Marijuana

This essay has a total of 919 words and 5 pages.

Marijuana


Cannabis Sativa (marijuana) has been thought to be an illegal and very harmful drug for many years. But as you read this report you will learn that marijuana has been around for many years (most years legal) and isn't as harmful as some people may think.

Marijuana has been used for many things in the past, including medicine, hemp rope, crude cloth and enjoyment. Now it is mainly used as a narcotic. Marijuana is an illegal weed that grows up to eighteen feet tall with little or no cultivation. The plant has many branches that extend with large, hairy, pointed leaves with saw tooth edges. Marijuana grows wild all over the world and in some states and countries it's legal. Cloth and rope are made from the stem which contains a tough fiber called "hence." The mind-altering drug in marijuana is called "Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannibinol," or THC. The mildest form of marijuana contains between zero to three percent of THC. Most of the THC is contained in the resign, which is secreted around the flowers, seeds, and topmast leaves. Until recently it was thought that only the female plant contained the drug. But it is now known that both the female and the male plants contain THC. THC stays in the body for about 28 days.

Marijuana can be prepared many different ways therefore it has many different ways of entering the body. When smoked the THC goes into the lungs, directly into the bloodstream and to every cell in your body. The effects depend upon the level of potency and how much is consumed. The main effects of smoking are: the heart rate may increase from 80 beats to 150 beats a minute, the bronchial tubes enlarge and become relaxed allowing extra oxygen to enter the body, giving a "High" like feeling. There are no immediate physiological effects. The feeling usually lasts from one to three hours. Marijuana can also be ingested as a drink, cakes, brownies or many other foods. When consumed in foods the effects start after one half-hour and last from three to four hours. The potency of Marijuana has increased at least ten times or 275% since the 1960's. Marijuana can be measured by it's "therapeutic ratio," (the difference between the size of the dose needed for the desired effect and the! size that produces poisoning). The therapeutic ratio in marijuana has yet to be found.

The negative long term effects of heavy marijuana use are, possible lung cancer, heart attacks in juveniles, strokes in people under forty, and it depletes the brain of serotonin and the user may lose his sense of well being or may become depressed. The user may lose his short-term memory, but after a week of not using it is usually regained. "High Times Magazine." Marijuana contains

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