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Legalize It? Essay, Research Paper

Marijuana has been used as a drug since the beginning of time, yet there are still many mysteries about its health effects on humans. Marijuana, or cannabis sativa, is a preparation of the crushed flowers and buds of female hemp plant. Thc is the chemical property in the cannabis plant(marijuana) which gives the high . an overwhelming number of studies have tried to explain the physical and psychological effects of cannabis on humans. Physical Effects Physically, cannabis is relatively harmless. Studies have observed interesting results, including that it causes structural changes in the brain, depresses male sperm counts, causes chromosome damage, lowers testosterone levels, and damages the lungs. Most of these claims, however, have been unreplicated in humans or have been contradicted by other work. This section will address each of these reported negative side-effects. Various studies have claimed that cannabis destroys brain cells. However, several other studies found no structural problems in the brain at all. There was also a correlation between cannabis use and low sperm counts in human males. This is misleading because a decrease in sperm count has not been shown to have a negative effect on fertility and because the sperm count returns to normal after cannabis use has stopped.. Another claim made was that cannabis causes chromosome breakage. A widely held claim has also been that cannabis lowers male testosterone levels. This theory has been challenged by several studies that found no correlation at all. The most serious physical danger of using cannabis is in smoking it. Inhaling any sort of burnt plant matter is not very good for the lungs. decreased gas exchange capacity and the existence of particle residue in the lungs of marijuana smokers several times greater than for tobacco smokers. marijuana is several times more carcinogenic than tobacco. In Middle Eastern countries, it has been consumed through teas and food for centuries, avoiding the carcinogenicity of smoke altogether. Despite cannabis’ known negative effects to lung function, it has never been reported to cause a single instance of lung cancer. Tobacco, though, is expected to kill 400,000 people this year. If cannabis is so much more dangerous to a user’s lungs than tobacco and is so much more carcinogenic, why aren’t there stacks of reports of cannabis-induced lung cancer? One interesting theory is that it’s because tobacco tars are significantly radioactive, while marijuana tars aren’t at all.Cannabis has also been known for its many therapeutic uses, including the treatment of open angle glaucoma, asthma, and the nausea associated with chemotherapy. It has also been described as a tumor retardant, an antibiotic, a sleep-inducer, and a muscle relaxant. Psychological Effects The psychological effects of cannabis use have been described quite many years before the physical effects, yet are as accurate today as they were 100 years ago. The user of cannabis feels the onset of the “high” between 7 seconds (when smoking) and up to 30 minutes (after eating). This involves a relaxed and peaceful, yet sometimes euphoric state of mind. At high doses, it can cause hallucinations. The effects last from 2 to 4 hours after the drug is ingested, and it usually leaves the user in a relaxed state for several hours after the high.

One of the main intoxicating properties (thc) is supposidely th cause of short term memory is inhibited for the duration of the high. Thoughts may seem unclear, and it might be difficult for a user to concentrate on logical-complicated concepts like mathematics. Long-term effects are “amotivational syndrome” where users are said to withdraw from society and lose ambition. In reviewing evidence for and against the theory of this “syndrome,” however, Marijuana and Health concluded that: “Such symptoms have been known to occur in the absence of marijuana. Even if there is an association between this syndrome and the use of marijuana, that does not prove that marijuana causes the syndrome. Many troubled individuals seek an ‘escape’ into use of drugs; so frequent use of marijuana may become one more in a series of counterproductive behaviors for these unhappy people. kids who used drugs frequently were maladjusted, showing distinct personality syndrome marked by interpersonal alienation, poor impulse control, and manifest emotional distress. Teens who, by age 18, had never experimented with any drug were relatively anxious, emotionally constricted, and lacking in social skills. Conclusion Whether cannabis use causes permanent physical or psychological changes in its users is still under question. The most serious concern is its effects on the pulmonary system, yet, studies have often used poor controls (no filtration). Smoking the drug with a different apparatus or ingesting it without smoking at all could greatly effect the results of these problems. The psychological effects of cannabis that cause its intoxicating properties are no mystery, as any user can tell. Long term effects of cannabis use could possibly lead to the so-called “amotivational syndrome,” (when you become lazy and don t want to do anything).

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