The Effects of Marijuana

Marijuana is a mood altering or psychoactive
drug that has many nicknames, such as pot, weed, ganja, sensi, herb, and
others. It is an ancient drug that dates back to hundreds of years to
Asia. Many cultures have used it during meditation, religious worship,
and for intoxication. Marijuana itself comes from the Indian Hemp plant.
It is the third most widely used drug in the United States, according to
a survey taken in 1988, and it is the number one illegally used drug in
the United States. Marijuana is so popular that an estimated one out of
every three people in the US have tried it and around 44% of US high
school students have smoked it. Marijuana users are not easily
detectable, nor is the drug just used in one area of society. The Indian
Hemp plant is found all over the world, including the US. There are
three different types of Indian Hemp. They are Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis
Indica, and Cannabis Rudderalis. These three plants vary in size and
mood altering effect. The hemp plant has many uses and has been farmed
for centuries. Marijuana can be taken in three ways, by eating, made
into a tea, or smoking (the most popular). Smoking it can be done three
ways, through a pipe, a joint, blunt. A joint is a rolled piece of paper
that is twisted at the ends. A blunt is normally an emptied cigar
wrapper filled with marijuana. In a blunt you can fit much more
marijuana. Though a blunt isn\'t always purely marijuana, it can be mixed
with other drugs such as angel dust. The results are varied when someone
smokes marijuana. Different people will get different results, and
certain types of cannabis can cause different effects. The amount of THC
(marijuana\'s main active chemical) may also change the result. If
alcohol, or other drug use is occurring while smoking marijuana, the
effect could be different. A first time marijuana smoker will probably
feel no effect. A chronic or heavy user will get a high (intoxication).
When a person is high, normal sights, sounds, tastes, or events can seem
very funny or interesting. When intoxicated, time seems to pass a lot
slower. To the user, minutes will seem like hours. The intoxicated
person may get very thirsty or hungry, a common effect called, " the
munchies." A few minutes after the person inhales they will probably get
a dry mouth, rapid heartbeat, decreased reaction time, and also a loss
of coordination. The blood vessels in the user\'s eyes will probably
enlarge, giving the person a Page: 2 blood shot appearance. Within 2 to
3 hours the effects will die down and the person will feel sleepy. How
is marijuana harmful? There are many ways that marijuana can harm the
body, both the immediate effect and long term effects. It often disables
the users short-term memory and may cause trouble with challenging
tasks. Even very simple tasks can become a struggle for someone who is
high. A student that is under the influence of marijuana may find it
hard to learn or concentrate. A persons timing and coordination are
normally delayed by marijuana. As a result the person will be very
confused and useless. The effect marijuana can have on the brain and
central nervous system are very serious. Smoking marijuana will reduce
the strength and speed of communications between the mind and body. This
occurs in the brain and muscles, causing the user to not be as focused.
Short- term marijuana use leads to a drowsiness and relaxing effect.
This is why marijuana users have trouble remembering things. A heavy
dose of marijuana can decrease the amount of blood pumped into the
brain. Marijuana effects the brain\'s control over muscles also. Heavy
usage of Page: 3 marijuana can have a lasting effect on the users
short-term memory. The blood flow to the back of the brain is greater
than the front, after smoking. This is believed to cause the high sensat
ion the user is after. The short-term effect of marijuana will increase
blood pressure and pulse rate up to 16 points above normal. It will also
slow down the digestive processing of food. People who smoke marijuana
often will have a below normal pulse rate