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Effects Of Marijuana Essay, Research Paper
The Effects of Marijuana
Marijuana is a mood altering or psychoactive drug that has
many nicknames, such as pot, weed, ganja, sensi, herb, and
others. It is an ancient drug that dates back to hundreds of
years to Asia. Many cultures have used it during meditation,
religious worship, and for intoxication. Marijuana itself comes
from the Indian Hemp plant. It is the third most widely used
drug in the United States, according to a survey taken in 1988,
and it is the number one illegally used drug in the United
States. Marijuana is so popular that an estimated one out of
every three people in the US have tried it and around 44% of US
high school students have smoked it. Marijuana users are not
easily detectable, nor is the drug just used in one area of
society. The Indian Hemp plant is found all over the world,
including the US. There are three different types of Indian
Hemp. They are Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis
Rudderalis. These three plants vary in size and mood altering
effect. The hemp plant has many uses and has been farmed for
centuries. Marijuana can be taken in three ways, by eating, made
into a tea, or smoking (the most popular). Smoking it can be
done three ways, through a pipe, a joint, blunt. A joint is a
rolled piece of paper that is twisted at the ends. A blunt is
normally an emptied cigar wrapper filled with marijuana. In a
blunt you can fit much more marijuana. Though a blunt isn’t
always purely marijuana, it can be mixed with other drugs such as
The results are varied when someone smokes marijuana.
Different people will get different results, and certain types of
cannabis can cause different effects. The amount of THC
(marijuana’s main active chemical) may also change the result.
If alcohol, or other drug use is occurring while smoking
marijuana, the effect could be different. A first time marijuana
smoker will probably feel no effect. A chronic or heavy user
will get a high (intoxication). When a person is high, normal
sights, sounds, tastes, or events can seem very funny or
interesting. When intoxicated, time seems to pass a lot slower.
To the user, minutes will seem like hours. The intoxicated
person may get very thirsty or hungry, a common effect called, ”
the munchies.” A few minutes after the person inhales they will
probably get a dry mouth, rapid heartbeat, decreased reaction
time, and also a loss of coordination. The blood vessels in the
user’s eyes will probably enlarge, giving the person a blood shot
appearance. Within 2 to 3 hours the effects will die down and
the person will feel sleepy.
How is marijuana harmful? There are many ways that
marijuana can harm the body, both the immediate effect and long
term effects. It often disables the users short-term memory and
may cause trouble with challenging tasks. Even very simple tasks
can become a struggle for someone who is high. A student that is
under the influence of marijuana may find it hard to learn or
concentrate. A persons timing and coordination are normally
delayed by marijuana. As a result the person will be very
confused and useless.
The effect marijuana can have on the brain and central
nervous system are very serious. Smoking marijuana will reduce
the strength and speed of communications between the mind and
body. This occurs in the brain and muscles, causing the user to
not be as focused. Short-term marijuana use leads to a
drowsiness and relaxing effect. This is why marijuana users have
trouble remembering things. A heavy dose of marijuana can
decrease the amount of blood pumped into the brain. Marijuana
effects the brain’s control over muscles also. Heavy usage of
marijuana can have a lasting effect on the users short-term
memory. The blood flow to the back of the brain is greater than
the front, after smoking. This is believed to cause the high
sensation the user is after.
The short-term effect of marijuana will increase blood
pressure and pulse rate up to 16 points above normal. It will
also slow down the digestive processing of food. People who
smoke marijuana often will have a below normal pulse rate and
blood pressure. A chronic user may experience dizziness or even
faint. A user may not even need to be high to experience that,
if the person stands up quickly they may faint. A well-known and
common effect is blood shot eyes, though this effect wears off
How does marijuana effect the heart? During the time when
the user is high they will have an increased heart rate up to 50%
above normal. The amount the heart rate increases depends on the
amount of marijuana that was smoked. This will make exercise and
other activities seem a lot harder. The effect could be
extremely dangerous for a person with a congestive heart or with
an irregular heartbeat. A chronic smoker will have a decreased
heart rate, often below normal.
The immediate effect of smoking marijuana on the lungs are
a brief opening of the bronchial tubes. That is why marijuana
has been tested for possible medical uses. It was not approved
because there is a rebound reaction, which closes up the user’s
airways. Marijuana also irritates lung tissue. The long-term
effect of smoking marijuana regularly is close to the effects of
a tobacco cigarette smoker. Though the amount of tobacco
consumed by the cigarette smoker is a lot higher than the amount
of marijuana a chronic smoker will inhale, the harmful
ingredients in marijuana are a lot higher than the amount in
tobacco, causing a similar effect on the lungs. Marijuana smoke
in the lungs will kill cilia. Cilia moves mucous, dirt and other
particles out of the lungs. Also the heavy usage will decrease
your lung’s defense against bacterial and fungal infections.
Marijuana is very harmful yet very widespread. It is an
illegal drug that can harm almost every vital part of your body.
It can make your memory vanish and cause your heart rate to slow.
You could develop lung cancer or a dangerously low blood
pressure. This drug isn’t deadly, but close to it. It causes
Americans everyday suffering just for those few minutes or hours
of a good feeling. Is it worth it?
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