Marijuana, like most things in life, has evolved. Due to savvy farming techniques and research bent on improving the medical benefits of marijuana, the plant's potency of today is vastly different than it was just a decade ago. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol also referred to as THC is the primary ingredient in marijuana that produces the euphoric or psychoactive effects of this drug. Although the level of THC can be different based on the variables of how the plant is grown, the particular strain and the portions of the plant that is consumed, the overall potencies of marijuana are at least seven times stronger than they were 20 years ago.
The result of smoking or eating cookies made with more potent THC levels also increases the effect of the drug on today's users. Another cause for concern is the fact that more people are starting to consume Marijuana in their mid-teens. Also, most smokers today prefer to use the flowering tops or buds of the plan which just happens to be the most intoxicating. As such, those with a dependence that drives daily and frequent use are most at risk of experiencing the adverse effects of this stronger. Problems presented by marijuana use may include addiction and other psychological, physical and social problems.
According to a report published by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), smoking marijuana allows THC chemicals to quickly enter the bloodstream which transports it directly to the brain and other organs throughout the body. Although this occurs more slowly when marijuana is consumed in food or drinks, between thirty minutes to an hour on average, the effects are ultimately the same. Marijuana THC impact and over-activate areas of the brain with the highest number of cell receptors that play a key role in neurological development and function.
NIDA studies indicate that the effect of long term or addictive pattern of Marijuana use has been shown to reduce thinking capability, impair memory and learning functions as well as impact the brain's ability to build connections in the central nervous system that would facilitate proper function in these key areas. In some individual's the effect on these abilities may be irreversible or last long after marijuana use is halted.
Overall, addiction occurs in approximately 10% of individuals who use marijuana whether for recreational or medical purposes. According to one study highlighted by NIDA scientists; people who engaged in regular and frequent marijuana use as teenagers and have had an ongoing cannabis use disorder typically lose an average of eight IQ points between the ages of 13 and 38. The lost mental acumen, in most study outcomes, failed to return in those who eventually stopped smoking marijuana as adults.
Although there is well documented evidence that marijuana has medicinal value, it also has the potential to exacerbate health problem especially in individuals already suffering with liver disease, low blood pressure, or diabetes. Research also reveal a link between marijuana and mental health problems such as increased incidence of depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, psychosis and schizophrenia. While marijuana does not necessarily cause these conditions, it has the potential to aggravate them.
Another profound and concerning effect of marijuana addiction is the repeated spike in heart rate for up to three hours that occur when this drug is smoked. As such, marijuana addicts are at risk of experiencing a heart attack every time they smoke marijuana. Chronic marijuana use has also been shown to increase bleeding, lower blood pressure, and affect insulin levels.
If you're a long-time or chronic marijuana user and you experience physical withdrawal symptoms such as excessive cravings, irritability, sleeplessness, and loss of appetite when you abstain, it may be time to seek treatment for marijuana addiction. Contact Columbia drug rehab centers to find out more about how you can get the help you need in finding a treatment center. Dial (803) 234-4123 to get started.