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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

angel dust.

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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