The Effects of Marijuana Addiction
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Effects of Marijuana Addiction

The effects of marijuana addiction are numerous. Marijuana effects are produced by a chemical called THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). This THC chemical is what creates the users "high". THC is found in the marijuana plant and has a higher potency level when it is located in the flowers or buds of the plant. The effects of the THC in the marijuana plant when it is smoked quickly travel through the blood into the lungs and then to the brain. When the THC reaches the brain it creates marijuana's effect of being "high".
The degree of the effects of marijuana addiction differ from person to person and depend on many factors such as the amount of marijuana used, the method of marijuana use (Joint, pipe, bong, food), the users experience with marijuana, the users weight, the users mood, if other drugs are also used with the marijuana, and whether it is taken alone, with other people, or at a party.
Short-term effects of marijuana use and addiction include:
  • Bloodshot eyes 
  • Dry mouth and throat 
  • Sleepiness
  • Decreased social inhibitions
  • Impaired or reduced short-term memory
  • Altered motivation and cognition, making the acquisition of new information difficult    
  • Difficulty keeping track of time
  • Reduced ability to perform tasks requiring concentration and coordination, such as driving a car 
  • Increased heart rate 
  • Potential cardiac dangers for those with preexisting heart disease 
  • Psychological dependence 
  • Intense anxiety or panic attacks 
  • Paranoia 
  • Impairments in learning, memory, perception, and judgment - difficulty speaking, listening effectively, thinking, retaining knowledge, problem solving, and forming concepts 

Long-term effects of marijuana addiction include:

  • Decrease in testosterone levels and lower sperm counts for men
  • Increase in testosterone levels for women and increased risk of infertility
  • Diminished or extinguished sexual pleasure
  • Enhanced cancer risk
  • Psychological dependence requiring more of the drug to get the same effect
The long-term effects of marijuana addiction can cause breathing problems, and problems with their immune system. It is hard to know for certain whether repeated use of marijuana causes cancer, but it is well known that it contains some of the same if not more or the cancer-causing chemicals found in tobacco smoke. Studies show that those who smoke five marijuana joints a day may be taking in as many cancer-causing chemicals as an individual who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day. Imagine now, individuals who smoke marijuana and cigarettes are doubling their chances at developing cancer.
Those who smoke marijuana frequently often develop similar types of breathing problems as those who smoke cigarettes. Side effects such as coughing, wheezing, and chest colds are not uncommon with habitual users. Additionally, they are more susceptible to contracting lung infections such as pneumonia due to their deteriorated lungs. The THC in marijuana may increase the users risk of developing infections. This is because the THC inhibits normal disease-preventing reactions that are necessary to fight infections.

The Effects of Marijuana Addiction
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