Marijuana Used As a Narcotic or Hallucinogen
Marijuana (cannabis) is the preferred drug of choice among adolescents and young adults throughout the United States. In 2008 there were around 15.2 million people that used marijuana in the month prior to being surveyed. I'm sure that numbers would be much higher today.
What is marijuana?
Marijuana or cannabis is a psychoactive mind altering substance that comes in a few different forms. Sinsemilla which is a Spanish word refers to 'hashish' which most people refer to as hash. Hash and hash oil are both forms of marijuana and are much more potent. All forms contain THC which is the main chemical or ingredient in marijuana. Marijuana also contains over 400 other chemicals besides THC which is short for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinul.
The THC level in the marijuana is what defines the potency. Marijuana effects vary from user to user because the levels of THC are never the same. In the 70s, the level of THC in marijuana were much smaller but as time has gone on, the levels have increased and are around 7 percent.
What does marijuana look like?
Marijuana (cannabis) is made up of dried shredded leaves, stems, seeds and flowers that come from the hemp plant. Marijuana can be green, brown, or grayish in color. Like any other abused drug, there are street names given to marijuana that people use to describe this substance. Believe it or not, there over 200 different terms to describe marijuana on the streets and among users. A few of the street terms are:
- Mary Jane
There are a few different ways marijuana is abused. Most of the time, marijuana users loosely rule the marijuana up in the form of a cigarette and smoke it or put it in a pipe then smoke it. Others use a water pipe that's referred to as a bong. Sometimes marijuana users mix the substance into foods or brew it in tea or other beverages. Another way marijuana is abused is by taking the tobacco out of a cigar and replacing it with marijuana. This is referred to as a blunt. Some marijuana users add crack cocaine to their joints or blunts before smoking it.
As talked about before, the THC level in marijuana is responsible for the potency and determines the effects it has on the individual using it. The effects on the brain received when smoking marijuana take place rather quickly.
The THC goes through the lungs and into the bloodstream very fast which then rapidly sends the chemicals to the brain and the rest of the body. When smoking marijuana, the effects it has on a person can last as long as 3 hours for some people. The effects are much slower for the individual that consumes marijuana in foods or beverages. It can take at least a half hour to affect a person and sometimes up to an hour. The difference is that when ingesting marijuana the physical effects can last up to 4 hours. As far as THC goes, more of the chemical gets into the bloodstream when smoking marijuana rather than ingesting it.
Marijuana affects each person differently. Depending on how it's abused (smoked or ingested) as well as how strong the marijuana is determines the affect it will have. Other determining factors include whether or not the person abusing marijuana is consuming alcohol or abusing other drugs at the same time. There are some people that abuse marijuana and have little or no effects at all. Others feel euphoric or mentally and physically relaxed. Some cannabis users say the get thirsty and hungry when they use marijuana and they refer to this as the 'munchies'.
The more an individual abuses marijuana the more they need to use in order to feel the effects and high they're looking for. This means they need to use more marijuana at a time and much more often than they once did because of the tolerance they have built to the substance. Each person is different but many have problems with their memory and learning when they abuse marijuana. They have trouble thinking and solving problems as well as decreased coordination. If a person has been using marijuana many times you will see signs when they walk because they seem somewhat dizzy, they are silly and laugh at everything, their eyes may be blood-shot and red, and their short term memory may seem impaired. After the effects of marijuana decrease and wear off, many feel very tired and sleepy.
This video explains some more dangers of smoking Marijuana.
Driving under the Influence of Marijuana
Abusing marijuana can definitely affect a person's ability when operating a motor vehicle. Many times their judgment and reaction time is impaired and sights and sounds are too. Concentration, alertness, and coordination are imperative when driving a vehicle. Because marijuana tends to make many individuals laid-back, silly, and they may have a hard time remembering things from one minute to another they shouldn't be behind a wheel.