Recreational use of marijuana has been going on for many years, andlike cigarettes many people refuse to listen to health reports. More andmore reports are coming out on the effects of marijuana on the body.
Justhow harmful marijuana can be is questionable. Some health reports statethat it is very detrimental to the body while others are explaining howchemicals extracted from the marijuana plant are being used as medication. The problem is, just what are the effects, and how bad is it for someonewho uses this drug?I have picked this topic because I am very interested in the effectsof marijuana on the body. It is commonly known that marijuana is a widelyused drug. Many movies depict people having a great time, smokingmarijuana, and laughing as hard as they can.Order now
But is this really what isbehind the drug? Without looking at health reports, one may think so. Ifso many people use it, how can it be bad for you? After seeing so muchpositive feedback about marijuana, it would really be nice to see just whatis behind this mysterious plant. In this paper, the researcher will explore whether or not marijuana isharmful to your physical health. It will be shown that marijuana ispopular and that many people may not know what they are taking into theirbodies. It will be shown just what parts of the body marijuana effects andhow it effects them.
The main purpose of this collection of information isto see just what marijuana does to the body and to determine whether theeffects are good, bad, or a combination of both. Many different areas ofresearch will be used. The report “Marijuana Retains Popularity Despite Anti-drug Attitudes”in The Dallas Times Herald by the Associated Press shows just how popularmarijuana remains despite health warnings. A 40-something woman referred toas Ruth has a little something to say. “It’s a very nice high,” she said. “Often in these drug stories, people forget to mention that part” (TheAssociated Press, A-6).
Ruth is among the 17 million Americans who usemarijuana regularly. Part of the reason for marijuana’s popularity is itscheap price. John, a scientist who uses the drug says an ounce can costhim from $40 to $100 (The Associated Press, A-6). Another reason for itspopularity that is that “the cops basically ignored it” a few years ago,said Bill FitzGerald, of the County Attorney’s Office (The AssociatedPress, A-6). Today, the county boasts a “Do Drugs, Do Time” programtargeting all drug users (The Associated Press, A-6).
“Marijuana: Is there a new reason to worry?”, an article in the March88 issue of American Health by Winifred Gallagher had a lot to say aboutjust what parts of the body marijuana effects. The majority of the effectsof marijuana are caused by a chemical called THC(delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Marijuana, when smoked, enters the bodythough the lungs and is passed to the blood stream. According to DoctorBilly martin, a professor of pharmacology at the Medical College ofVirginia, THC seems to turn on a number of biological systems (Gallagher,92). Harvard’s Dr.
Norman Zinberg studied a group of marijuana smoker andconcluded that “essentially, marijuana doesn’t cause psychological problemsfor the occasional user” (Gallagher, 92). Heavy use however, is thought tocreate a lack of motivation, or commonly called “burn-out”. New YorkHospital’s Millman prefers the term “aberrant motivation” to describe theinert attitude of some heavy smokers” (Gallagher, 92). “The Health Hazards of Marijuana,” a report in the September 1990issue of World & I by Gabriel G. Nahas was very informative on the damagecaused by marijuana.
Marijuana effects memory and behavior. “Marijuanareally interferes with short-term memory,” says Dr. Richard Schwartz orGeorgetown University, and memory loss is one of the main problems withkids who smoke pot” (Nahas, 287). Marijuana also effects the immunesystem. Guy Cabral of the Medical College of Virginia reported that THCimpairs the competence of calls to destroy virus infected cells and tumorcells (Nahas, 293).
Marijuana also has devastating effects on human mentaldevelopment, and cause metal disorders. An article in Newsday on August 14, 1990 by Jamie Talan called”Marijuana as Medicine” had something completely different to say. Newfindings “give the study of cannabinoids (the family of chemicals inMarijuana) a new respectability”, said Donald Moss, professor of psychologyat the University of Texas (Talan, D1). Miles Herkenham, chief offunctional neuroanatomy at the National Institution of Mental Health saysthe new findings “allow us to design drugs that have very selectiveeffects” (Talan, D6).
Herkenham also discovered that there are severalreceptor sites in the brain that control motor functions, learning andmemory. Hence, marijuana may be useful in treating a problem in many ofthose areas. Based on the information gathered, I have concluded that the effectsof marijuana on the body are very detrimental. Marijuana’s effects onmemory and the immune system can be very disastrous. For someone still inschool, a good memory is needed, along with much motivation.
Marijuanaattacks both of these elements in the body and can really hurt a hardworking student. It seems however, most of the complications that were brought up occurmostly in heavy, chronic users. I am sure that along with thesecomplications, the same complications as with cigarette smoking come up. Occasional use of marijuana doesn’t seem to cause many problems.
However,as with any drug, the user can become accustomed to its use and not be ableto function properly. So even occasional use can lead to disaster. Marijuana effects many different parts of the body in many ways. Being that marijuana is fat-soluble, it can remain in the body for over4-weeks after use. Researchers are unable to determine what the chemicalsare doing to the body while they remain there over this period of time. This just proves that there is much more research to be done, and that inthe future it may be seen that marijuana is much more dangerous than evenshown in this paper.
As for using marijuana as medicine, I think the same goes as above. Alot more research has to be done on the side effects of THC before any realuse can be done. There have been many drugs up to now that have seemeduseful, but in the end have caused more harm to the body than good. Health ImplicationsI think that marijuana use affects myself and my peers very much. AsI go to parties and the such, it can be seen that drug use is around, noone can deny it. Its scary to see just what some people are doing tothemselves, and they don’t even know it.
I think that if some of the marijuana users took some time to readthis, and many of the other reports on the effects of marijuana, they wouldthink twice before lighting up next time. Maybe they will wonder just whatharm they have done to their body already. Many people that smoke marijuana have the effects that are discussedin this paper. Its can plainly be seen, their lack of motivation and kindof “spaceyness” that is commonly associated with marijuana smoking.
Ioften wonder what these people would be like if they stopped their use andallowed themselves to rid their body of the THC and its by-products. Marijuana use is still very popular throughout the United States, andthe fact that people are not educated enough about its effects is verydetrimental. These people are hurting themselves, and they don’t know (andmany just don’t care) what they are doing to their bodies. If marijuanause was to grow too much, we may have a country of unmotivated people, withmany more health problems due to their immune deficiencies. Where will webe then? Works CitedThe Associated Press, “Marijuana retains popularity despite anti-drugattitudes”, Dallas Times Herald, p.
A-6, November 18, 1990. Gallagher, Winifred, “Marijuana: Is there a new reason to worry?”,American Health, p. 92-104, March 1988. Nahas, Gabriel G. , “The Health Hazards of Marijuana”, World & I, p.
286-293,September, 1990. Talan, Jamie, “Marijuana as Medicine”, Newsday, Discovery Section, p. 1,6-7,August 14, 1990.