What you need to know about Cannabis
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23rd November 2020

What you need to know about Cannabis

Clara Gibson
Marijuana is a widely used drug that has mood-changing implications which impact nearly each body organ. This drug comes in various forms like dried leaves, seeds, and stems. Humans have used cannabis for many years for recreational purposes, medical care, seed oil and fiber (hemp). Some studies have shown that cannabis components (such as CBD) can be used to ease pain, nausea, anxiety and other illnesses. However, most people have health-related fears about substance use particularly cannabis.

Besides the CBD component in cannabis, it also has tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the main component in cannabis that alters the mind. THC works on certain receptors in the brain, causing insomnia, anxiety, loss of memory and interference with normal cognitive ability. The substance is known to induce appetite (also known as munchies) and causes a calming state, and other influences on the ability to smell, see and hear. THC may also trigger fatigue but in some people, it reduces anger.

Effects of Cannabis

Cannabis has more than 100 cannabinoids whose health effects are not known, but the most powerful substance is THC. When you smoke cannabis, the THC substance is absorbed into the blood and it goes to the brain. Your body processes THC gradually, slowing the start of its action by over one hour, and extending the period of its effect. Research has shown that THC influences areas of the brain which regulate attention and memory creation.

THC also disturbs other brain parts, negatively affecting the user's posture, stability, response time, and coordination of the body. It is therefore advisable not to drive a vehicle, handle a machine, or involve yourself in a risky activity after smoking cannabis. The substance also induces brain receptors, which fast tracks the discharge of dopamine that is linked to "high" feelings. Cannabis also gives rise to shifts in consciousness; colors can appear sharper, songs more intense, and you can have deep feelings. Traces of THC may be observed in an individual's urine several weeks after using cannabis-based on the amount used and duration of use.

> Psychosis: Studies on siblings have

Risks of Marijuana

Here are a few examples of the negative effects of using cannabis.

> Impaired judgment: some studies have shown that driving a car within three hours of smoking cannabis can cause a car crash.

>Reproductive issues: analysis of animal experiments shows that the use of marijuana may cause sexual impairment.

> Psychosis: Studies on siblings have shown that prolonged use of cannabis may raise the risk of experiencing psychosis in teenagers.

What you need to know about Cannabis

>Reduced brain function: frequent marijuana users who began smoking before age 15 do not perform well in a cognitive test compared with those who started using it later in life.

> Memory loss: smokers of powerful strains of cannabis such as skunk have an increased risk of severe loss of memory.

Legality of Cannabis

Marijuana and related substances like CBD are allowed in some countries and some US states but others have criminalized it. Therefore, before you buy cannabis or its components, be sure to first check your local laws.

Cannabis and its associated components have numerous benefits and risks. Scientists are still exploring other possible benefits of cannabis especially in treating various illnesses. Medical conditions that are being investigated by researchers include depression, anxiety, stress, mental illnesses, and drug use disorders.

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