Negative Effects Of Marijuana Abuse On Human Physiology

Addiction Articles

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Marijuana is the most frequently abused illegal drug in the United States and also in Midland, TX and is obtained from the dried flower, stem, leaves and seeds of the female cannabis plant.

Marijuana is a psychoactive drug and abused because it provides a feeling of a high or euphoria and relaxation. Marijuana comprises 400 chemicals, of which 60 are cannabinoids.

The most active psychoactive cannabinoid in Marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC that contributes to harmful health effects like increased heart rate, low blood pressure, respiratory and immune system issues, anxiety, and can even lead to cancer.

Effect on Brain

When Marijuana is smoked, THC, the active chemical ingredient in Marijuana gets instantly dissolves in blood and carried to the brain and other parts of the body. The THC affects the activity of the brain by binding to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain.

Since cannabinoid receptors have higher density in parts of the brain that control concentration, memory, pleasure, coordinated movements and much more, the individual abusing Marijuana suffers from memory loss, lack of coordination, distorted perception, issues in cognitive abilities, thinking and problem-solving issues, etc. due to affected receptors.

Chronic Marijuana use is also associated with growth in anxiety, suicidal tendency, depression, and schizophrenia.

Effect on Heart

Smoking Marijuana can raise the heart rate abruptly, and this effect can last for 3-4 hours. The increased heart rate further increases the chances of heart attack in the first hour after smoking Marijuana.

The risk of Marijuana abuser suffering from a heart attack also increases due to disturbances in heart rhythms that lead to palpitations and arrhythmias.

The older adults having heart complications stand a greater risk of suffering from a heart attack due to Marijuana abuse.

Effect on Lungs

Smoking Marijuana can deposit four times more tar in lungs than smoking normal cigarettes. Marijuana smoke is harmful to lungs. Also, it contains more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke.

Carcinogens are chemical substances that can lead to cancer. Marijuana smokers normally inhale the smoke deeply and hold their breath for more time. Therefore, the carcinogenic smoke stays in contact with the epithelial lining of lungs for more time and damages it.

Additionally, Marijuana smokers suffer from other respiratory ailments such as a cough and phlegm production, acute chest illness, increased risk of lung infections, and other respiratory illnesses.

Effect on Liver

The effects of Marijuana abuse on the liver are still being researched. Marijuana alone cannot be credited to induce liver damage, but the impurities and other plant residues that come along with Marijuana can be injurious to the liver.

Marijuana abuse can severely impact the liver function when the person is suffering from ailments such as Hepatitis C infection, HIV, Cirrhosis, Hepatomegaly and much more.

Effect on Daily Life

Marijuana abuse has serious implications for health, mental well-being, family life, social relations, and on the livelihood of the person. Marijuana abuse can disturb the daily life as the individual suffers from memory loss, health issues, decreased thinking and problem-solving skills, etc..

Marijuana abuse leads to increased absenteeism, inability to concentrate, accidents, delay, job turnover, cognitive impairment and much more.

Marijuana abuse, especially among college students and adolescents, has to be curbed as it can lead to misuse of more acute illicit drug and act as a gateway drug.

Dependence on Marijuana can be effectively treated through proper behavioral interventions, cognitive behavioral therapy, and motivational incentives, in a well-established rehab center.

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