Marijuana Abuse and Addiction in Orlando
Marijuana is a psychoactive substance derived from the cannabis plant. It is the most popular illicit drug in the United States. Many street names are used to refer to it, including cannabis, weed, pot, grass and Mary Jane.
What Is Marijuana?
When someone uses marijuana according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, they can smoke it in traditional pipes, water pipes or a rolled cigarette. Some people also roll marijuana in cigar paper to smoke it. As marijuana has become recreationally legal in more states, it is not uncommon to see it added to certain foods and candies to be eaten.
Though a handful of states have legalized recreational marijuana use, the federal level has not. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) categorizes marijuana as a Schedule I drug. Schedule I drugs do not have an accepted medical use at the federal level and have a high potential for abuse and dependence.
Marijuana contains a psychoactive ingredient called THC. This ingredient is one of more than 500 other chemicals found in the marijuana plant. When someone uses marijuana, THC and other chemicals from the plant enter the lungs and the bloodstream. Then, these chemicals go from the bloodstream to the brain.
The effects of marijuana can include euphoria and relaxation, based on information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine. There can be a lot of variance in the effects felt from person-to-person. Some people might feel changes in their perception of time and alterations in sensory perception. Other common effects of marijuana include increased appetite, laughter and paranoia.
Some people experience additional negative effects. Some people may have a sense of anxiety or panic if they use marijuana. If someone uses a high dose or a dose that’s very strong, these negative effects are more likely to occur.
Over time, marijuana can cause significant problems with learning, memory and behavior. If someone smokes marijuana, they may also experience many of the same negative side effects as smoking cigarettes. These negative side effects can include respiratory problems and the increased risk of lung cancer.
As with other psychoactive substances, marijuana creates its effects by altering the function of the brain’s neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters play a role in how messages are sent in the brain. THC binds to and activates cannabinoid receptors. When these receptors are activated, it can also stimulate the reward system in the brain. As a result, THC can trigger the release of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine.
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