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Posted on: July 19, 2022
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What is marijuana

Marijuana, also known as cannabis, refers to all of the elements and compounds of the marijuana plant. This includes the dried flowers, seeds, stems, and leaves of the individual cannabis plant.

Marijuana contains more than 100 chemical compounds. These chemical compounds are called cannabinoids. The compound THC can be impairing and mind-altering. CBD does not create a high, but instead has medical uses and can be used for pain relief, insomnia, and other health issues. Marijuana can also be a depressant. Marijuana may require withdrawal when taken over a long period of time. (Surprising Side Effects of Marijuana)

Because of the many possible chemical compounds that are found in marijuana, they can have varying effects on a person. The same marijuana sample can affect different people in different ways because of many factors including:

  • How you consume it (smoke, edible, cream).
  • The size or amount of the dose.
  • Frequency of use.
  • Previous experience with cannabis or other drugs.
  • Amount of THC concentration.
  • Other chemical compounds in the sample you are using.
  • The marijuana strain (it’s a plant).
  • Your biology and DNA.
  • Your gender (effects on men may be different than on women).

What type of drug is marijuana

Marijuana has properties that act as a depressant, hallucinogen, and stimulant depending on how it affects a person. It does not fit precisely into any single one of those categories. Scientists describe the drug as a depressant with hallucinogenic and stimulant qualities.

Cannabis is a unique drug. Heroin is classified as an opioid and cocaine is classified as a stimulant, yet marijuana does not easily correspond to a specific grouping of drugs. Marijuana as a drug can depress, excite and impair the brain and spinal cord as well as the peripheral nervous system, thus making it difficult to classify.

What is Medical Marijuana

Marijuana has good health effects and health risks associated with it - that is, both pros and cons. Medical marijuana can be used as a treatment for health problems. It is the same product as recreational marijuana, but used for medical purposes. Medical marijuana uses the marijuana plant or the chemicals in it to treat diseases or medical conditions and disorders.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved plant-based marijuana as medicine for treating seizures. Medical marijuana is also used to treat nausea in patients with cancer who are having chemotherapy treatment. It can be used to increase appetite in individuals with eating disorders or health problems that require more food intake. These legal products are only available with a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider.

Approximately two-thirds of U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical treatments and more are considering legalizing cannabis for medical use. Health officials feel that more research is needed in order to guide doctors and patients on what is safe and effective when it comes to marijuana use.

Researchers are currently studying whether medical marijuana can help treat a number of conditions including Alzheimer's disease, cancer, Crohn's disease, eating disorders, epilepsy, glaucoma, mental health conditions, PTSD, multiple sclerosis, nausea, pain, seizures, and many other diseases. But other than a few exceptions, nothing has been proven yet. It appears the operational compounds in medical marijuana are similar to chemicals the body makes that are involved in governing appetite, memory, movement, and pain.

Studies suggest that the chemical compounds in medical marijuana may reduce anxiety, reduce inflammation and relieve pain, and control nausea and vomiting caused by cancer Chemotherapy. 

You can use medical marijuana by smoking it, using a vaporizer to turn it into a mist, using it as an edible (brown or chewable), applying it to your skin in a lotion, spray, oil, or cream, or placing a few drops of the liquid under your tongue. It's up to you how you decide to employ it. Each method affects your body differently. Smoking or vaping allows you to feel the effects quickly, while ingestion takes longer to feel the effects.

Is marijuana a depressant

Marijuana is fundamentally viewed as a depressant because it reduces the speed of messages that travel between the human body and brain. It can calm nerves, relax strained muscles and reduce inhibitions. Depressants are frequently prescribed by doctors in the form of sedatives, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines. The central nervous system is depressed by these medicines. Doctors frequently use depressants for people that are experiencing anxiety or sleep problems.

Like traditional depressants mentioned above, marijuana use can result in a person feeling relaxed, dizzy, and sleepy as well as suffering short-term memory loss. Studies of college students who were frequent cannabis users often used marijuana as a coping mechanism for social anxiety and other ailments. Marijuana was found to temporarily reduce anxiety although marijuana use caused other problems that affected their educational achievement. It was found that marijuana use enabled students to procrastinate their work and actually lowered their productivity and academic success.

Marijuana withdrawal

Studies show that the most noticeable symptoms of withdrawal will appear in individuals who use marijuana daily or nearly daily for at least a few months. The symptoms usually develop within one week after the person stops smoking marijuana. Marijuana withdrawal symptoms might include:

  • Feelings of extreme nervousness or anxiety.
  • Feelings of anger, irritability, and/or aggressiveness.
  • Sleep disorders may include insomnia or very troubling dreams and even nightmares.
  •  A decrease in appetite, which may or may not be associated with significant weight loss.
  • Feelings of restlessness and general illness.
  • Sensation and feelings of depression.
  • Physical symptoms that cause substantial distress include abdominal pain, fever, chills, sweating, headache, and/or shakes.

It is important to understand that marijuana is a drug, and while it often produces the effects that one is looking for to control anxiety or provide stimulation, it can also produce unwanted “side” effects including depression. Therefore, one should research the use of medical marijuana or marijuana as a drug, discover the effects of various strains and proceed cautiously as you would with any drug taken to relieve various symptoms.

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