Hashish, Marijuana, “Hash Oil
Most people don’t think about marijuana abuse usage…Of all the illegal drugs used in the United States today; none is more common than Marijuana.
It’s widely distributed and there are no socio-economic boundaries. In fact, some studies have shown that some 37 percent of high school students have tried it. Marijuana is easily available, relatively inexpensive, but its perceived benign nature is what makes marijuana dangerous.
The active ingredient is THC
The active “ingredient” in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Looking much like tobacco, the leaves and flowering tops of the Cannabis Sativa plant are dried and smoked, about .5 to 1 mg of material. Commonly, the concentration of THC in a marijuana cigarette (“joint”) is between 10 and 40 milligrams. However there are more potent forms of the drug that may contain as much as 100 mg.
Hashish is made from the concentrated resign of the Cannabis Sativa, and in this more potent form, the level of THC may be between 8 and 12 percent by weight. Hash Oil, a lipid-soluble extract of the plant, may have 25 to 60 percent concentration. This hash oil is sometimes added to marijuana, giving a much more potent THC level.
Smoking is the preferred way of using these drugs, as the THC is absorbed quickly by the lungs and into the blood. THC is metabolized by the liver and converted into 11-hydroxy-THC. Cannabis Sativa can be eaten, such as in marijuana brownies, but the rate of delivery is much slower.
The intoxication from marijuana is similar to alcohol intoxication. The degree of intoxication depends on how much THC is delivered and by what means. The “high” a user experiences is a sense of relaxation and mild euphoria, similar to the effects of moderate alcohol consumption.
Even in states of moderate intoxication, the user loses some motor function, has impaired thinking and reasoning. As the use of the drug continues, the intoxication increases, much like using alcohol. In most cases mild marijuana intoxication produces no harmful long-term effects, but in some cases the THC can trigger serious emotional problems.
THC is a psychoactive compound, and as with other psychoactive compounds, it can produce pre-psychotic and neurotic issues. Chronic use of the drug can increase the risk of psychotic symptoms and can cause marijuana abuse related.
Signs of Marijuana Abuse Trouble
Trouble signs for marijuana abuse usage or those abusing marijuana and other forms of the drug are similar to alcohol abuse and other drug addictions. One might lose interest in their job, social contacts and family.
They begin to focus their life around the drug. Marijuana use may also accompany the use of other drugs, such as alcohol and cocaine, as the user strives for the desired outcome. Regular use of the drug can lead to a tolerance to the psychoactive effects of the THC, and so the user may navigate to stronger compounds and/or additional drugs to get high.
A Smoking Gun; Marijuana Abuse Has Unknown Consequences
Any psychotic disorder is cause for serious concern and people who suffer from these debilitating diseases need the care of qualified professionals and constant monitoring of their lives. The last thing a person with this kind of disease needs is illegal drugs.
A case in point is “Tamara,” a 19-year old college student who was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She was working and going to school and seemed to be managing well, other than some of her friends seemed to think she was under a lot of stress.
When she began having trouble, her father took her to the family doctor, who made a referral to a local behavioral health treatment center. That’s where the official diagnosis came from and the doctors there put her on medications to help with the symptoms.
What is concerning is the fact that doctors and scientists do not necessarily know exactly how drugs such as lithium carbonate work, other than the fact that they are mood stabilizers. The drug may affect certain neurotransmitters that cause mood changes, but “how” the medicine works is not fully understood.
You have anticonvulsants, such as valporate sodium or divslproex that may be used to treat manic episodes. Mood stabilizers and antipsychotics are often used to treat acute manic states, but there is so much that isn’t known about how all of these drugs interact.
Tamara is a heavy marijuana user. What role the marijuana played in causing her condition is not known, but the concern about how the marijuana interacts with her mood stabilizers is cause for concern. There is no direct, observable link right now that connects the effectiveness of her medications and her marijuana use, but recently she reported that she had a “psychotic” episode, after a night of smoking with her friends.
In the 1930’s, it was argued that marijuana should be outlawed because it could cause a type of psychosis. The argument is still advanced today. Reports of psychotic breakdowns after smoking marijuana, although rare, have been reported, but the relationship between the drug and the breakdown is in question.
Studies have indicated that psychotic breakdowns linked to marijuana seem to be self-limiting and only occur in people who already have a history of psychiatric problems.
There are other, milder side effects of marijuana that can cause sometimes frightening results for the user. Marijuana intoxication can cause the panic reaction, which is like having a bad trip. People fear a loss of control and are afraid that things will not return to normal. This doesn’t last long, and having friends around to calm them is helpful.
For Tamara, life is going to be difficult for a while, mainly because she is just beginning to accept the diagnosis of bipolar, but she is far from accepting any need to deal with her heavy marijuana use. How the marijuana interacts with the rest of her medications is cause for concern, but Tamara doesn’t see it that way. She says she doesn’t use alcohol, but her friends do, adding another potential deadly ingredient to a psychotic cocktail.
Marijuana Abuse seems to be no big deal but MANY people struggle with addiction to marijuana and beg for help to be able to stop smoking. Like alcohol pot seems like no big deal but actually causes a lot of misery!
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