By Mohammed Aliu
Marijuana is usually rolled up in a cigarette called a joint or a nail. It can also be brewed as a tea or mixed with food, or smoked through a water pipe called a bong.
According to United Nations Office on Drugs And Crimes data for the year 2007, the estimated lifetime consumption of cannabis among the population is 10.8%, kids who frequently use marijuana are almost four times more likely to act violently or damage property. They are five times more likely to steal than
those who do not use the drug.
Marijuana is often more potent today than it used to be. Growing techniques and selective use of seeds have produced a more powerful drug. As a result, there has been a sharp increase in the number of marijuana-related emergency room visits by young smokers.
Because a tolerance builds up, marijuana can lead users to consume stronger drugs to achieve the same high. When the effects start to wear off, the person may turn to more potent drugs to rid himself of the unwanted conditions that prompted him to take marijuana in the first place. Marijuana itself does not lead the person to the other drugs: people take drugs to get rid of unwanted situations or feelings. The drug (marijuana) masks the problem for a time (while the user is high). When the “high” fades, the problem, unwanted condition or situation returns more intensely than before. The user may then turn to stronger drugs since marijuana no longer “works.”
Loss of coordination and distortions in the sense of time, vision and hearing, sleepiness, reddening of the eyes, increased appetite and relaxed muscles. Heart rate can speed up. In fact, in the first hour of smoking marijuana, a user’s risk of a heart attack could increase fivefold. School performance is reduced through impaired memory and lessened ability to solve problems.
Long-term use can cause psychotic symptoms. It can also damage the lungs and the heart, worsen the symptoms of bronchitis and cause coughing and wheezing. It may reduce the body’s ability to fight lung infections and illness.
Weed, ganja, pot, skunk, hashish, Mary Jane, grass, hemp.
Marijuana contains more than 400 known chemicals, including the same cancer-causing substances found in tobacco smoke. Unlike cigarette smokers, marijuana smokers tend to inhale deeply and hold the smoke as long as possible to increase the effect of the drug, worsening the damage to the lungs.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), a chemical found in cannabis stays in the body for weeks, possibly months, depending on the length and intensity of usage.
THC damages the immune system making the users prone to a wide range of diseases.
Users, however, need to be aware that the chemicals in marijuana, some of them cancer-causing, remain in the body long after the drug is taken.