Basic concepts about marijuana
Daily use of 1-3 joints of marijuana seems to carry approximately the same degree of lung damage.
There is plenty of evidence that humans have used weed (marijuana) for enjoyment for thousands of years. Despite this long history, we are only now beginning to understand the complex ways in which the drug affects the body. In particular, one question to which there is no simple answer is:
One of the main determining factors is how regularly you smoke marijuana. If you only smoke it occasionally, the metabolites will remain stored in your cells for about 7-10 days. If you smoke it on a regular basis, it will stay in your system for 30-45 days, depending on the other factors, and if you are a chronic heavy user, it can stay for up to 90 days. These are the periods for which urine tests keep showing positive results after the last cannabis use.
Marijuana, weed, pot, cannabis, or whatever name you prefer to give it, consists of the flowers, stem seeds, and the dried and shredded leaves of the cannabis sativa plant. Unlike alcohol or cocaine, which are simple drug molecules, marijuana contains between 400 and 500 different chemical components, of which 85, called cannabinoids, are unique to marijuana. This complexity is one of the factors that make the question of how long it lasts in the body so difficult to answer.
However, the cannabinoid for which marijuana is best known, and which is responsible for most of the mind-altering effects, is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. The levels of THC in the plant are what determine the potency of the marijuana that is ingested. Typical levels range from 0.3% to 4%, but some specially grown plants can contain levels as high as 25%.
The effect of marijuana on the system also varies according to the way it is ingested. The most common way to ingest it is by smoking it in cigarettes, which carries the THC directly to the lungs, and is the fastest way to get an effect. If the drug is taken orally — for instance by being mixed with food, or brewed in tea — the THC goes first to the stomach, which absorbs it more slowly than the lungs. The drug can also be smoked in a cigar or pipe, and some smokers may use a bong or water pipe, with a long tube ascending from a bowl and trapping smoke when it is inhaled, which increases the amount of THC ingested.
When you smoke marijuana, it enters your bloodstream within minutes, and the short-term effects last for 1-3 hours. With smoking, several times more THC is deposited in the blood than with eating or drinking. If ingested in food or drink, it takes 30-60 minutes to enter the bloodstream, and the short-term effects last for about 4 hours.
When THC enters the system, it attaches immediately to two types of cannabinoid (CB) receptors, CB1 and CB2, in your body cells, and affect these cells. These receptors are long stringy proteins that are woven into the surface of the cells. They process other chemicals as well as THC.
The CB1 receptors are located primarily in the brain, particularly in the areas that control emotions, memory and movement. This helps to explain why cannabis use affects your coordination and balance, and impairs your learning ability and short-term memory. It also, of course, accounts for the euphoria, or high, you get when you smoke pot.
The other receptors, CB2, are found throughout your body, primarily in tissues of the immune system, such as your lymph nodes and spleen. These receptors seem to act as brakes on the function of the immune system. This probably helps to explain why cannabis often has the effect of repressing your immunity to infections.
Cannabis has psychoactive and physiological effects when consumed.
Marijuana use: what is it?
The most immediate effect that you will notice, within a very few minutes of smoking cannabis, is the speeding up of your heart rate, which can be quite dramatic — in fact, for some users, it can increase by as much as 50%. This speeding up only lasts for minutes, and is not dangerous for most people, although it could be a problem for those with high blood pressure or heart disorders. Other immediate effects include the bronchial tubes relaxing and becoming enlarged, and the blood vessels in your eyes expanding, making your eyes look red.
At the same time, as the THC enters the brain, it causes the expected euphoric feeling, through stimulating the release of dopamine. In addition, some of the CB1 receptors are in your hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates appetite. This is why you suddenly feel incredibly hungry — the well-known munchies.
How Long it Stays These initial effects wear off after an hour or two, especially if it has been smoked, but the chemicals remain in your body for much longer. After the THC enters your bloodstream, it is metabolized into inert molecules, called metabolites, which are stored in your fat cells and in major organs like the liver and kidneys. How long they stay there depends on several factors, including your health, your metabolic rate, your weight and your fluid intake, as well as the amount of cannabis you have actually taken in. Long-term Effects Apart from the immediate physical effects of cannabis use, the frequency of use also makes a difference to the long-term effects. Daily use of 1-3 joints of marijuana seems to carry approximately the same degree of lung damage, and potential cancer risk, as smoking 15-20 tobacco cigarettes. Marijuana smokers have many of the same respiratory problems suffered by tobacco smokers, including chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma and emphysema.
Three Phases of Quitting If you decide to stop using marijuana, you should allow at least six weeks to be sure the chemicals have left your system. The process of quitting usually falls into three phases, the first phase probably taking about 12 days after your last joint. During this phase, you could experience sleeping disorders, muscular pain and headaches.
The second phase brings more psychological than physical problems, primarily feelings of anxiety and depression. During this phase the temptation to smoke just a joint or two, to get rid of the bad feelings, will be immense, but the metabolites will still be in your system, and if you smoke even one a day, you will never achieve total elimination. This phase lasts about three weeks, after which you will primarily focus on returning to a drug-free way of living.
If you feel you are dependent on marijuana and want to quit for good, a detox program is your first step — your system has to be clean before any therapy can start. You need a well-thought-out program, both to give you the support you need, and to determine when your system is completely clear. This will set you on the path to being fully in control of your life.
It is known that from prehistoric man knew perfectly knew the analgesic effects of so-called natural drugs. Currently, the amount of drugs that we have is immense. A natural drugs, we have to add thousands of synthetic substances.
They are substances whose fumes are smelled or sniffed. Most are common products used at home or work. People abuse them because they can cause intoxication or excitement effect followed by a feeling of tranquility. They are extremely harmful.
We have natural drugs, eg opium and its derivatives (heroin, codeine and morphine); coca leaf and its derivatives (cocaine and cocaine salts); marijuana or more properly “Indian hemp” of the resin (hashish) is extracted. These are not all natural drugs, but the most relevant.