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Marijuana is an ever-present drug throughout the nation. American youth and even well into adulthood use marijuana as a therapeutic drug. Marijuana is sourced from the crushed flower and leaves of the cannabis plant and can often be mixed in with other smoke-able compounds. The fact that most users do not know what those added compounds may be, makes taking the drug even more dangerous beyond its addictive properties.

How It Works

The active chemical, that causes the high when smoking marijuana, is called Delta9-THC. This chemical affects the central nervous system by depressing it, which is why marijuana smokers are most often portrayed as numb to their surroundings and generally complacent. Marijuana is often considered a gateway drug that leads to harder drug use and stronger addiction although clinical evidence for this is scant. Much like with other drugs, the body becomes tolerant of its effects which, leads to greater consumption and greater behavioral changes.

The drug has spread significantly over the past decade and a half partly because some states have legalized the sale of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Part of this spread can be attributed to unscrupulous physicians have prescribed the drug to those who do not need it.

Effects of Marijuana

Effects of marijuana are generally hallucinogenic and can include complacency, relaxation, cognitive impairment and physical impairment. The average marijuana cigarette allows approximately 1600 different chemicals to enter the lungs of smoker. The effects of these chemicals are not yet known mostly because marijuana production and blending varies widely. The active chemical in marijuana is stored in the fat cells of the body and since it is not soluble in water is not removed from the body through urine. This means that the drug can last in the body for a very long time regardless of frequency of usage. The drug may also having lasting effects on the liver, brain, lungs and reproductive system

Treating Marijuana Abuse

Marijuana abuse is treated like other addictive drugs and requires detoxification and treatment. Long-term support is critical to staying off the drug. The Delta9-THC compound can affect the body well after the smoker quits. This is especially true for those who exercise and burn fat. As they burn fat in their body the THC is released back into their system and may cause relapse.