A pile of marijuana leaves.

Marijuana, also known as “Mary Jane”, “reefer”, “weed”, or “pot” is the second most commonly used drug in the United States, surpassed only by alcohol with over 94 million Americans having reported using this drug regularly.  The legality of pot has been a topic of discussion for years, with federal legality appearing to be imminent. Legal or illegal, it is important to know the effects this drug has on a user.

Marijuana Defined

Drying and mixing the leaves, flowers, and stems of a plant called Cannabis Sativa creates marijuana. The drug is typically smoked using rolling papers or blunt wraps, in a smoking device, or ingested orally when incorporated into food items. Marijuana is currently illegal under United States federal law, however, many states have begun to legalize medicinal and recreational use.

What Does Marijuana Use Do?

Using marijuana can lead to a few negative results. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, is the active chemical found in marijuana. This substance is responsible for the mental high and sense alteration that occurs when using this drug. Marijuana use can result in mood changes, impaired body movement, lack of memory recall, and problem-solving malfunction.

A pile of marijuana leaves.

The smoke of marijuana may also irritate the lungs, causing breathing problems, lung infections, and coughs. This may especially be the case in people who are older or suffer from heart problems or asthma. Since marijuana can have a negative effect on the brain, pregnant women who use the drug put their babies at risk for birth defects and developmental deficiency.

Continued marijuana use is tied to things such as hallucinations and paranoia. People who already have conditions like schizophrenia may experience a worsening in their symptoms as a result of marijuana use. Although many believe that marijuana is a harmless drug, it produces a high which ultimately leads to dependence.

Marijuana Addiction Treatment

Marijuana is not classified as a physically addictive drug; however, it is addictive in the sense that people can become psychologically dependent on it. It does have the ability to cause problems that mirror those of addiction. Even if a person uses it for medical purposes, like any other medication, it can have negative side effects. If you or your loved one knows firsthand how marijuana use can affect the body and mind, there is help. At Rehab Carolinas we offer drug treatment programs to help you beat dependency on marijuana. Call us today to learn more about how we can help.

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