Marijuana is the most widely abused drug in the U.S. today. Like many other boroughs and cities in New Jersey, marijuana dependence is at epidemic proportions in New Milford. The prevalent use and recent legalization of this drug in some states undermine the fact that marijuana dependence is possible. Despite the fact that many people question the concept of addiction to marijuana, clinical studies indicate that marijuana dependence does exists and can cause harm. Although the severity of symptoms are not as extreme as other drugs, in most clinical trials, the occurrence of marijuana dependence is similar to dependence on other highly addictive substances.
Of particular concern, is the exposure and use of marijuana for many children before their teen age years. Parents who smoke marijuana in their homes expose children to the effects of second smoke from this drug. Another area of concern, is that the marijuana plants being cultivated today are engineered to create a much more potent drug than a decade or two ago. As such, the potential for dependence is increased through habitual consumption of these potent strains.
What is Marijuana?
The botanical name for Marijuana is Cannabis Sativa. It is a subspecies of the Hemp plant that contains an active ingredient known as Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid (THCA). Studies show that cultivation, domestication and innovative growing techniques have increased the THCA potency and production ability within the plant. THC is a compound found in cannabis that causes addiction to the drug. When ingested through smoking, THC is stored in the fat cells of the body and slowly released.
Depending on which country, culture, city or community you happen to be, there is a chance that you will hear marijuana being called by a different name in each place. To name a few, marijuana is also called weed, reefer, ganga, hash, Mary Jane, grass, pot, sensimilla and bud.
Effects of Marijuana Abuse
Whether you are using marijuana, heroin or prescription painkillers, the one constant in all mind altering chemical substances is its potential to cause addiction. While the effects of marijuana addiction may be less intense than other illicit drugs, it still has the potential to cause addiction. The overall effects when marijuana is abused varies widely for each individual. Effects may be mild or powerful based on the pattern of use and the potency of the drug. Much like other drugs, marijuana has both short term and long term effects that can be hazardous or detrimental to one’s health. Some of these negative effects includes:
- Rapid elevation in heart rate; up to a 100% immediately after smoking marijuana.
- Exposure to Carcinogens is reportedly 50% — 70% higher from marijuana than from smoking cigarettes.
- Potential for inflammation of the respiratory track,
- Deformity in sperm cells