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Marijuana Addiction, Some Important Facts:

Marijuana is one of the most widely used drugs in United States, being equally popular among teens and adults. Marijuana use has increased a great deal over the past few years. And with its legalization in certain states, the situation is going to become even worse. Unlike popular beliefs, marijuana is highly addictive and injurious to health. It is extracted from a plant called cannabis and is used in a number of ways. The euphoric high produced by the plant can last for a few hours. Smoking marijuana can seriously damage lungs. Here are a few questions regarding marijuana that need to be answered to create awareness:

Marijuana Addiction

Table of Contents:

  • 1.What is marijuana?
  • 2.How is marijuana used?
  • 3.What are the medical uses of marijuana?
  • 4.Is it possible to overdose on marijuana?
  • 5.Is the treatment for marijuana overdose possible?
  • 6.Can marijuana cause a substance abuse disorder and addiction?
  • 7.What are American statistics on marijuana abuse?

What is marijuana?

Marijuana comes from dried leaves, stem, flowers and even seeds of a plant called Cannabis Sativa. The five to seven pointed leaf of marijuana is commonly used to symbolize the drug. The dried marijuana looks like a green to brown clumped together mess that is then consumed in different ways. The euphoric high that the addict feels is attributed to delta-9-tetrahydrocannibinol and a number of other compounds present in the drug. Multiple slang terms are given to marijuana such as

  • Weed
  • Pot
  • Ganja
  • Herb
  • Bud
  • Grass
  • Dope
  • Hash
  • Puff
  • J
  • Blaze
  • Kush
  • Roach
  • Hemp
  • Reefer

How is marijuana used?

Marijuana can be consumed in a number of ways such as:

Smoking it:

  • Smoking the hand rolled cigarettes called joints
  • Smoking it in pipes such as water pipes or glass pipes called bongs
  • Smoking it in emptied cigars that have been refilled with marijuana either partially or completely

Using vaporizers:

  • Vaporizers are used to prevent the inhalation of harmful smoke. Vaporizers work by collecting the active ingredient called THC present in the marijuana smoke. THC vapors are collected in a storage unit and people smoke that vapors and not the smoke. A liquid extract can also be obtained from marijuana with the help of some vaporizers.

In the form of edibles:

  • A number of edibles are produced from marijuana such as brownies, cookies, candies etc. Consuming these food items can also get a person high.

THC rich resins:

  • THC rich resins are extracted from cannabis sativa and their usage is becoming increasingly popular. This practice is called dabbing.
  • Different forms of these extracts are being used such as hash oil that has a liquid consistency, wax or budder with a petroleum jelly like consistency and shatter which is a amber colored solid.
  • Dabbing is a very harmful practice since it can deliver large amounts of THC to the body all of a sudden. A number of emergency cases have been dealt where the patients used THC resins.
  • Another harmful aspect of dabbing is people trying to make the extract at home. The procedure involves the usage of extremely inflammable liquid, butane, that causes explosions and fires and as a result; people have been severely burnt.

What are the medical uses of marijuana?

Even after its legalization in some states for medical and recreational uses, the FDA has yet to approve marijuana for medical use. There are a few medications approved by FDA to be used for medicinal purposes. A study conducted by The Institute of Medicine, therapeutic benefits of marijuana may include:

  • Pain relief
  • Anti vomiting
  • Increased appetite
  • Sedation
  • Anti anxiety

Medical marijuana is also used to treat:

  • Muscle spasms such as the ones caused by multiple sclerosis
  • Nausea produced by chemotherapy
  • Seizure disorders
  • Poor appetite caused by other illnesses as HIV AIDS
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy

THC has been approved by FDA, the active ingredient present in marijuana, to treat nausea and stimulate appetite.

Is it possible to overdose on marijuana?

Contrary to popular beliefs, it is quite possible to overdose on marijuana. It happens when large amounts of marijuana are consumed. It causes toxicity that results into serious damage to the body or even death. So far, there have not been any cases of death due to marijuana overdose alone but the damage caused to the body can be irreversible. Taking high levels of THC, as happens in dabbing, can cause extremely dangerous side effects and the user needs to be treated in emergency. These side effects include involuntary body shaking and in some cases anxiety, paranoia and hallucinations are also experienced.

Other than dabbing, nonfatal overdose can be produced by any means of consumption of marijuana such as smoking and eating marijuana edibles.

Is the treatment for marijuana overdose possible?

Marijuana overdose is highly treatable if proper emergency treatment is provided. The professionals lessen the effects produced by marijuana by:

  • Giving a sedative in very low dose to decrease the pain produced by psychotic side effects. If the person has consumed alcohol as well, sedative is not given since the reaction produced when alcohol is combined with sedative can be fatal.

Can marijuana cause a substance abuse disorder and addiction?

Marijuana users are at a risk of developing substance use disorder that can eventually turn into addiction. Studies show that among all the marijuana users, around 30% end up developing marijuana use disorder. Users, who start consuming marijuana before the age of 18 are at a higher risk of developing the disorder and addiction. So it is possible to become a marijuana addict and when attempts are made to quit, withdrawal symptoms appear including:

  • Insomnia
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Not feeling hungry
What are American statistics on marijuana addiction?

As stated earlier, marijuana is most widely consumed drug in United States. According to National Institute on Drug Abuse, the number of Americans trying it for the first time is increasing.

  • In a survey, more than 94 million Americans stated that they have used marijuana at least once.
  • Another National Survey on Drug Use and Health conducted in 2007 revealed that 2.1 million Americans abused marijuana in that year.
  • A large number of emergency hospital visits involve marijuana. In 2005, about 242,200 emergency visits in America were related to marijuana.


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