Marijuana or cannabis is probably the most commonly used illegal drug in the world. At least, it is in some countries like India or the United States. However, marijuana use has already been legalized in different parts of the world. Smoking marijuana is one of the drug habits that has least social reproach . It has long been seen by society as a less harmful drug, even many people promote medical marijuana and the benefits of its use for treatments of different diseases.
The debate on the legalization weed is reopening and there are already many countries such as Belgium, Holland, Argentina and some regions of the United States have some type of regulation or legal gaps that allow the consumption of cannabis.
What is marijuana? Can it cause addiction? What are its therapeutic uses? What actually does to your Body?
Marijuana is a psychotropic substance that is extracted from hemp, a plant that is scientifically called Cannabis sativa, hence also commonly referred to as Cannabis. It is sold as a mixture of dried leaves, stems, flowers and seeds, which are obtained after a drying process is performed after harvesting the plant. Its color is green, although the flower, better known as “bud” may contain small white and brown parts.
Marijuana (Cannabis sativa) is a native plant of hot and humid climates, originating in Africa, although there is record of it in India, 7,000 BC.. One cannabis foot has green serrated leaves and small yellow flowers without perfume and can reach up to five meters in height. The first news of this herb in Brazil dates back to the 18th century. The plant contains more than 400 chemical substances of which 60 are classified as cannabinoids. The main one is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and is associated with the effects that marijuana produces in the brain.
Can it cause addiction?
There is no consensus whether marijuana causes addiction, although most scholars think so. There are some users who despite consuming the drug daily do not develop the addiction, while others, using less, develop a syndrome similar to the dependence of other drugs. It is usually aspirated in the form of smoke, as cigarettes rolled in paper or pipes prepared by users. By inhaling marijuana smoke, its active principle, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) goes directly into the alveoli and minutes later it falls into the bloodstream, reaching into the brain, where it causes pleasant relaxing feelings, a sense of lightness and altered senses.
The tendency to repeat this state can lead to dependence. Registered cases of marijuana dependence however are not very frequent in proportion to the large number of users. The power inducing dependence on cannabis is much lower than that of other drugs.
What are the therapeutic uses of marijuana?
Many researchers believe that the negative effects of marijuana are greater than its positive effects. In addition, today there are more modern and more active drugs for those cases that can benefit from weed. The most notable effect is on the control of nausea and vomiting resulting from chemotherapy, which can benefit from it when the patient does not respond satisfactorily to other drugs. Another significant and unquestionable effect is on the increased appetite of cachectic patients. It also acts on diseases such as glaucoma, relieving eye pressure and on epilepsy, preventing seizures. In multiple sclerosis, it decreases muscle spasms. For therapeutic use, THC, the active ingredient in marijuana can be consumed orally in the form of tablets.
What are the causes of marijuana dependency?
First, it should be borne in mind that there is no consensus among researchers whether or not there is a physical dependence. If there is, it is much less intense than addiction to other drugs. In any case, the pleasant feelings of marijuana create a tendency to use it repeatedly.
What are the main signs and symptoms of marijuana dependence?
Marijuana is a depressant of brain activity. It produces predominate pleasant symptoms over unpleasant ones. It’s users generally suffer a pleasant distortion and accentuation of time, colors, sounds and space. Motor skills get hampered, making it dangerous to drive a car or operate a heavy machine especially those with a schizophrenic latency can become confused and disoriented. They lose track of who they are, where they are, or at what time they are.
Panic reactions can occasionally occur in new consumers.Cannabis blocks short-term memory and in men decreases sperm production. In women, it can cause irregular menstrual cycles and if they develop produce smaller-than-normal fetuses. In breastfeeding women, THC passes into the child and can affect it in the same way that the mother is affected.
How does the doctor diagnose marijuana dependence?
The diagnosis of cannabis dependence can be made by the patient’s own report and by capturing the symptoms and the blood dosage of its derivatives.
How does the doctor treat marijuana addiction?
The treatment of people dependent on marijuana should be geared to the biological, psychological and social scope of the issue. Medications can be used to symptomatically alleviate some symptoms but long-term treatment should be for the most part psychological therapies. Pharmacological treatment should address in particular states of acute intoxication, marijuana-induced psychoses, and other psychiatric comorbidities associated with this drug, such as depression, anxiety, panic, and attention deficit disorder.
How does addiction to marijuana evolve?
It is not certain that there are withdrawal symptoms or whatever their nature. Prolonged cannabis use can cause damage to the lungs and reproductive system.
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