Marijuana is a green leafy plant that is quite common in society. Marijuana is
socially acceptable in the USA but remains illegal. In 1998 over 71 million
Americans over the age of 12 had used marijuana. Marijuana is broadcasted all
over the television and can be seen represented in some form or fashion when out
in public. Marijuana is promoted by music rap stars in music videos, who also
demonstrate it's use.
As stated, marijuana is a plant. The leaves of the plant are cultivated and dried out. Once dried, the marijuana is compressed and sold. The texture of marijuana at this state is tightly bound "buds". The method of introduction into the body, most commonly, is by smoking the leafy substance. Marijuana is most commonly smoked through hand made rolled cigarettes, known as "joints". Marijuana is also smoked through pipes, bongs, and cigars. Although rare, marijuana can also be introduced into the body orally.
The active drug in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise known as THC. THC is the substance that causes the mind altering affects in the body. Once introduced, THC causes problems with memory and learning, distorts perceptions, causes difficulty with thinking and problem solving, causes loss of coordination, increases heart rate, and can cause anxiety, paranoia, and/or panic attacks. The affects of marijuana can last between one to two hours.
The side affects of quitting marijuana for hard core users are irritability, nervousness, depression, anxiety, and anger. Further effects on user who stop use, are appetite changes, violent outbursts, interrupted sleep, and insomnia. Heavy marijuana use can also cause a psychological dependence to the high sensation one obtains from using the drug. Heavy marijuana use can also lead to all the common long term medical problems associated with cigarette smoking.