Several health claims have been associated with marijuana also called cannabis in a more scientific term. Medical marijuana makes reference to using the whole, unprocessed marijuana plant or its extract to treat some indications of sickness and other diseases.
In spite of that, US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has not supported the marijuana plant as medicine yet. Since USFDA requires clinical trials in hundreds to thousands of human subject in the determination of the benefits and risks of medical marijuana, it still is considered as banned and illegal in some countries. (1)
In layman’s term, marijuana is also called as grass, dope, ganja, pot, mull, hash, Mary Jane, and the most popular of all, weed. Marijuana is considered one of the most commonly used illicit drugs in the world. Still, weed addiction can be very harmful not only to your health but also to your life. Smoking pot can lead to all sorts of problems that can interfere with your career, social life, and personal relationships.
Understanding Your Addiction
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the chemical in charge for the majority of marijuana’s psychological effects. Cannabinoid receptors are concentrated in some areas of the brain that is connected to the intelligence, memory, pleasure, coordination, sensory and time perception of the body.
THC stimulates the cells in the brain to release dopamine which is responsible for the euphoric high. On top of that, it also affects how information is being processed in the brain which causes hallucinations, delusions, and change in thinking. Kick-in takes over 10 to 30 minutes after smoking and effects may last for about two hours. (2)
How Do People Use Marijuana?
People smoke dope in hand-rolled cigarettes, in pipes and in blunts—emptied cigars that have been refilled with marijuana. This paraphernalia pulls THC from marijuana and collects the vapor and depositing it in a storage unit. A person then inhales the vapor which will make them high in just a few minutes. (3)
Statistics On Marijuana Addiction
Researchers done by NIDA shows that 9% of recreational users develop the dependence on marijuana. These percentages interpret to approximately 2.7 million people only in the US who is struggling with marijuana dependency. 6.7% of these percentage is 12 to 17 years of age. (4)
What are the Health Effects of Smoking Pot?
Some short-term effects of THC also include, exhilaration, tranquility, sedation, pain relief, memory impairment, vitality, starvation, grogginess, increased heart rate, dryness of the mouth, red eyes, slowed perception of time, laughter, dizziness, feeling of heaviness, anxiety, and paranoia. These marijuana effects are the reasons why it is the most popular drug.
While short-term effects aren’t a major issue, long-term effect could be very serious has it has potential effects on the anatomical changes in the brain and can trigger a relapse in schizophrenic symptoms, according to NIDA. (5) In a recent study, researchers found a connection between high-THC consumption and anatomical alterations in a region of the brain which may lead to psychosis after three years of regular cannabis use. Moreover, weeds may reduce thinking, memory and learning functions especially for those who have been using this at their early age. (6)
Additionally, marijuana use during pregnancy has been linked to lower birth weight. It can also increase both brain and behavioral problems in babies. What’s more? Pregnant women who use weeds may contribute to a high possibility of affecting some developing parts of their fetus’ brain.
These problems can affect a child’s attention, memory, and cognitive skills. Smoking pot may also incur some amounts of THC excreted into the breast milk of nursing mothers that may also affect the developing brain of the baby. ( 7)
Can a Person Overdose from Weeds
An overdose may transpire once a person consumes too much of a drug and toxic reactions had gone serious and harmful that it may cause death. There are no reports of teenage or adult fatally overdosing on marijuana alone. Overdosing from marijuana combined with other drugs are most likely to happen.
Despite that, people can still feel some intolerable side effects like uneasiness and shake, else, some extreme psychotic reaction such as anxiety, paranoia or hallucination especially when using dope with high THC levels. (8)
How to Quit Smoking Pot?
People smoke pot to feel better, but in the long run after knowing the side effects that sweet Mary Jane might cause you was it really worth it? Smoking marijuana can be just as unhealthy and addictive as smoking cigarettes. Everyone is unique and so is his dependence on marijuana. But once you make a decision to quit, there are several ways you can go about your choice to quit.
Cold turkey is the process of simply stopping your smoking habits. It’s the easiest and less expensive plan for those who want results fast and who don’t have enough money to undergo therapies but you’re going to need a game plan once you go cold turkey.
Stockpiled THC in your body can still affect you months after you have stopped smoking. Since you have been using pot for a long time in high doses, this small amount isn’t going to be enough for your body, which has built up a tolerance to the drug so severe withdrawal symptoms might take effect.
The good news is, this is only temporary. Marijuana withdrawal begins 1 day after you quit and hits 2 or 3 days, and eventually levels off after 1 or 2 weeks. These symptoms can be insomnia, irritability, lack of appetite, anxiety, or depression. All of which are easily manageable.
Seek Professional Help
Visit a psychiatrist for pharmacological help. Doctors may prescribe medications formulated to help you ease off of marijuana. This may be expensive but this may be your best bet because having a professional doctor who will look after your condition and monitor you from time to time may help you avoid having a relapse.
See a Therapist
If you have concerns that impede your recovery, a professional would be a great ally in your battle. There are several modalities or varieties of therapy, that might be appropriate for your pot addiction. You have to find someone specializes in addiction issues.
Join a Support Group
If you find it hard to abandon pot on your own because of peer pressure or a lack of faith in yourself, a support group might be the answer for you. Scientific studies have shown that whenever someone is dealing with a psychological issue, having a well-built social support system greatly increases the chance of achieving success. Tell your trusted friends and your family that you are quitting. It is so that they may help you to stay focus and attain your goals.
Check into Rehab
There is a chance that your own efforts may not work and your marijuana addiction is seriously endangering your health. In this case, you might need the help that inpatient rehab offers. Try to explore all your other options first because rehab is quite difficult and expensive, and not something you should enter lightly.
For people who are truly struggling and on the brink of health collapse, this is the best option. Rehab will offer intensive treatment, medical help, and various counseling during the process.
Regaining Your Life
Marijuana is a very strong drug, more so today than ever. There may be a relationship between this and addiction. The reasons why a person started taking marijuana may still remain. For some people, it was a way to get over problems such as anxiety, fear, or depression. It could be simply boredom and no real direction or goals in life.
Quit marijuana addiction on your own terms.There are real and perceived pros and cons of any action you take. The most important thing is to just start doing something to get back on track for your own long-term happiness and to reclaim your aspirations for a better life.