evidence is present to suggest its abuse can lead to higher risk of diseases which is why marijuana users have been voicing their opinion to make it legal.

 

Why is Marijuana an illicit Drug?



It has the potential to cause dependence and lead to addiction which can in turn have long term effects in an individual’s life. Around 9% of the people who use marijuana are known to become addicted to it. It is also very tough to control the withdrawal effect but unlike other drugs which can be deadly this isn’t as life-threatening. However, its side-effects can last for 2 weeks or more along with anxiety issues, decreased apetite and a disrupted sleep cycle.

 

Can Smoking Marijuana Effect Ones Health?

A study published in 2011 by the Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine aimed at finding the relation between lung function and smoking cannabis. This study stated that there has been very consistent finding which links smoking cannabis to inflamed airways, lung hyperinflation, resistance in the airway and more. But whether or not smoking cannabis has the same affects as smoking tobacco as entirely inconclusive at the moment and there is no strong evidence that suggests the same. However, the bottom line is that smoking cannabis with or without tobacco can cause serious harm to the lungs with a number of different lung related problems occurring in the future.
 
A study published in European Respiratory Journal tried linking What is Marijuana use with increased lung cancer. This study involved 79 cases suffering from lung cancer and another 324 were used as control. It calculated the risks of smoking cannabis and tobacco on a joint-yr and pack-yr basis and found that the risk of lung cancer increased by 8% for each of the joint-yr and 7% for each of the pack-yr. In conclusion it suggested that there were high risks of using cannabis in smoking and it does increase the chances of getting lung cancer in young adults. Although the number of cases for lung cancer in light cannabis users was low, the numbers did increase sharply for chronic regular users.

These findings are quite alarming to hear about the increased chances of cancer from smoking marijuana, however there may be certain factors which case this increase, i.e. not using filter tips in the joint, or using very short filter tips. Both of which lead may result in to more harmful chemicals and tar entering the lungs, and causing cancer. To learn some special techniques on Quitting Marijuana, click here!

 

References:
Effects of cannabis smoking on lungs – Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine Journal – 2011 – By Marcus HS Lee & Robert J Hancox

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1586/ers.11.40

Cannabis use & risk of cancer – European Respiratory Journal – 2008 – By S. Aldington, M. Harwood, L. Beckert, A. Hansell, B. Cox, M. Weatherall,

http://erj.ersjournals.com/content/31/2/280.short

 

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