Type: Research Essays
Sample donated: Manuel Wagner
Last updated: April 17, 2019
Marijuana is a mixture of dried flowers, buds, and assortments of leaves from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. It can be smoked, brewed into tea, or consumed in edibles such as cookies, candies, and brownies. Despite the different ways pot can enter your system, it affects almost every organ, the immune system, and the nervous system. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC, is the compound in marijuana which is responsible for the “high” that most recreational users seek. Different strains and levels of active ingredients makes the users experience unpredictable. ( NIDA, 2017) Effects usually wear off after three or four hours.
The approximate level of THC in cannabis was about 3.74 percent in the 1900s. This number spiked by almost 6 percent in the year 2013.
(NIDA, 2017)Use of marijuana can pilot the user towards development of a marijuana use disorder. Marijuana use disorders are severe, and can later shape into an addition dilemas. Those who start pot in their adolescent years are four to seven times more likely to depend on it. (Likelihood of developing an alcohol and cannabis use disorder during youth, 2008) Data suggests that thirty percent of users have some sort of marijuana use disorder.
Pot use disorders and dependence are closely linked. Users who show withdrawal symptoms when not on the drug are classifies as “dependant” on the drug. (Prevalence of Marijuana Use Disorders in the United States, 2014) a study from the “National Epidemiological Study of Alcohol Use and Related Disorders” shows that adults who smoked marijuana during the first survey were more likely to develop an alcohol use disorder in the next 3 years. Those who already had used marijuana and had an alcohol disorder were at the risk of it heightening. ( NIDA, 2017) A second study by the ” National Institute on Drug Abuse” helps cement the idea of cannabis being a “gateway” drug. “Early exposure to cannabinoids in adolescent rodents decreases the reactivity of brain dopamine reward centers later in adulthood.” (Adolescent exposure to cannabinoids, 2004) This study can help explain the exposure to the possibility of being harmed by misuse of other drugs later in life.
(NIDA, 2017) THC can also prime the brain for intensified responses to other drugs. “A person who smokes marijuana is more than 104 times more likely to use cocaine than a person who never tries.” ( Healthland Times, 2010) “Rats previously administered THC show heightened behavioral response not only when further exposed to THC but also when exposed to other drugs such as morphine—a phenomenon called cross-sensitization.” (NIDA, 2017)Smoked marijuana delivers THC and other cannabinoids to your body. However, it also delivers substances, harmful to your heart and blood vessels, to the users and those close by. Research on rate in 2016 found that ” .
.. secondhand exposure to marijuana smoke effected a measure of blood vessel function as much as secondhand tobacco smoke, and the effects lasted longer.” ( NIDA, 2016) A research study on rats suggests that secondhand marijuana smoke is almost the equivalent “One minute of exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke impaired flow-mediated dilation the extent to which arteries enlarge in response to increased blood flow of the femoral artery that lasted for at least 90 minutes; impairment from 1 minute of second hand tobacco exposure was recovered within 30 minutes.” (NIDA, 2017) ” …
the fact that the majority of cannabis’ potential as a gateway drug comes from its prohibition, which requires those who want cannabis to buy it through the illegal market” (Leafly.com, 2017) The illegal market will never be eradicated. There will always be someone who wants to buy cheaper, or can only buy cheaper. Legalizing marijuana will not solve any problems involving the illicit-ness of pot. “I have no illusions about drugs. One of my childhood friends ..
. pretty much squandered his life by dabbling with marijuana in ninth grade and then moving on to stronger stuff. And yes, there’s some risk that legalization would make such dabbling more common.” (Healthland Times, 2016) If recreational cannabis is legalized, youth will have a higher chance of snagging some. Teens have not mastered their decision-making, and self control until their twenties. (PMC, 2009) Though some say that TCH itself is proven as a medical asset, it is not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration FDA for any medical uses.
There is scant evidence supporting medical marijuana, and not enough studies to prove it harmless. ( American Cancer Society, 2017) The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had pot under the list of Schedule I controlled substances, meaning it cannot legally be prescribed, possessed, or sold under federal law. Legalization of marijuana will lead to no good and must not be carried through at any costs.
Pot is not a harmless substance and it is about time that people stop seeing it as one. There is little to no evidence suggesting that cannabis can be used as a safe, non addictive alternative to other medicines. It is not FDA of DEA approved, further begging the question: why have some states legalized for recreational abuse? “There really is no such thing as medical marijuana..
. The dangers and risks of marijuana use are well-known by the scientific community, even if they are downplayed by corporate interests wishing to get rich off of legalization” (Stuart Gitlow)