Marijuana is an easy drug to fall into. It appears to be a harmless drug, with a culture of men and women who regularly use it. If you smoke marijuana (or eat one of its edible products) you’re immediately part of a culture, lifestyle, and community of people. For all these reasons and more, marijuana can have a sort of lure and appeal to it. It can so easily draw someone in.
However, despite popular thought, marijuana has many dangers to it. Marijuana has been associated with crime, drinking, and addictions to other substances. Furthermore, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) considers marijuana to be a Schedule I drug and has listed it as the fourth most abused drug in the United States behind opiates, nicotine, and alcohol. Marijuana use can cause adrenal weakness, hypoglycemia, fatigue, lethargy, and loss of motivation in life.
Another danger to marijuana is that it will mimic a neurotransmitter and in a way “fool” its receptor. Marijuana will lock onto the receptors and activate the nerve cells. Because marijuana is not the neurotransmitter that was intended for that receptor, the neurons end up sending abnormal messages throughout the brain. Of course, this leads to hallucination, abnormal thoughts, and change in perception.
The main ingredient in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Marijuana comes from the hemp plant which grows wild around the world, and it is often smoked or ingested by eating foods that have marijuana mixed into it. It distributes itself to all organs of the body and is mostly metabolized by the liver. Marijuana stays in the physical system for up to 56 hours.
The following is a list of significant highlights of research that has been done on marijuana.
- Regular cannabis users can develop a dependence syndrome, the risks of which are around 1 in 10 of all cannabis users and 1 in 6 among those who start in adolescence.
- Regular cannabis users double their risks of experiencing psychotic symptoms and disorders, especially if they have a personal or family history of psychotic disorders, and if they start using cannabis in their mid-teens.
- Regular cannabis use that begins in adolescence and continues throughout young adulthood appears to produce intellectual impairment, but the mechanism and reversibility of the impairment is unclear.
- Regular cannabis smokers have a higher risk of developing chronic bronchitis.
- Cannabis smoking by middle aged adults probably increases the risk of myocardial infarction.
In order to free yourself from marijuana, or better, to avoid using it, it might be helpful to understand why some people become dependent upon it. Some people turn to drugs or drinking to help manage their emotions and stress. It’s common to turn to drinking, for example, if you’re feeling depressed, psychotic, unstable, or emotionally at a loss. It’s common for others who had very critical parents to turn to marijuana, a drug that helps ease the internalized self-judgment. In other words, learning how to manage challenging emotions and stress in healthy ways can facilitate avoiding the need to turn to drugs.
When someone turns to drinking or drug use as a means for managing their stress, he or she may later find themselves struggling with addiction. But if you can find another way to manage your stress, such as talking to a therapist or practicing ways to relax, you might be able to avoid drug use. For instance, instead of reaching for marijuana or a beer when feeling angry, you might instead take a moment to recognize your anger and not let it get the best of you. If you are emotionally aware, you might call for help instead.
Also, to avoid falling into the culture and community of marijuana users, it might be helpful to write out the goals you want to achieve in your life. One of the disadvantages of regular cannabis use is the long-term effect it has on your ambition.
Although marijuana use can be easily to fall into, don’t let yourself fall into that trap. Its dangers are greater than the pleasure you might receive from using it.
If you are reading this on any blog other than Transcend Recovery Community or via my RSS Feed, it is stolen content without credit. You can find me on Twitter via @RecoveryRobert Come and visit our blog at http://TranscendRecoveryCommunity.com/blog