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Marijuana

What is Marijuana:  Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa.  The plant contains the mind-altering chemical delta-9-tetrahydocannabinol (THC)and other related compounds.  Extracts with high amounts of THC can also be made from the cannabis plant.

marijuanna

Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the US and in Ohio.  According to the 2014 National Survey of Drug Use and Health:

  • Marijuana use in the past month increased from 6.2% in 2002 to 8.4% (approximately 22.2 million people) in 2014 among people aged 12 or older.  The average of past month users aged 12 or older in Ohio of 11.6% was higher than the national average.
  • Marijuana use was most prevalent among people aged 18 to 25 (with 19.6% using it in the past month).  The percentage of Ohio users in this age group was 30.6% for use in the past month.
  • 7.4% of people aged 12 to 17 reported marijuana use in the past month.  Again, youth using marijuana in the past month (11.1%) as higher than the national average.
  • The most concerning statistic is the increasing number of individuals who see no perceived risk in using marijuana.  Xxx need information here.

Marijuana is ingested in a variety of ways.  It can be smoked, vaped, mixed in food (edibles), or brewed in a tea.  A newly popular method of use is smoking or eating THC-rich resins called extracts.  These extracts can deliver extremely large amounts of THC to suers, and their use has sent some people to the emergency room.

Effects of Marijuana Use:  Marijuana has both short term and long term effects on the brain.

Short-term effects are usually felt from 30 minutes to an hour after the THC reaches the persons’ brain.  Marijuana over-activates brain receptors causing the “high” that people feel.  Other effects include altered senses, altered sense of time, changes in mood, impaired body movement, difficulty thinking or problem-solving and impaired memory.

Long term use may have a wide range of effects, both physical and mental, which include breathing illnesses, possible harm to a fetus’s brain in pregnant users, hallucinations and paranoia, and can be addictive.

Long term marijuana users trying to quit report withdrawal symptoms that make quitting difficult.  These include: grouchiness, sleeplessness, decreased appetite, anxiety, and cravings.

The health impacts of marijuana are currently the subject of significant public debate.  While past data has suggested links to substance use disorders, mood disorders, anxiety, and other psychiatric disorders, the only association of marijuana that remains statistically significant across all analysis was with substance use disorders including alcohol, nicotine dependence, cannabis dependence and other drug use disorders.