Marijuana is Cannabis. The delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the cannabis plant produces a ‘high’ also known as psychoactive effect. It can be smoked in a joint, can be inhaled either through a vaporizer or bong, mixed in baked goods like cookies or brownies, brewed as a tea, used in tinctures, and topical balms. A more concentrated higher THC content, resinous form of marijuana is called hashish while sticky black liquid is called hashish oil. When smoked or ingested the user exposes to THC, producing high. When smoked in a joint, the user than is exposed to carbon monoxide from the burning of leave as well as the tar which affects the lungs in such a way that it stays behind in lungs. Marijuana smoke is distinctive and pungent, sweet and sour odor. When used in joint the effect can be felt within few minutes reaching the peak between 10-30 minutes. Usually the marijuana short term effect wears off in 2-3 hours.
Mr. Haroon Christy Muniris the Director of Sadaqat Clinic Lahore and also working as Counselor at Willing Ways (pvt) Ltd. He has done Master’s in Business Administration from Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad and afterwards M.Sc Management from Leeds business School, United Kingdom. He is well known for counseling on assertiveness, life strategies, personality development of patients and family therapy. He has positive approach and attitude towards life and is skilled in personal development planning, time management and prioritization.
Editor: Saad Shaheed
Let us now discuss how marijuana affects the brain, when marijuana is smoked, THC in it is absorbed by the lungs and into the bloodstream. This than carries THC into brain which than produces the ‘high’ that the user looks forward to. The affects of Marijuana use on brain includes effecting the pleasure, concentration, memory, sensory, thinking, coordinated movement and time perception. Discussing the long term affects of marijuana use, According to National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), researchers have shown that chronic user faces the effects on the memory and learning which can last for weeks or days whereas a daily smoker can be seen functioning at a suboptimal intellectual level all of the time. Also poor cognitive abilities and poor memory capabilities are long term effects observed in marijuana users.
Studies have shown that marijuana smoke contains 50 – 70% more carcinogenic hydrocarbons as compared to tobacco, thus it is smoked more deeply and stays in lung for a longer time as compared to tobacco smoke. Other than that marijuana user faces the same problems as that of a tobacco user which includes chest pains, cough and higher risk of chest infections. Acute marijuana use has been seen resulting in increased anxiety rates, depression and schizophrenia. Also high intake of marijuana results in an acute psychotic reaction.