July 3, 2012
Marijuana…also known as Cannabis is a mixture of brown and green dried flowers, stems, seeds, and leaves from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. It has been floating around many cultures for many years. Although there has been no real evidence that marijuana causes severely negative outcomes when consumed, it is considered to be a mild hallucinogen that can also act as a depressant or a stimulant, which deems it illegal. There are many side effects that occur when using marijuana, but none that label the drug a killer. The total short-term duration of cannabis use when smoked is based on the potency and how much is smoked. Effects can typically last two to three hours (Ashton, C. H. (2001)). Though the long-term effects of cannabis have been studied, there remains much to be concluded; debated topics include the drug's addictiveness, its potential as a "gateway drug", its effects on intelligence and memory, and its contributions to mental disorders such as schizophrenia and depression. On some such topics, such as the drug's effects on the lungs, relatively little research has been conducted, leading to division as to the severity of its impact. However, a government study on the long term lung-related effects of marijuana has concluded that moderate marijuana use does not impair function (Pletcher, Mark et al, 2011). In 1990, the discovery of cannabinoid receptors located throughout the brain and body, along with endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitters like anandamide (a lipid material derived ligand from arachidonic acid), suggested that the use of cannabis affects the brain in the same manner as a naturally occurring brain chemical. Which means cannabis can be labeled a stimulant. Marijuana contains an active ingredient, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol or THC that acts on the cannabinoid receptors of the nerve cells and influences the activities of the cells, like pleasure, memory, thought, concentration, sensory, time perception and coordinated movement. High doses of marijuana, when consumed through food, can cause hallucinations, delusions, impaired memory and disorientation.
The effects on the body may vary from person to person but if you use marijuana your heart beat increases rapidly and blood pressure drops within minutes of smoking marijuana. A person’s heart beat can increase by 20 to 50 beats per minute. A marijuana smoker is three times more at a risk of heart attack.
Using marijuana also puts you at risk for Cannabis arteritis, which is a very rare peripheral vascular disease similar to Buerger's disease. There were about 50 confirmed cases from 1960 to 2008, all of which occurred in Europe and was developed by those who also used tobacco (Peyrot, I; Garsaud, A-M; Saint-Cyr, I; Quitman, O; Sanchez, B; Quist, D (2007).
The Pros to marijuana are vast. Marijuana has been used to enhance the appetite of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Studies have shown that marijuana is beneficial in relieving a person from the uneasy feeling of nausea. Doctors have made use of marijuana, successfully, in the treatment of neurogenic pain. The people suffering from glaucoma, asthma and spasticity have been found to have benefited from the consumption of marijuana. Marijuana can help relieve the chronic pain and suffering of people with incurable diseases like cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, etc. Marijuana is regarded to be a 'mind opener' i.e. it can help people broaden their outlook and think creatively. "The evidence is overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms caused by such illnesses as multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS -- or by the harsh drugs sometimes used to treat them. And it can do so with remarkable safety. Indeed, marijuana is less toxic than many of the drugs that physicians prescribe every day”, (Elders, J., MD, Mar.2004).
Burning and stinging of the mouth and