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Long and Short Term Effects of Marijuana Use

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What are the actual effects of Marijuana use? You may be surprised at how much you didn't know!

Long and Short Term Effects of Marijuana Use

Marijuana side-effects:

        * Marijuana use increases the heart rate as much as 50 percent, depending on the amount of THC.

        * It can cause chest pain in people who have a poor blood supply to the heart - and it produces these effects more rapidly than Tobacco smoke does.

        * Scientists believe that marijuana can be especially harmful to the lungs because users often inhale the unfiltered smoke deeply and hold it in their lungs as long as possible. Therefore, the smoke is in contact with lung tissues for long periods of time, which irritates the lungs and damages the way they work.

        * Marijuana smoke contains some of the same ingredients in tobacco smoke that can cause emphysema and cancer. In addition, many marijuana users also smoke cigarettes; the combined effects of smoking these two substances creates an increased health risk.

        * "Burnout" is a term first used by marijuana smokers themselves to describe the effect of prolonged use. Young people who smoke marijuana heavily over long periods of time can become dull, slow moving, and inattentive. These "burned-out" users are sometimes so unaware of their surroundings that they do not respond when friends speak to them, and they do not realize they have a problem.

How does marijuana affect your mind?

        * Studies of marijuana's mental effects show that the Drug can impair or reduce short-term memory, alter sense of time, and reduce ability to do things which require concentration, swift reactions, and coordination, such as driving a car or operating machinery.

        * A common bad reaction to marijuana is the "acute panic anxiety reaction." People describe this reaction as an extreme fear of "losing control," which causes panic. The symptoms usually disappear in a few hours.

Long-term marijuana abuse:

Laboratory studies have shown that animals exhibit symptoms of drug Withdrawal after cessation of prolonged marijuana administration. Some human studies have also demonstrated withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, stomach pain, aggression, and anxiety after cessation of oral administration of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), marijuana's principal Psychoactive component. Now, NIDA-supported researchers at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, and Columbia University in New York City have shown that individuals who regularly smoke marijuana experience withdrawal symptoms after they stop smoking the drug.

Studies at Columbia University in New York City have demonstrated that, in addition to aggression, marijuana smokers experience other withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, stomach pain, and increased irritability during Abstinence from the drug. "These results suggest that dependence may be an important consequence of repeated daily exposure to marijuana," says NIDA.

For help with marijuana addiction or dependency:

Call Toll Free: 1-855-REHAB-CENTER or 1-855-734-2223

Source:  National Institute on Drug abuse

Definitions of Terms Used

Abstinence The conscious choice not to use drugs. The term usually refers to the decision to end the use of a drug as part of the process of recovery from addiction. 
Drug Any substance, other than food, that changes the function or structure of the body or mind when ingested. Drugs essentially are poisons. The degree they are taken determines the effect. A small amount acts as a stimulant. A greater amount acts as a sedative. A larger amount acts as a poison and can kill one dead. This is true of any drug. Each has a different amount at which it gives those results. 
Drug abuse The use of illegal drugs or the inappropriate use of legal drugs. The repeated use of drugs to produce pleasure, to alleviate stress, or to alter or avoid reality - or all three. 
Marijuana A psychoactive drug made from the leaves of the cannabis plant. It is usually smoked but can also be eaten. See Cannabis. 
Psychoactive Having a specific effect on the mind. 
THC Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol; the main active ingredient in marijuana, which acts on the brain to produce its effects. 
Tetrahydrocannabinol See THC. 
Tobacco A plant widely cultivated for its leaves, which are used primarily for smoking; the tabacum species is the major source of tobacco products. 
Withdrawal Symptoms that occur after chronic use of a drug is reduced or stopped. 

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