Marijuana is Bad
"Cannabis, also known as marijuana (sometimes spelled "marihuana") among
many other names, refers to any preparations of the Cannabis plant
intended for use as a psychoactive drug. The word marijuana comes from the Mexican
Spanish marihuana. According to the United Nations, marijuana is the most widely
used illicit substance in the world."
Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main active chemical found
in marijuana. It binds to specific sites throughout the brain, called
cannabinoid receptors. The cortex has a high concentration of cannabinoid
receptors, especially in areas responsible for sensory perception
(touch, sight, hearing, taste, and smell). The brain has these receptors
because there are naturally occurring neurotransmitters in the brain called
endocannabinoids that are similar to THC that play a role in numerous
physiological processes including appetite, memory, and pain.
Marijuana activates cannabinoid receptors leading to altered sensory
experiences that users feel while under the influence. The person may
experience heightened or dulled sensations (e.g., visual, auditory) or
dramatic, and sometimes frightening, emotions. The user may also exhibit
slowed reflexes. Marijuana also affects the prefrontal cortex by changing
the normal patterns of blood flow and impairing decision-making abilities.
This can lead users to engage in risky behaviors they wouldn’t ordinarily do.
Also, malfunctions in the prefrontal cortex are believed to contribute to
schizophrenia. This could explain why some people who use marijuana may have
increased risk of schizophrenia later in life.
The short-term effects include:
*Dulled preception of sight, sound, etc.
*Excess memory loss, trouble learning.
*Loss of coordination.
*Thought and problem-solving is impaired.
*Heart beat increased, reduced blood pressure.
The Long-term effects include:
*Occasionally cough, increased phlegm.
*Increased chance of acute chest illnesses.
*Increased risk of lung infections
THC acts upon specific sites in the brain, called cannabinoid receptors,
kicking off a series of cellular reactions that ultimately lead to the
"high" that users experience when they smoke marijuana. Some brain areas
have many cannabinoid receptors; others have few or none. The highest
density of cannabinoid receptors are found in parts of the brain that
influence pleasure, memory, thinking, concentrating, sensory and time
perception, and coordinated movement.