People can mix marijuana in food edibles , such as brownies, cookies, or candy, or brew it as a tea. A newly popular method of use is smoking or eating different forms of THC-rich resins see " Marijuana Extracts ". These extracts can deliver extremely large amounts of THC to the body, and their use has sent some people to the emergency room. Another danger is in preparing these extracts, which usually involves butane lighter fluid. A number of people have caused fires and explosions and have been seriously burned from using butane to make extracts at home. Marijuana has both short-and long-term effects on the brain.
When a person smokes marijuana, THC quickly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream. The blood carries the chemical to the brain and other organs throughout the body. The body absorbs THC more slowly when the person eats or drinks it. In that case, they generally feel the effects after 30 minutes to 1 hour. These natural chemicals play a role in normal brain development and function.
Marijuana overactivates parts of the brain that contain the highest number of these receptors.
This causes the "high" that people feel. Other effects include:.
Long-Term Effects Marijuana also affects brain development. When people begin using marijuana as teenagers, the drug may impair thinking, memory, and learning functions and affect how the brain builds connections between the areas necessary for these functions. Researchers are still studying how long marijuana's effects last and whether some changes may be permanent.
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For example, a study from New Zealand conducted in part by researchers at Duke University showed that people who started smoking marijuana heavily in their teens and had an ongoing marijuana use disorder lost an average of 8 IQ points between ages 13 and The lost mental abilities didn't fully return in those who quit marijuana as adults. Those who started smoking marijuana as adults didn't show notable IQ declines.
This suggests that the IQ decline in marijuana users may be caused by something other than marijuana, such as shared familial factors e. The amount of THC in marijuana has been increasing steadily over the past few decades. Higher THC levels may explain the rise in emergency room visits involving marijuana use. The popularity of edibles also increases the chance of harmful reactions.
Edibles take longer to digest and produce a high. Therefore, people may consume more to feel the effects faster, leading to dangerous results. Higher THC levels may also mean a greater risk for addiction if people are regularly exposing themselves to high doses. Marijuana use has also been linked to other mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts among teens.
However, study findings have been mixed. While it's possible to fail a drug test after inhaling secondhand marijuana smoke, it's unlikely. Studies show that very little THC is released in the air when a person exhales. Research findings suggest that, unless people are in an enclosed room, breathing in lots of smoke for hours at close range, they aren't likely to fail a drug test.
Similarly, it's unlikely that secondhand marijuana smoke would give nonsmoking people in a confined space a high from passive exposure. Studies have shown that people who don't use marijuana report only mild effects of the drug from a nearby smoker, under extreme conditions breathing in lots of marijuana smoke for hours in an enclosed room.
More research is needed to know if secondhand marijuana smoke has similar health risks as secondhand tobacco smoke. A recent study on rats suggests that secondhand marijuana smoke can do as much damage to the heart and blood vessels as secondhand tobacco smoke. What they do know is that the toxins and tar found in marijuana smoke could affect vulnerable people, such as children or people with asthma. Compared to those who don't use marijuana, those who frequently use large amounts report the following:. People also report less academic and career success. For example, marijuana use is linked to a higher likelihood of dropping out of school.
Use of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana are likely to come before use of other drugs. For example, when rodents are repeatedly exposed to THC when they're young, they later show an enhanced response to other addictive substances—such as morphine or nicotine—in the areas of the brain that control reward, and they're more likely to show addiction-like behaviors.
Read more about marijuana as a gateway drug in our Marijuana Research Report. An overdose occurs when a person uses enough of the drug to produce life-threatening symptoms or death. There are no reports of teens or adults dying from marijuana alone. However, some people who use marijuana can feel some very uncomfortable side effects, especially when using marijuana products with high THC levels. People have reported symptoms such as anxiety and paranoia, and in rare cases, an extreme psychotic reaction which can include delusions and hallucinations that can lead them to seek treatment in an emergency room.
Cannabis abuse disorder in the DSM-V involves a combination of DSM-IV criteria for cannabis abuse and dependence, plus the addition of craving, minus the criterion related to legal troubles.
THC, the principal psychoactive constituent of the cannabis plant, has low toxicity. Cannabis has not been reported to cause fatal overdose in humans. The high lipid-solubility of cannabinoids results in their persisting in the body for long periods of time.
Not until the end of the 20th century was the specific mechanism of action of THC at the neuronal level studied. These actions can be blocked by the selective CB 1 receptor antagonist rimonabant SR , which has been shown in clinical trials to be an effective treatment for smoking cessation , weight loss , and as a means of controlling or reducing metabolic syndrome risk factors.
Medical Marijuana: Your Questions Answered and What We Know Today
Via CB 1 receptor activation, THC indirectly increases dopamine release and produces psychotropic effects. THC and its major inactive metabolite, THC-COOH, can be measured in blood, urine, hair, oral fluid or sweat using chromatographic techniques as part of a drug use testing program or a forensic investigation of a traffic or other criminal offense.
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These tests cannot, however, distinguish authorized cannabis smoking for medical purposes from unauthorized recreational smoking. The Duquenois—Levine test is commonly used as a screening test in the field, but it cannot definitively confirm the presence of cannabis, as a large range of substances have been shown to give false positives. A review found that the THC content in marijuana had increased worldwide from to It is likely that the higher THC content allows people to ingest less tar. At the same time, CBD levels in seized samples have lowered, in part because of the desire to produce higher THC levels and because more illegal growers cultivate indoors using artificial lights.
This helps avoid detection but reduces the CBD production of the plant. The stalks and seeds have "much lower THC levels". After revisions to cannabis scheduling in the UK, the government moved cannabis back from a class C to a class B drug. A purported reason was the appearance of high potency cannabis. Marijuana or marihuana herbal cannabis ,  consists of the dried flowers and fruits and subtending leaves and stems of the female Cannabis plant. Although herbal cannabis and industrial hemp derive from the same species and contain the psychoactive component THC , they are distinct strains with unique biochemical compositions and uses.
Hemp has lower concentrations of THC and higher concentrations of CBD, which decreases the psychoactive effects  . Kief is a powder, rich in trichomes ,  which can be sifted from the leaves, flowers and fruits of cannabis plants and either consumed in powder form or compressed to produce cakes of hashish. Hashish also spelled hasheesh, hashisha, or simply hash is a concentrated resin cake or ball produced from pressed kief, the detached trichomes and fine material that falls off cannabis fruits, flowers and leaves. It varies in color from black to golden brown depending upon purity and variety of cultivar it was obtained from.
Cannabinoids can be extracted from cannabis plant matter using high- proof spirits often grain alcohol to create a tincture , often referred to as "green dragon".
Hash oil is a resinous matrix of cannabinoids obtained from the Cannabis plant by solvent extraction ,  formed into a hardened or viscous mass. There are many varieties of cannabis infusions owing to the variety of non-volatile solvents used. Examples of solvents used in this process are cocoa butter, dairy butter, cooking oil, glycerine , and skin moisturizers. Depending on the solvent, these may be used in cannabis foods or applied topically.
Medical marijuana refers to the use of the Cannabis plant as a physician-recommended herbal therapy as well as synthetic  THC and cannabinoids. So far, the medical use of cannabis is legal only in a limited number of territories, including Canada,  Belgium , Australia, the Netherlands , Spain, and many U. This usage generally requires a prescription, and distribution is usually done within a framework defined by local laws. There is evidence supporting the use of cannabis or its derivatives in the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, neuropathic pain, and multiple sclerosis.
Lower levels of evidence support its use for AIDS wasting syndrome, epilepsy, rheumatoid arthritis, and glaucoma. Cannabis is indigenous to Central Asia  and the Indian subcontinent,  and its uses for fabric and rope dates back to the Neolithic age in China and Japan. This is based on the discovery of a basin containing cannabis in a shrine of the second millennium BC in Turkmenistan. Cannabis was known to the ancient Assyrians , who discovered its psychoactive properties through the Iranians.
Cannabis has an ancient history of ritual use and is found in pharmacological cults around the world. The earliest evidence of cannabis smoking has been found in the 2,year-old tombs of Jirzankal Cemetery in the Pamir Mountains in Western China, where cannabis residue were found in burners with charred pebbles possibly used during funeral rituals.
AD were found to have traces of cannabis.