Marijuana Awareness: Breaking Cannabis Down

Marijuana is the subject of a passionate and long-standing debate, with many false or exaggerated claims made by individuals on both sides. Whether you’re pro or anti, an understanding of the facts is essential.

In light of February being Marijuana Awareness Month and ongoing legalization efforts, we have compiled a series of points to help promote healthy discussion and education surrounding this controversial topic.

Increase your knowledge of alternate and street names for marijuana:

  • Alternate Names For Marijuana

    Dope
    Cannabis
    Ganja
    Grass
    Herb
    Bud
    Mary Jane
    Pot
    Reefer
    Skunk
    Tea
    Loud
    Marijuana is a brown and green mix of leaves, seeds, stems and dried flowers from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. The drug’s main active chemical is THC, which quickly reaches the brain and other organs via bloodstream.

How THC Affects The Brain
THC affects specific areas of the brain, called cannabinoid receptors. Ordinarily, cannabinoid receptors are activated by chemicals native to the neural communication system, that are semi-responsible for brain function and development. Use of marijuana over activates this system, resulting in memory difficulties, impaired coordination and difficulty with problem solving and basic thought processes.

Is Marijuana Addictive?
Contrary to popular belief, marijuana can be addictive; affecting the brain’s reward centers in ways similar to those found with more “serious” substances. When use escalates to a daily affair, addiction treatment may be needed to help kick the habit.

Health Effects Of Marijuana
In addition to potential effects on mental health and cognitive development, marijuana smoke can irritate the lungs of its users. Cannabis smokers have been found to develop many of the same respiratory issues as tobacco smokers, including daily phlegm production and cough, increased risk of chest infection, and more frequent acute chest illness.

Is marijuana worthy of demonization? Many would argue not. However, the potential issues associated with long-term usage should have many thinking twice before lighting up.

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