What is it?
Marijuana is the mind-altering substance produced from a plant with the scientific name Cannabis Sativa. The drug is used because its primary active chemical, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which may induce relaxation and heighten the senses.
Pot, Weed, Grass,420, Acapulco Gold, Buddha, Cheeba, Dope, Herb, Hydro, Locoweed, Mary Jane, Shake, Skunk, Wacky Tobacky
- Marijuana is addictive.
- More teens are in treatment with a primary diagnosis of marijuana dependence than for all other illicit drugs combined.
- Young people who use marijuana weekly have double the risk of depression later in life.
- Heavy marijuana users are more likely than non-users to be diagnosed with schizophrenia later in life. A recent study found that people who had used marijuana more than 50 times before the age of 18, had a three fold increased risk of developing schizophrenia later in life.
- Marijuana can cause increased heart rate and make some users extremely anxious or paranoid.
- Heavy marijuana use impairs young people's ability to concentrate and retain information.
- The short-term effects of marijuana can include problems with memory and learning.
Effects of Marijuana
Side Effects: Even at lower doses marijuana impairs attention and coordination and affects the way the mind processes information. These effects of marijuana use have contributed to automobile, household, and occupational accidents, resulting in harm to the user and to others. High doses of marijuana may result in image distortion, loss of personal identity, and hallucinations.
Short Term Effects: The abuse of marijuana also can cause serious physical and mental problems including frequent respiratory infections, impaired memory and learning ability, increased heart rate, anxiety, and panic attacks. Individuals who regularly abuse the drug may experience the same problems as tobacco smokers including cough, phlegm, chronic bronchitis, and frequent chest colds.
Long Term Effects: In addition, because marijuana contains toxins and carcinogens marijuana smokers increase their risk of cancer of the head, neck, lungs, and respiratory tract.
Scope of Drug
Data reported in the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse indicate that 37 percent of U.S. residents ages 12 and older used marijuana at least once in their lifetime. The survey also revealed that a significant percentage of teenagers and young adults use marijuana--20 percent of individuals ages 12 to 17 and 50 percent of individuals ages 18 to 25 used the drug at least once.
Marijuana use among high school students is a particular problem. Nearly half (48%) of high school seniors in the United States used the drug at least once in their lifetime, and 22 percent used the drug in the past month, according to the University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future Survey.