Substance Abuse 101: Marijuana

Apicha Community Health Center Jan 07, 2019  

Apicha CHC

Marijuana is another substance that is commonly abused. Although some states have legalized its use, it is still illegal in many states, and excessively used by lots folks.

In this blog series, we're going to discuss what marijuana is, and its effects on your health.

What is Marijuana?

Chances are you already know what marijuana is, but marijuana is the dried flowers and leaves of a cannabis plant. It contains mind-altering (e.g., psychoactive) compounds like tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, as well as other active compounds like cannabidiol, or CBD, that are not mind-altering.

Marijuana is known by many other names, like: pot, weed, Mary Jane, grass, and others. It can be consumed in a number of ways: it can be smoked, and it can also be eaten/consumed orally. There are different forms of marijuana, including it's dried leaf/flower form, waxes, oils, and can be cooked into different foods. 

smoke-2437886_1920

Why do People use Marijuana, and What are its Effects?

Marijuana is often used recreationally. When consumed, many people report feelings of euphoria and a sense of relaxation. Other effects of marijuana also include heightened sensory perception (e.g., brighter colors), laughter, altered perception of time, and increased appetite.

However, not all people who use marijuana report positive feelings. Some people experience anxiety, fear, paranoia, or panic. People who have consumed large doses of marijuana may experience an acute psychosis, which includes hallucinations, delusions, and a loss of the sense of personal identity. These unpleasant but temporary reactions are different from longer-lasting psychotic disorders.

People who use marijuana frequently often report irritability, mood and sleep difficulties, decreased appetite, cravings, restlessness, and/or various forms of physical discomfort that peak within the first week after quitting and last up to 2 weeks.

Although many people use marijuana for fun, it has also recently been used for medical purposes, including treatment for seizures.  

Is Marijuana Addictive?

In 2015, about 4 million people in the United States met the diagnostic criteria for a marijuana use disorder Individuals who use marijuana can develop a dependence, and even an addiction. Around 30 percent of individuals who use marijuana may have some degree of marijuana use disorder. Those who have marijuana use disorder often suffer from withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug. Dependence occurs when your brain adapts to a large amount of the drug by reducing its own production of endocannabanoid neurotransmitters. 

Are There any Long-Term Effects?

There have been numerous studies and research that have suggested there are some long-term effects of marijuana use, but many of these studies and results are only substantial and inconclusive. Studies on the impact of the human brain suggest regular marijuana use in teens can negatively affect their memory, learning, and impulse control.

Additionally, marijuana users who smoke the drug may suffer from large airway inflammation, increased airway resistance, and lung hyperinflation, and those who smoke marijuana regularly report more symptoms of chronic bronchitis than those who do not smoke. 

How Apicha CHC Can Help

If you struggle with substance abuse and addiction, Apicha CHC can help. Talking about substance abuse and, when necessary, working together to create an action plan is part of standard care at Apicha CHC. If you'd like to schedule an appointment, click the link below. 

Health Clinic New York | Apicha Community Health Center


Ready to take action about your health?
 request an appointment

Subscribe For Updates

Early Signs of HIV

Early Signs of HIV

Early HIV is the beginning stage of HIV disease, right after HIV infection occurs. If you were not...
Substance Abuse 101: Cocaine

Substance Abuse 101: Cocaine

Cocaine is another commonly abused substance. It has a number of negative health effects and is...
Substance Abuse 101: Alcohol

Substance Abuse 101: Alcohol

Alcohol is one of the most popular, easily accessible, and dangerous substance people can abuse....

"I Swallow Daily" API Artists Discuss PrEP, Stigma, & Representation

APIs remain one of the minority groups in NYC that have not seen a decrease in new HIV diagnoses....
FAQs: What to Know About Enrolling for Health Insurance

FAQs: What to Know About Enrolling for Health Insurance

Open enrollment for health insurance begins Nov. 1, but we understand some folks still have a lot...
New York State on Track to

New York State on Track to "End the Epidemic" by End of 2020

On World AIDS Day, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that HIV incidence — or the estimated number...
NY Governor Announces New Actions to Protect Transgender & Gender Non-Conforming Individuals

NY Governor Announces New Actions to Protect Transgender & Gender Non-Conforming Individuals

On Transgender Day of Remembrance, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced new actions to protect...
Join Apicha CHC for Family Talk: From Trans Awareness to Trans Acceptance

Join Apicha CHC for Family Talk: From Trans Awareness to Trans Acceptance

In honor of Trans Day of Remembrance and Trans Awareness Week, Apicha CHC and API Rainbow Parents...
Recognizing National Diabetes Awareness Month

Recognizing National Diabetes Awareness Month

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and aims to spread awareness and knowledge about...
Come Celebrate 2019 World AIDS Day in NYC

Come Celebrate 2019 World AIDS Day in NYC

World AIDS Day is December 1. During this day, folks unite against HIV, support those battling HIV,...