Author: John Carter

What is marijuana? National Institute on Drug Abuse NIDA

cannabis drugs

Long-term adverse effects may include addiction, decreased mental ability in those who started regular use as adolescents,[3] chronic coughing, susceptibility to respiratory infections, and cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. Long-term, heavy use of marijuana (THC) can lead to a condition called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS). In this syndrome, persistent nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain can occur in people who have previously smoked marijuana long-term (six months or more). Dehydration, electrolyte disturbance, and acute kidney failure can occur.

cannabis drugs

Currently, it is legalized, approved for medicinal use, or decriminalized in many states, although it is still fully illegal in eight states. Federally, it remains classified as a Schedule I drug with no recognized medical use and a high potential abuse. Cannabis is more often seen in tea form in cultures outside of the United States. The effects of cannabis when ingested through tea form take longer to come on but last longer than when smoked. It is also considered to be of a higher potency because it lacks inactive organic ingredients that can be found in the leaves, buds, and stems of the cannabis plant.

Rules surrounding recreational use of marijuana vary by state or territory. Check the laws in each area, as differences exist for quantity allowed, plant growing, and retail sales, among other factors. A drug is addicting if it causes compulsive, uncontrollable drug craving, drug seeking, and use, even in the face of negative health and social consequences. Long-term abuse of marijuana may lead to dependence or addiction, known as marijuana use disorder, in some people. Shortly after smoking marijuana the heart rate increases drastically and may remain elevated for up to 3 hours. This effect may be enhanced if other drugs, such as stimulants, are taken with marijuana.

Reports of Deaths Related to Vaping

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.20But researchers haven’t fully explored the effect of secondhand marijuana smoke on humans. 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. Many jurisdictions have lessened the penalties for possession of small quantities of cannabis so that it is punished by confiscation and sometimes a fine, rather than imprisonment, focusing more on those who traffic the drug on the black market.

Various concentrations of THC, cannabidiol (CBD), or hybrid products exist in products found cannabis dispensaries in states that have legalized recreational marijuana use. The FDA has also approved a liquid medication (Epidiolex) containing a purified form of cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical found in marijuana. This drug can be used for the treatment of rare forms of severe childhood epilepsy (Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome). Marijuana is made from the dried leaves and buds of the Cannabis sativa plant.

  1. If it is, consider talking to a doctor or pharmacist beforehand to make sure it won’t interact with any medications or supplements you take.
  2. This concern has become a public safety issue (Nat’l Academies of Science).
  3. This means that the desired effects differ from person to person and from type of cannabis used.

These individuals may have daily cough and phlegm, symptoms of chronic bronchitis, shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing and more frequent chest colds. They are also at greater risk of getting lung infections like pneumonia, as reported by the NIDA. The most common use for medicinal cannabis is the management of chronic pain in efforts to lessen the need for opioids or over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen. Research has found that both THC and CBD can have a direct and positive effect on neuropathic pain, however, evidence to support its efficacy on other types of pain is not conclusive. Hybrid strains are created when farmers want to take the best of both plants to encourage the growth of a superior plant.

Marijuana: Effects, Medical Uses and Legalization

Negative side effects can be magnified in older people or younger people, novice users, and those who use high-strength THC products. Marijuana is by far the most commonly abused or used substance in the U.S. Close to 18% of people (49 million) age 12 and older reported using marijuana in 2020. Not surprisingly, the numbers are particularly high within younger age groups.

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 is mostly used recreationally or as a medicinal drug, although it may also be used for spiritual purposes. In 2013, between 128 and 232 million people used cannabis (2.7% to 4.9% of the global population between the ages of 15 and 65). It is the most commonly used largely-illegal drug in the world, with the highest use among adults in Zambia, the United States, Canada, and Nigeria.

Patients can have a lengthy withdrawal and symptoms that can continue for months after stopping marijuana use. Most reports do not show an association between marijuana use and preterm birth. However, as noted by ACOG, studies have suggested the use of marijuana with tobacco may increase the risk for preterm delivery.

Which states allow recreational use of marijuana?

CHS is considered a paradoxical effect, because use of cannabinoids typically decrease nausea and vomiting. However, marijuana use can cause cognitive impairment and should be used with caution if you have a mental health condition. In many places marijuana use is considered illegal for any purpose. Research suggests that roughly 9% of users become addicted to marijuana, with higher rates if the user starts at a young age (17%) and in those who use marijuana daily (25% to 50%). While not everyone who uses marijuana becomes addicted, when a user begins to seek out and take the drug compulsively, that person is said to be dependent or addicted to the drug.

Cannabis: Uses, Effects and Safety

Since cannabis can provide a level of intoxication, many Americans have used it as a recreational drug. Over 94 million Americans have admitted to using cannabis as a recreational drug at least once in their lifetimes, with 11.8 million young adults admitting to using in 2018 alone. Hemp seeds are rich in protein, magnesium, and fiber and are often sold as a health food. They can be added to smoothies and salads, or transformed into a dairy-free milk alternative. Hemp can also be used to create an oil substance that is used to make different types of paints and varnishes, or soaps and cooking oil. People who start using cannabis in their teens may also have a higher risk for mental health issues later in life, including schizophrenia.

Marijuana use may have a wide range of effects, both physical and mental. In robust Phase 3 studies with 516 patients with either seizure type, Epidiolex, taken along with other medications, was shown to be effective in reducing the seizure frequency when compared with placebo. Compounds which have a structure similar to THC are known as cannabinoids. You’ll soon start receiving the latest Mayo Clinic health information you requested in your inbox. Sign up for free and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips, current health topics, and expertise on managing health.

The cannabis plant that can be used to create hemp is generally slender with small flowers and spike-like clusters. The fibers are taken from the plant following an extensive process. Cannabis plants have many different uses depending on the species, extraction method, dosing form, and amount. Each part of the plant has a different level of chemical compounds making it versatile for use across a wide variety of mediums. The uses of cannabis are also highly dependent on the extraction process. In America, the plant was grown by colonists in the 1500s for use in creating textiles and rope, with the seeds being consumed as food.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), marijuana is the most abused drug in the U.S. Perhaps the most popular form used, the buds and leaves of the Cannabis plant can be dried. The buds, leaves, and stems contain the active chemicals that lead to feelings of pain relief or intoxication, and thus, many people opt for this form of cannabis for both recreational and medicinal uses. The way cannabis affects people will vary widely, so no one person can tell how the level of intoxication will affect them. Research has shown that up to 30% of people who use cannabis recreationally develop an addiction or dependence on the substance due to the brain adapting to having it in the system.