What is marijuana?
Marijuana refers to the dried Cannabis plant. It can be smoked, ingested through food and drink, or used in a vaporiser. The Cannabis plant contains the psychoactive chemical THC as well as over 415 other chemicals. The effects of THC in Cannabis can be felt almost immediately and the positive effects only last around 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the dose. The misconception that marijuana is not addictive means less people seek help for their addiction and it can have devastating effects on their lives.
In 2017, cannabis was the second most common drug identified at toxicology for transport accident deaths related to drug-use (excluding alcohol).
If you feel that cannabis is taking over your life, reach out and get help today.
Short-term and long-term effects of marijuana abuse
Between five minutes to one hour after using marijuana, users may experience:
- spontaneous laughing
- increased appetite
- bloodshot eyes
- dry mouth
- memory impairment
- feelings of relaxation.
If an individual continues to use frequently, the long-term side effects may affect:
- social engagement
- mental health.
Long-term users may also experience:
- mood swings
- reduced cognitive function, including short-term memory loss.
Performance at work may severely decrease. Users may start to avoid social gatherings with family or friends and develop social anxiety. They may also experience nausea and loss of appetite when not using. All responsibilities may become less important as dependence on the drug becomes the main priority in their lives.
Marijuana use is associated with a range of health issues, particularly related to heart, respiratory problems, and mental health conditions.
Marijuana smoke is an irritant to the lungs, and frequent smokers can experience many of the same respiratory problems experienced by tobacco smokers, such as:
- daily cough and phlegm production
- frequent acute chest illness
- heightened risk of lung infections
- damage to the immune system
- kills brain cells and damages central nervous system
- fertility issues
- increased heart rate and blood pressure
Above information adapted from: hazeldenbettyford.com
Synthetic marijuana is sold in small packages and is leaves or herbs sprayed or coated with chemicals that produce similar effects to marijuana. These packages are sold in stores around Australia and are often brightly coloured and labelled as potpourri or herbal incense. Although synthetic marijuana may produce many of the same feelings as regular marijuana, there are also additional negative side effects that accompany the synthetic drug:
- fast and irregular heartbeat
- racing thoughts
- agitation, anxiety, and paranoia
- aggressive and violent behaviour
- chest pain
- acute kidney injury
People with mental health conditions or a family history of these conditions should avoid using synthetic cannabis. The drug can intensify the symptoms of anxiety and paranoia (adf.org.au).
How quitting may improve your life
1.Return of your short-term memory: Maybe you’ve answered the phone at work and immediately forgot who had called. Or you could have overlooked important dates loved ones have told you over and over again. Maybe it’s vocabulary you forget that you once knew easily. These may be a thing of the past, and you might feel more clear-headed and focused.
2. Increased energy: All the things you could not find time for or could not find the energy to complete might suddenly become more effortless.
3. Need less sleep: Not feeling tired all the time and needing generous amounts of sleep will improve the quality of your day and give you extra hours in the day that you used to use for sleep..
4. Confidence: Without the need to hide your addiction from your friends, you’ll not need to be constantly worried or paranoid that they will find out.
5. Less anxiety: Marijuana use may increase paranoia and anxiety. Therefore, your anxiety levels on a day-to-day basis may decrease dramatically without using the drug.
6. Happiness: You might find real happiness, not just the result of a drug you are using.
Looking Rehab Support in Melbourne, Victoria?
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, let Seahaven guide you to a place of safety and recovery. Our rehab retreat is a sanctuary from the turmoil of living with alcohol or other drug addiction.
We are here to help.
More information about help for ice addiction and rehab is available on the Department of Health’s website.
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