Written by Rolando A Hyman MA, CCC, CT
Marijuana is now legalized does it make it less harmful to our bodies?
The use of marijuana is the most abused drug when compared to other illicit substances in the United States (Hanson et al., 2018). The components of the marijuana that is called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), will target the cannabinoid receptors in the human brain. Because these receptors are responsible for functions related to pleasure, memory, cognitive functioning, concentration, coordination, and sensory space and time perceptions it can cause individuals to lose contact with reality, which results in strange behaviors (Hanson et al., 2018).
Research evidence remarked that marijuana use will produce a hallucinogenic effect. The effect is not as potent as what is caused by other drugs with similar characteristics like LSD, PCP, or mescaline, however, it sends wrong signals of emotions and sensory understandings in desirable or dysphoric ways (Hallucinogenic.com n. d.: National Institute of Health [NIH] 2016 as cited in Hanson et al., 2018).
One sign that is noted by researchers about the physiological effects of marijuana alludes to its impact on the lungs. It is postulated that when marijuana is ingested by the lung’s THC, described as a psychoactive ingredient leaves the blood hastily via metabolism and vacates in the tissues of the body (Hanson et al., 2018). The union of THC and its metabolites form a union and arrest the proteins in the blood and takes residence in the body fat. Researchers reiterate that five days after a single dose of THC is introduced to the system 20% is archived whereas 20% of its metabolites remains in the blood. Smoking marijuana also opens the window for speedy absorption of THC into the lungs. The average time from inhalation of marijuana until it reaches the brain is a maximum of 14 seconds. (Hanson et al., 2018).
The use of marijuana for medical purposes have caused some controversy. Experts recommended the use of THC from the cannabis plant as useful in helping to calm or relieve symptoms of illness. The conflict that exists is making an illicit drug an option for medical use (Hanson et al., 2018). Further research findings encouraged individuals to use marijuana for appetite stimulation, muscle relaxant, analgesic, hypnotic, and anticonvulsant (Hanson et al., 2018). According to additional experts in the field it is noted that some of the short-term effects of marijuana includes modification in senses (individuals see brighter colors), adjustment in the sense of time, mode swings, body movement that is out of sync, thinking that is off course along with lessening of their ability to problem solve and issues with memory (NIH, 2015).
Chronic or long-term use of marijuana is accompanied by the following traits; respiratory problems, memory and learning, fertility issues, mental defects and addictive properties. Respiratory issues are compared to what tobacco users experience because it has more than four hundred chemicals (some carcinogenic) enveloped in the smoke of the cannabis. The intensity of marijuana cigarettes produces in excess of five times more carbon monoxide into the bloodstream and the level of tar that enters the lungs is three times more than what is experienced by those who use tobacco cigarettes ( MarijuanaDetox.com, 2008; NIDA, 2010 ).
There is a wave of interest from several sates around North America that is lobbying for the legalization of marijuana. They are calling specifically for it to be used for medical purposes (Salo, 2015). In other cultures, outside of North America there are places in the West Indies that marijuana is recognized in the Rastafarian religion as a holy plant (Hanson et al., 2018) Speaking from my own experience and exposure, as a native of the Western Caribbean marijuana is normalized in the culture and used by several high school students. In the Rastafarian religion the use of marijuana is used as part of their spiritual exercise, and it is believed to make you wise. Within the communities many youths are persuaded to believe that using marijuana will make them better able to satisfy their partners sexual needs. All in all, it is important for every male who has been poisoned by this deceptive portion that has been fed them by society to step back and recognize that it takes a real man to step away from yet another societal expectation and normalization that using drugs is the answer to solve our emotional, psychological and physiological problems. Healthy masculinity challenges us to say no to drugs even if it is disguised in a legalized suit.
Hanson, G. R. (2018). Drugs and Society thirteenth edition. Burlington MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
MarijuanaDetox.com. (2008). Marijuana Detox. Retrieved from www.marijuanadetox.com: http://www.marijuana-detox.com/m-facts.htm
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). (2016). NIH Publication. Retrieved from www.drugabuse.gov: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/tobacco/letter-director
National Institute of Health (NIH). (2015, September). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Health. Retrieved from www.drugabuse.gov: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publication/drugfacts/marijuana
Salo, J. (2016, December 30). Marijuana Legalization 2016: Which States Will Consider Cannabis This Year? Retrieved from www.internationalbusinesstimes.com: http://www.ibtimes.com/marijuana-legalization-2016-which-states-will-consider-cannabis-year-2245024