There are numerous so-called party drugs that are popular amongst the youth of today, but interestingly, marijuana is still the most commonly used illegal drug. Marijuana contains the chemical THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the portion of the drug that will bind with the protein receptors found in certain brain cells.
Once this occurs, it will initiate the cellular reactions that give the user a high or euphoric feeling. This is the feeling that is the draw and lure that keeps the user coming back for more, and prevents the person from reasoning how using marijuana can affect the body as well as the mind.
The Effects on the Brain:
As already stated, marijuana interacts, first and foremost, with brain cells, causing the high. So naturally, its usage would have a negative consequence on the brain. The short-term effects include difficulties with memory, distortion of thought and perception, and problems with coordination.
The Effects on the Heart:
Studies have yielded evidence that point to an increased risk for heart attack amongst marijuana users. It can affect the blood pressure, decrease the oxygen carrying capacity within the blood, and increase the heart rate.
The Effects on the Lungs:
Like with any smoker, the marijuana smoker is more susceptible to respiratory colds and illnesses. Similar to the tobacco smoker, marijuana users have nagging coughs, and an increase in phlegm production. Smoking marijuana can irritate and burn the lining of the mouth and throat, causing intense coughing. Studies have also indicated a susceptibility to cancers, especially lung cancer.
The Effects on the Immune System:
Marijuana usage has shown an indication for weakening the users immune system. This impairment to the immune system can make them a portal for frequent illnesses, and diminish their ability to fight them off easily.
The Effects on the Learning and Socialization process:
Again, it is known that marijuana works on and interacts with the brain. Therefore, it can affect the way you learn, process, and retain information. This places the individual far behind on an intelligence level, as compared with someone who does not use the drug. It can hinder academic achievement, and career development, which would eventually trickle down into the ability to socialize and carry out meaningful relationships.
The Effects on Pregnancy:
Most of the effects from marijuana use during pregnancy are seen after the baby is born. Babies born to marijuana users may have an altered response to visual stimulus, increase tremor activity, and higher pitched cries, all of which are indications of neurological and developmental problems. As the child develops, the child may show problems in learning, memory, problem solving, and an inability to remain attentive.
Even with what we know medically, with regards to marijuana use, this easy to obtain illegal drug is still the drug of choice for many.