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Marijuana, the Drug

Cannabis, Marijuana, Pot, Weed Information

The dried leaves, flowers, and seeds of the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant is called marijuana, cannabis, pot, weed, among others. The plant contains mind-altering chemicals like Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), and other compounds.

 

How is it consumed?

People often hand-roll a cigarette, called a joint, or use a pipe or a water pipe, called a bong, to ingest it. There are other ways people consume it like marijuana extracts filled vaporizers. Some use pot in baked goods like muffins, cookies, and cakes. It is also smoked in “blunts” (weed rolled in the tobacco-leaf wrapper from a cigar). In 2019, the Canadian government legalized the sale of eatables like candy, popcorn, and drinks, to name a few.

Dabbing is a more recent way to ingesting this drug. Dabs or wax, shatter, amber, or honeycomb are concentrated versions with a very high level of THC. This version of THC is at least four times more potent than regular pot joints and can be very addictive. Dabbing gives the person an intense instant high rather than building gradually.

Side Effects of Short-Term and Long-Term Use or Heavy Use of Marijuana

Short-term use effects:

  • Impaired short-term memory with difficulty in learning and retaining information.
  • Impaired motor coordination.
  • Altered judgement, increased risk of sexual behaviours and sexually transmitted diseases.
  • In high doses, paranoia and psychosis, and some cases, some are more susceptible to paranoia and psychosis.

 

Effects of long-term or heavy use

  • 9% of users get addicted, 17% of those started as teenagers, and 25 to 50% of those who use daily.
  • Altered brain development
  • Poor educational outcome, with increased likelihood of dropping out of school
  • Cognitive impairment, with lower IQ.
  • Diminished life satisfaction and achievements.
  • Symptoms of chronic bronchitis.
  • Increased risk of chronic psychosis in persons with a predisposition.

 

 

Marijuana in Canada

Marijuana, after alcohol, is the most widely used substance in Canada. Close to half of Canadians reporting having used it at some time in their lives.

 

Possible Withdrawal Symptoms with Marijuana Use

A person that stops his long-time consumption may have symptoms of withdrawal which include:

  • nervousness,
  • shaking,
  • trouble sleeping,
  • decreased appetite,
  • sweating,
  • headache, and depressed mood.

There isn’t enough information to know if cannabis is safe to use in moderation for short periods of time.

 

 

The Danger of Use While Pregnant

Premature birth is possible when a pregnant woman uses marijuana. This occurs because the active ingredient, THC, passes through the placenta and can stunt the growth of the fetus. It is also associated with stillbirth, childhood leukemia, fetal abnormalities, and the need for intensive care after birth.

Children exposed to THC in the womb are likely to have lower intelligence and increased emotional problems in children. Expecting mothers who use marijuana have an increased risk of anemia and high blood pressure.

 

 

What About Depression

Marijuana use might encourage the development of depression. It can worsen symptoms of depression. It can also increase thoughts of suicide in those that already have depression.

 

 

Help is Available

If you know someone who is experiencing an addiction to marijuana, you should seek help. If you are unsure of how to proceed, give us a call at the number below or request a callback.

 

1 888-488-8434

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