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Marijuana is one of the commonest hard drugs. It is a product of a plant called cannabis sativa. This drug comes from dried particles of the plant, which contains the chemical ingredient called THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). The strength of the marijuana depends on different factors; time of harvest, weather, and soil type among others. Marijuana has physical effects and mental effects of the user thus underscoring the need to understand its cause and effects.
Cause of Using Marijuana
There are different situations that lead to the use marijuana especially among the youth.
Young people influence themselves through association in places such as educational institutions. Peer pressure is a powerful and often harmful ability of the young people to influence one another’s decisions and actions. Most non-users of marijuana get a compelling feeling to try on the drug especially when associating with abusers of the drug. Sometimes, friends may use force in arguing that the drug has no negative effects. There might also be promises for pleasant feelings too (Abadinsky, 2008). Since, a young person may fear to be outcast from a group or gang, the pressure to use the drug for the first time piles. Later, in case of addiction, the feeling of together keeps the youth in peer.
Desire for Mood Alteration
When people have stress, depression or boredom, they use the drug in order to feel relaxed or euphoric. Many people believe that marijuana mutes unwanted emotions brought up by dissatisfaction of life or situation. In other instances, marijuana enhances enjoyment of social situations or activities such as rave.
The ancient use of marijuana was towards treatment of psychological problems. Therapeutically, this drug treats nausea and vomiting, induced by chemotherapy. Many countries have, however, the use of marijuana as treatment for mental disorders or any health issue.
Effects of Marijuana
When a person smokes marijuana, THC chemical passes through the blood from lungs to the brain and other organs. The action of this chemical in the brain has many effects. The brain has cannabinoid receptors, which when they interact with THC cause cellular reactions that result in highness common with the users. Therefore, THC acts on nerve cells and influence the activity of cells. There are the highest concentration cannabinoid receptors in brain parts that influence pleasure, thinking, concentration, sensory and time perception, or coordinated movement (Abadinsky, 2008). This explains the distorted perception of sights, sound, time, touch, memory impairment, loss of coordination observed in users. Other effects such as hallucination and disorientation are also a common with marijuana.
Marijuana causes the increased heart beat rate and low blood pressure. Normally, when the heart beats faster, the blood pressure expectedly rises. Therefore, the contrasting situation in marijuana users leads to problems. Researchers suggest that marijuana users are at high risk of heart attack. Marijuana also has effects on the lungs. Smoking the drug, even infrequently, causes burning and smelling of mouth and throat and coughing. Smokers produce phlegm when they cough. Chest illness also develops and lung infections become more likely in users. In addition, cannabis products contain carcinogenic hydrocarbons, which cause lung cancer. Reduced immunity, subsequently, causes other health problems because a person becomes more susceptible to infections. Smoking marijuana during pregnancy has effects on the neurological development of unborn babies, which later result in altered response to stimuli, tremulousness, and poor memory (Gerdes, 2002).
Apart from personal effects, marijuana causes social problems. Because of mental disturbance, deterioration of socialization with other people becomes likely. Young people likely develop delinquency and become rebellious to parents. Most of the feuds with parents are because of finances since the users spend a lot of money buying the drug. Users become less responsible, and most drop out of school because of the influence.
Marijuana has negative effects on the users hence the need to condemn its use. Efforts to avoid first time use include counseling against peer pressure and therapy for stress or depression. Education on the effects of the drug can help significantly too if done at early age when the child is amenable to change.