this was taken from webmd.com. i personally am against smoking weed. its not safer than cigarettes like most think (i dont smoke cigarettes either by the way) and the mental effects are not something i want to deal with when taking care of children.
How Does Marijuana Affect the Brain?
Scientists have learned a great deal about how THC acts in the brain to produce its many effects. When someone smokes marijuana, THC rapidly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream, which carries the chemical to the brain and other organs throughout the body.
THC acts upon specific sites in the brain, called cannabinoid receptors, kicking off a series of cellular reactions that ultimately lead to the "high" that users experience when they smoke marijuana. Some brain areas have many cannabinoid receptors; others have few or none. The highest density of cannabinoid receptors are found in parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thinking, concentrating, sensory and time perception, and coordinated movement.1
Not surprisingly, marijuana intoxication can cause distorted perceptions, impaired coordination, difficulty with thinking and problem solving, and problems with learning and memory. Research has shown that, in chronic users, marijuana's adverse impact on learning and memory can last for days or weeks after the acute effects of the drug wear off.2 As a result, someone who smokes marijuana every day may be functioning at a suboptimal intellectual level all of the time.
Research into the effects of long-term cannabis use on the structure of the brain has yielded inconsistent results. It may be that the effects are too subtle for reliable detection by current techniques. A similar challenge arises in studies of the effects of chronic marijuana use on brain function. Brain imaging studies in chronic users tend to show some consistent alterations, but their connection to impaired cognitive functioning is far from clear. This uncertainty may stem from confounding factors such as other drug use, residual drug effects, or withdrawal symptoms in long-term chronic users.
Long-term marijuana abuse can lead to addiction; that is, compulsive drug seeking and abuse despite the known harmful effects upon functioning in the context of family, school, work, and recreational activities. Estimates from research suggest that about 9 percent of users become addicted to marijuana; this number increases among those who start young (to about 17 percent) and among daily users (25-50 percent).
Long-term marijuana abusers trying to quit report withdrawal symptoms including: irritability, sleeplessness, decreased appetite, anxiety, and drug craving, all of which can make it difficult to remain abstinent. These symptoms begin within about 1 day following abstinence, peak at 2-3 days, and subside within 1 or 2 weeks following drug cessation.3
Marijuana and Mental Health
A number of studies have shown an association between chronic marijuana use and increased rates of anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia. Some of these studies have shown age at first use to be an important risk factor, where early use is a marker of increased vulnerability to later problems. However, at this time, it is not clear whether marijuana use causes mental problems, exacerbates them, or reflects an attempt to self-medicate symptoms already in existence.
Chronic marijuana use, especially in a very young person, may also be a marker of risk for mental illnesses - including addiction - stemming from genetic or environmental vulnerabilities, such as early exposure to stress or violence. Currently, the strongest evidence links marijuana use and schizophrenia and/or related disorders.4 High doses of marijuana can produce an acute psychotic reaction; in addition, use of the drug may trigger the onset or relapse of schizophrenia in vulnerable individuals.
What Other Adverse Effect Does Marijuana Have on Health?
Effects on the Heart
Marijuana increases heart rate by 20-100 percent shortly after smoking; this effect can last up to 3 hours. In one study, it was estimated that marijuana users have a 4.8-fold increase in the risk of heart attack in the first hour after smoking the drug.5 This may be due to increased heart rate as well as the effects of marijuana on heart rhythms, causing palpitations and arrhythmias. This risk may be greater in aging populations or in those with cardiac vulnerabilities.
Effects on the Lungs
Numerous studies have shown marijuana smoke to contain carcinogens and to be an irritant to the lungs. In fact, marijuana smoke contains 50-70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke. Marijuana users usually inhale more deeply and hold their breath longer than tobacco smokers do, which further increase the lungs' exposure to carcinogenic smoke. Marijuana smokers show dysregulated growth of epithelial cells in their lung tissue, which could lead to cancer;6 however, a recent case-controlled study found no positive associations between marijuana use and lung, upper respiratory, or upper digestive tract cancers.7 Thus, the link between marijuana smoking and these cancers remains unsubstantiated at this time.
Nonetheless, marijuana smokers can have many of the same respiratory problems as tobacco smokers, such as daily cough and phlegm production, more frequent acute chest illness, and a heightened risk of lung infections. A study of 450 individuals found that people who smoke marijuana frequently but do not smoke tobacco have more health problems and miss more days of work than nonsmokers.8 Many of the extra sick days among the marijuana smokers in the study were for respiratory illnesses.
Effects on Daily Life
Research clearly demonstrates that marijuana has the potential to cause problems in daily life or make a person's existing problems worse. In one study, heavy marijuana abusers reported that the drug impaired several important measures of life achievement, including physical and mental health, cognitive abilities, social life, and career status.9 Several studies associate workers' marijuana smoking with increased absences, tardiness, accidents, workers' compensation claims, and job turnover.
by AnonymousDecember 12, 2012 at 4:21 PM
I laughed my ass off watching Reefer Madness. Can't believe people were so gullible then. Up until William Randolph Hurst pitched his bitch they were still using hemp for paper and so forth. It was his crap, along with that Dewy dimwit which made drugs including pot illegal.
Shit in 1895 housewives could buy a 5 cent portable morphiene kit out of the Sears&Roebuck.
I'm sorry but I completely disagree. Other countries have studies on cannabis and the effects of thc, they were all very different than what the evils the US says it causes.
In Canada they proven it helps deteriorate cancer cells. It is less dangerous than cigarettes. Sorry but that's fact. Cigarettes have POISON in them...like actual poison.
You are basically believing "reefer madness " propaganda. Do ACTUAL research... not a why is weed bad Google search.
What a bunch of bullshit. Drinking to much booze is a hundred times worse than smoking pot. Booze has the potential of affecting the brain, the potential of causing addiction, the potential of compulsive seeking and abuse, the potential to cause problems in daily life & making a person's existing problems worse, and it's legal to buy.
What has been shown to be clear as a bell, is booze can be severely addicting and sometimes deadly. What has never been shown to be clear as a bell is smoking pot can be severely addicting & sometimes deadly. My generation smoked pot all the time. No one died from smoking pot, no one's brain got damaged, & no one got hooked on heavier drugs because they smoked pot.
I'll be dollars to donuts it's a hypocritical religious nutcase behind such a bogus report.
December 12, 2012 at 4:23 PMWhat a bunch of rubbish.
by BitchessDecember 12, 2012 at 4:24 PM
Awww dammit, then I've been using my FS wrong this whole time. JK!!!
Hey, you! stop buying weed with your FS!
uuuuuuuuhh, whuuuuuu? *drools*
Perhaps, but if being pain free means being unable to be cognizant, then what good is that? Technically the coca and poppy plants were also put here, but they remain illegal and there is no movement to make them legal. See how it all connects? UGH! I am writing myself into circles. LOL
I get tired of people who go on and on about it as well. All they do is perpetuate the stereotype and make it all hard on the majority of us who are responsible about it.
As for pain free, I think that life itself is a discomfort and that certain things, like marijuana, were put here in order to help us deal with the bad discomforts in life.
That's awesome! I wish other people were like that with pot. It probably wouldn't bother me at all. I just get so tired of people going on and on about how they HAVE to do it every day, when there are other ways of treating their disorders. Some don't even involve drugs, but they just love the pot so much, why change? SMH.
I have Fibromyalgia and RA and I still manage to do well, mostly, in the classes I take and in life. Do I still live with pain? Sure do, every single day. People were never meant to be pain free. Pain is a part of life. I just don't understand why people would rather be numb instead of having feelings, even if it hurts. No one is entitled to live pain free. People should just learn to accept it and embrace it.
LOL, thankfully DD isn't at that age yet...
As for peer pressure, I know that DD will be peer pressured into so many different things that are probably things I wouldn't approve of. I know I did it when I was a teenager lol. Haven't we all? But I didn't grow up to be some loser bum. Granted, am I where I want to be, no, but life isn't perfect. Either way, I have accomplished many of my goals even while smoking. Why? Because my mom raised me to realize that there is using things like alcohol, tobacco and such in a responsible manner and then abusing it. I will teach DD the same. She will see both her father and I drinking in a responsible manner and when pot becomes legal for recreational use here she may even see us smoke (of course never in the house and not with her sitting right there with us). But she will learn that we are responsible about it. We won't drink to get drunk and we won't smoke to get stoned out of our minds.
Good point, but teens may convince her otherwise. That is where the danger lies. Once they are teens. We can stress it every. single. day, and they are still at risk. It's why we have so many programs out there aimed at teens, to prevent it. Of course, we do have punishments to reinforce, if we need to. My DS9 is a mess when he gets his laptop taken away for a day. LOL You would think he was suffering from some malady, the way he goes on.
I think that are harmful for us, like alcohol which has become a very "normal" substance, should be taught to us by parents. It is my job as a parent to teach my daughter that if taken over board these things can do serious harm. So while it may be normal she still knows that even "normal" things have bad side effects.
I agree. It's just big government sticking their noses in everywhere. However, the more things we make legal, the more it normalizes them. So, kids will not think they are bad for you and kids do not need to think that stuff like pot is anywhere close to being normal. It can open the door for other drugs. I am not saying it always does, but it does sometimes. So does drinking, so don't think I am for that either. The issue is that we have to draw the line somewhere. Why go around changing the lines after decades of this being illegal? As an adult, we have the option of moving to other countries that have kept it legal. Why does it need to be legal here?
If women here are doing it everyday then I would be seeking medical help for whatever they have.
Studies have proven that if you ingest too much of anything, including water, it can be dangerous to your health and possibly life threatening. Doesn't mean we should make certain things illegal.
The reason is that people are so convinced it doesn't impair, that it is not cited as a reason for death. Also, many people who smoke also smoke cigarettes, so when they get cancer, it is blamed on the cigarettes, not the pot. It does lead down the exact same roads as cigarettes. Since both are carcinogenic, both cause cancer. I am not against the occasional smoker, but the ones who go on and on about how they do it every day and are PROUD of it. They have no defense in my eyes. Studies HAVE shown that there are many bad things about it, but the push is so strong for it's legality, that they sweep them under the rug and pretend they aren't there. It is now big business in the states that have legalized it, since they require permits, pay taxes, and other costs associated with it's growth, distribution, and sales.
I am more concerned about the children though. It impairs the nervous system and brain growth of children who are around it. Since is has tar, just like cigarettes, it sticks to clothing, hair, furniture, carpets, etc. Even if someone just smokes it after the kids are in bed, they may be getting some in their systems anyway. Personally, I wouldn't chance it.
Marijuana is like any other legal drug such as nicotine and alcohol. If you don't want to have side effects then don't smoke it.
I would like to know where you found this article since it has some things in it that I have to disagree with (such as compulsive drug seeking, marijuana is not a gateway drug).
I would also like to point out that legal drugs such as tobacco and alcohol have some fairly high death rates in the US, pot has none.
As for me, I smoke every now and then and it has not affected my life in any way other than giving me the munchies.
by AnonymousDecember 12, 2012 at 4:38 PM
We would be better off if all drugs were legalized and regulated. The facts are out there. The war on drugs is a joke, we'd save a whole lot more money just legalizing it. Again pot, and heroine (morphiene) weren't illegal, but were made that way due to some fancy footwork done by the big wigs of DC at the time. Early 20th century.
Back in the 20's and 30's due to propaganda people were being taught that pot was something black people and mexican immigrants smoked and would go out and rape white women, among many other terrible untrue myths. Since they had created that mass hysteria, it was easy for the government to ban pot and other drugs.
it was illegal in the first place for a reason, it is still a drug and i dont think it should be legal at all. i mean if we make this legal why not meth or herione or crack?
So.... Why do you think it should be illegal?
by shawnypooh4December 12, 2012 at 4:57 PM
This chick has no job, and apparently no friends so she sits on Cafe Mom and judges others....LMAO!!! Don't associate with me, trust me it doesn't bother me at all. As for you tho, smoking and playing mommy?? As I said, I don't smoke around my kids, so Im not sure what your talking about? im a pothead, i have no life, i am bored so i think i'll smoke some weed." its the dumbest shit i ever heard. Well I have to assume YOU have no life if your going to respond to every comment made towards you, and you must be bored as well. Go get a life Mary, unless you have a gavel and a robe on you have no right to say anything about what anyone does in their own home on their own time. Grow up lady, or go smoke you some weed
by Luna091306December 12, 2012 at 4:58 PM
Should we remove children if the parents have a drink every once in awhile???
so you think if people want to be mentally impared its ok to let them attempt to take care of their kids?
So don't smoke it. But don't think it's ok to take it from others who like it and who NEED it for any reason. All I read in this bullshit article was 'the potential to' 'it may be known to' and other BS statements that are most all inaccurate.