Marijuana refers to any product containing Cannabis sativa.
Ganja, bhang, hashish, doobies, joints, pot, smoke and weed are some of the names of products that contain cannabis.
Cannabinoids are the type of compound formed by the marijuana plant’s cells. The amount of cannabinoid determines the potency of the herb.
Cannabinoids are fat-soluble compounds that easily pass through the blood-brain-barrier where they can bind with anandamide receptors. Anandamide receptors are also involved in eating and the perception of pleasure.
The activities of botanical compounds are explained by the receptor-ligand binding phenomenon. This theory rests on the fact that specific membrane receptors preferentially bind with specific molecules (called ligands). These membrane receptors are a cell’s on and off switch. They are the 0’s and 1’s of Nature.
The more the brain is exposed to a substance, the more receptors that are formed.
Cannabinoids stimulate DNA to synthesize more receptors, which explains tolerance to the drug.
Marijuana seeds are rich in Vitamins E and K and its leaves high in Vitamin A. Its active material is a ruby-red oil, rich in cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are a group of chemicals that act as ligands and bind to the brain’s receptors initiating g-coupled proteins.
Cannabis activity and potency is based on the concentration of cannabinoids and in particular the amount of delta 1-trans-tetra-hydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in the red oil. The more heat and sun in the environment, the greater the amount of THC synthesized.
Cannabinoids have a physical, chemical, and medical similarity to the fat-soluble vitamins (A, E and K). Marijuana’s ability to help relieve glaucoma may be related to its similarity to the vitamin A, whose connection to eye health is undeniable.
Marijuana is categorized as a mild intoxicant and classified as a Schedule I Drug. A drug with abuse potential and no medicinal value.
It is often thought of as producing a socially acceptable high that helps users relax.
The dangers of marijuana use are far less serious than those posed by alcohol and painkillers.
To deny the obvious and prosecute those who prefer these drugs seems arbitrary and narrow-minded. They surely are less of a threat to America than those who are addicted to food, alcohol and prescription drugs.
Proponents of legalizing marijuana argue that botanical prohibition doesn’t work and point to the substantial beneficial effects that the plant provides to justify its legalization.
Marijuana’s ability to decrease the pressure of fluids within the eye is useful in the treatment of glaucoma. In addition, cannabis inhibits the vomiting reflex and stimulates appetite. Marijuana is thus useful to cancer and AIDS patients who experience nausea and lack of appetite due to the chemotherapy and radiation they receive to combat their illnesses.
Cannabis dilates bronchial and other blood vessels; promoting symptomatic relief for asthma suffers and might also be useful in combating hypertension.
The effects of delta 1-THC is the reult of its binding to the anandamide receptor in the brain to produce its psycho activity. The herb is known for its sedative, euphoric and hallucinogenic activities as well for stimulating appetite and heart rate
There are no known adverse effects of occasional marijuana use with very little cognitive or motor dysfunction.
Marijuana smokers do have an increase in appetite and experience dry mouth.
As a consequence of its psychoactive properties, marijuana users have enhanced visual and auditory sensations and a distortion in their perception of time.
Tolerance, Dependence and Chronic use of Marijuana
Casual and recreational use of marijuana does not cause physical dependence like narcotics, alcohol, barbiturates and nicotine. However, withdrawal symptoms have been observed among individuals who repeatedly are exposed to high, frequent doses.
Tolerance to cannabis is the result of receptor adaptation in the brain. This accounts for frequent users, requiring high quantities to produce less effect, while individuals who are unaccustomed to its effects are much more susceptible to its dream like state with much lower doses.
Chronic, habitual use of marijuana will cause bronchial inflammation. Bronchial inflammation impairs the gaseous exchange in the lungs and is caused by the persistent and repetitive pounding on its epithelial lining. The prolonged inhalation of gas particles and the inflammation that follows is the reason for the damage, not the THC molecule.
The chronic high dose use of Cannabis results in a motivational syndrome, a disorder characterized by apathy, impaired judgment, and loss of interest in appearance. There is also the possibility that chronic use can lower fertility rate and lower sperm counts.
Heavy marijuana use impairs motor coordination and short-term memory.
Teenagers who use marijuana regularly are less motivated to exercise. Since this program is entirely based on exercise, any thing that detracts from exercise can never be recommended
Marijuana is one of earliest of medicinal therapies. Marijuana, for medicinal use in the United States is legal in eleven states and more have legislation pending that will legalize it. At issue is whether, the botanical ingredients of marijuana should be available to people with serious illness or not. The real question is whether or not marijuana use will remain limited when it become legal.
Marijuana is a divisive issue because laws have made it so. Marijuana is illegal under the Controlled Substance Act, which classified it as a Schedule I, substance along with heroin, LSD and morphine, peyote and mescaline. They are all considered drugs with a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. They are differentiated from Schedule II substances by the accepted medical use of the latter not because of the potential for abuse. Both Schedule I and II drugs induce addiction.
These drugs, with the exception of marijuana, produce their psychoactive effects through the activity of nitrogen containing alkaloids. These alkaloids affect the chemistry of nerve endings by mimicking, blocking, or prolonging nerve transmissions.
Proponents of the medicinal use of marijuana and others whose effort to reform the U.S. government’s war on drugs, have pointed to the beneficial effects of smoking marijuana as justification for its legalization. Other marijuana advocates hurt their cause by arguing that certain diseases (epilepsy and multiple sclerosis) can be treated with it.
The placebo effect experienced by patients who believe in the power of marijuana to heal is enough to support its legalization.
In 2012, Colorado and Washington voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Stay tuned!