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Marijuana, Bhang And Addiction
Marijuana is the one of the most widely used illicit drug. Given the easy access to marijuana (other forms like BHANG), most people who have the opportunity to try it, do so.
The Monitoring the Future studies (sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and conducted), which track student drug use, have found that marijuana use among high school students.
Bhang, Marijuana, hashish, and other forms of cannabis get their psychoactive properties from delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a potent chemical found in cannabis. THC is found in all parts of the hemp plant, but is most concentrated in the flowering tops of the plants and is least concentrated in the stems and seeds. Thus, the THC potency of marijuana tends to range from .5% to 15% depending upon the parts of the plant used, growing conditions, and the plant’s genetic properties.
Hashish, which is produced by extracting and drying resin from the plant’s flowers, also varies in concentration of THC, although THC can be as high as 20%.Years of cultivation and plant breeding have increased THC potency dramatically.
The actions of THC and other cannabinoid chemicals are complex and are not completely understood.THC is only one of more than 60 unique chemicals found in cannabis. When THC is isolated from the other cannabinoids, its effects can differ from the effects produced when cannabis is consumed intact. In our brains, THC connects to specific nerve cells on sites called cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are found in parts of the brain that regulate movement, coordination, and cognitive processes such as learning, memory, judgment, perception, and concentration. The cannabinoid receptors usually are regulated by endogenous cannabinoids that are naturally found in our brains and have very similar chemicalstructures to THC. When marijuana is used, THC overstimulates the cannabinoid receptors and disrupts the normal connections between the receptors and our brain’s natural endogenous cannabinoids.
THC usually is ingested by smoking it in handmade cigarettes, water pipes, or regular pipes, and by consuming it in food or drink. Recently, marijuana rolled in cigar wrappers called blunts has become popular. Marijuana is used alone or in combination with other drugs, nicotine, and alcohol. When smoked, THC passes from the lungs to the bloodstream
and is carried to the brain, as well as other areas in our bodies. Smoking marijuana results in higher levels of THC in the blood. The effects are experienced within 10 to 15 minutes of smoking and may last from one to three hours. Absorption into the bloodstream is much slower when THC is consumed by mouth-within about one-half to one hour-although the effects last as long as four or five hours. THC is easily stored in fat cells, and its slow release explains why traces of THC can be detected in chronic users for a week or much longer after consumption.
Immediate effects of THC ingestion include rapid heartbeat, relaxation, enlargement of the bronchial passages, and expansion of blood vessels in the eyes. People also report an altered state of consciousness and mild euphoria as THC activates the brain’s reward system. Users tend to experience pleasant sensations, colours, and sounds that become more intense, while perceptions of time and spatial awareness become distorted. Motor skills and reaction time also are impaired. Feelings of hunger and thirst become pronounced, and people often experience dry mouth. Following the initial euphoria, users can become tired or depressed, occasionally feel anxious or distrustful, or experience panic.