Monthly Archives: February 2015

Marijuana Abuse

marijuana habitSome people like to argue that it is impossible to abuse marijuana, however, anyone who has spent considerable time with a real pothead knows this is not the case. Your pothead friend probably spends most of the time you are with them spaced out and disengaged from conversation. They only time they chime in with any kind of attention span is when the conversation is about marijuana. They constantly offer you weed, despite you having already told them no, and would rather eat and play video games or watch movies than do just about anything else.

This behavior can grow tiring to friends and family, and leave them with no doubt in their minds that marijuana can, in fact, be abused. A closer inspection of the ways marijuana is used confirms this. It is entirely possible to use marijuana responsibly and moderate it to a respectable level. This is achieved by carefully constructing a suitable dosage for each individual based on the way that marijuana effects them. However, there are a number of things that can misinform a person about how much marijuana they need to ingest in order to achieve this harmonic balance.

First of all, marijuana has hardly been studied in medical science because of how incriminated it has been for so many years. The incorrect dosages of marijuana that people ingest are partly due to medical opinions on it being absent altogether. Secondly, being objective about the effects marijuana is having on you personally is extremely difficult. While a person is under the influence of marijuana, they are hardly thinking clearly. A person can go years without understanding how marijuana is effecting them on an immediate and on a broad level. And lastly, even when a person is becoming aware that they need to cut back on their marijuana use, their love affair with it may make them incapable of cutting back.

Habit Forming vs Addictive

addictive or habitualOne of the most controversial debates that arises over cannabis is whether it is addictive or merely habit forming. This controversy is more complex than either side of the argument would have people believe. There are those who are in opposition to marijuana use who argue that it is entirely addictive because they have seen their kids or loved ones fall into its clutches and never be the same again. There are those who are in defense of marijuana use who cite medical studies that claim marijuana is the most beneficial drug we can put into our bodies, and that it does not have addictive properties. So which side is correct?

It is true that marijuana can be addictive to some people. Addiction is defined as anything that a person places at an unproportionate level of importance. That makes addiction psychological even when it is not chemical. Therefore, anything that gives pleasure can become addictive to certain people. Addiction is as much in the mind as it is in the chemistry. The underlying cause of addiction comes from inhibited dopamine production. Dopamine is the chemical the brain releases when it is experiencing pleasure. Those who are unable to create it often turn to substances or activities that create it for them. The overarching reason that people use substances and activities excessively is due to their own brain function and is less about the addictive properties of the substance or activity.

Having said that, it is also true that marijuana is not addictive in the same way heroine or alcohol are. Substances like heroine and alcohol have addictive properties that make their users chemically dependent on them. A person who uses substances like this will become chemically tolerant of them and will have to increase their dosage in order to continue feeling their effects. However, taking in large amounts of alcohol or heroine will alter a person’s bodily chemistry to the point of making them physically dependent. Quitting them cold turkey can be extremely dangerous and will result in devastating symptoms. Marijuana has no such effect.

What is Weed Culture

the culture of cannabisCannabis culture has steadily been progressing over the last century. In the present day, tens of millions of people living in North America have used marijuana for a time or use it continuously still. Cannabis culture has an image and it has a philosophy, both of which are neither good nor bad. There are things about cannabis that are worthy of praise and things about it that are worthy of caution.

The image of cannabis culture is all too recognizable. It is generally characterized by Rastafarian colors, reggae music, Bohemian apparel and a generally relaxed vibe along with plenty of snacks. It is also presently associated with public displays that intend to influence mainstream culture and legislation in favor of cannabis freedom. These scenes are often represented by the 4/20 symbol (April 20th is embraced informally as a day to celebrate cannabis) and public figures such as Marc Emery, who served time in a federal United States prison for his cannabis charges, are toted.

What lies beneath the image is a somewhat worshipful regard for marijuana. The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, is a mild hallucinogen that has very particular effects on the brain and body. Its effects can range from bursts of imagination to a calming effect to increased energy to sedated behavior. Like most drugs, prescription or black market, marijuana does not effect everyone in the same way. It has the potential for incredible health benefits in some cases as well as the potential for psychosis and health complications in other cases. There is much about marijuana that still needs to be studied.

Those who use marijuana and derive benefit from it tend to revere it. They want to be under its influence for most life situations. They are frequently telling other people about how enhanced their experiences were because of the influences of marijuana. Some people who routinely use marijuana learn to handle its effects gracefully while others perpetuate the pothead stereotype of lazy and tuned out.