Tuesday, May 26, 2009

TEEN TRENDS - MARIJUANA: MIND-ALTERING DRUG OR HARMLESS PLANT?


(This blog is written to inform parents and others of disturbing trends of teenagers.)

If you asked my daughter, Hollie, and her friends, and hundreds of other teens the above question, they would say marijuana is harmless and should be made legal. After reading this post, you can let me know what you think. (Should it be legal or not?)

Marijuana is a green, brown or gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the hemp plant (cannabis sativa).









Strong forms of cannabis include Sinse-Milla, Hashish (Hash), and Hash Oil. All forms of marijuana are mind-altering (hallucinogen) drugs. They all contain THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the main active chemical in marijuana. Marijuana also contains more than 400 other chemicals:

  • 20 times more ammonia that tobacco.
  • 5 times more hydrogen cyanide and nitrogen oxides than tobacco.

Marijuana's effect on the user depends on the potency of the THC it contains:

  • Most marijuana has an average of 3% THC.
  • Sinse-Milla (made from the buds & flowering tops of a female plant) has average of 7.5% THC, with a range as high as 24%.
  • Hashish (the sticky resin from the female plant flowers) has an average of 3.6%, with a range as high as 28%.
  • Hash Oil, a tar-like liquid distilled from Hashish, has an average of 16% THC, with a range as high as 43%.

STREET NAMES FOR MARIJUANA:

  • Pot
  • Weed
  • Grass
  • Mary Jane (Aunt Mary)
  • Reefer
  • Skunk
  • Boom
  • Gangster
  • Texas Tea
  • Maui Wowie

HOW IS MARIJUANA USED:

- Rolled in a cigarette (joint). (Smoking marijuana is the most harmful.)







- Smoked in a pipe (bong)









- Mixed with food
- Brewed in a tea
- Sliced open cigar & tobacco replaced with marijuana (blunt)





- When a blunt is smoked with a 40 ounce bottle of malt liquor, it is called a "B-49".
- Joints or blunts that include crack cocaine are known as "primos" or "woolies".
- Joints or blunts that are deeped in PCP are called "happy sticks", "wicky sticks", and "love boat".

WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF MARIJUANA? (The effects depend on the type of cannabis and how much THC it contains, how the drug is taken, and whether drinking and other drugs are being used.)

  • Some teens feel nothing the first time marijuana is used. Others feel high (intoxicated).
  • Teens become engrossed in ordinary sights, sounds or tastes, and trivial events become extremely funny.
  • Time seems to go by slowly.
  • Teens may suffer acute anxiety.
  • In rare cases, a teen can have severe psychotic symptoms and will need emergency medical treatment.
  • Hinders short-term memory.
  • Teen has trouble with complex tasks, such as driving.

HEALTH EFFECTS OF MARIJUANA:

  • Research shows a teen's risk of heart attack more than quadruples in the first hour after smoking marijuana.
  • Heart rate doubles.
  • Lowers blood pressure.
  • Blood vessels in eyes expand, so teen's eyes look red.
  • Studies have shown marijuana smoke contains carcinogens. Marijuana smoke contains 50-70% more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke, but the link between marijuana and lung cancer remains unconfirmed.
  • Marijuana users inhale deeper and hold their breath longer than tobacco smokers, so marijuana users can have the same respiratory problems, chronic cough and bronchitis, as tobacco smokers. Because marijuana is usually smoked without a filter, the amount of carbon monoxide and tar inhaled by marijuana smokers is three to five times greater than that inhaled by tobacco smokers.
  • Triggers a short-term drop in the hormone that directs growth and development.
  • Lowers sperm count.
  • Affects learning and memory processes and can cause forgetfulness and reduced concentration.
  • Impairs logical thinking.
  • Marijuana affects the brain and leads to impaired short-term memory, perception, judgment, and motor skills. Affects the balance of chemicals in the brain that regulates mood, energy, appetite, and attention. Has been associated with stroke, but there is no firmly established link.

HOW TO TELL IF YOUR TEEN IS USING MARIJUANA?

  • May seem dizzy and have trouble walking.
  • Seems silly and giggly for no reason.
  • Will have very red, bloodshot eyes.
  • Have trouble remembering things that just happened.
  • Your teen will get the "munchies".
  • Coming off marijuana, your teen becomes very sleepy.

PARENTS SHOULD BE AWARE OF:

  • Changes in behavior, depression, fatigue, and hostility.
  • Carelessness with grooming.
  • Deteriorating relationships with family and friends.
  • Changes in academic performance.
  • Increased absenteeism, skipping school.
  • Lost interest in favorite activities.
  • Changes in sleeping and eating habits.

PLUS BE AWARE OF:

  • Signs of drug paraphenalia. (Read my post "To Snoop or Not To Snoop" for favorite hiding places of teenagers)
  • Odors on clothes and in their bedroom.
  • Use of incense or other deodorizers.
  • Use of eyedrops.
  • Clothing, posters, jewelry promoting drug use. (Hollie started drawing the marijuana leaf on everything.)
Marijuana is the most frequently used illegal drug in the US. Over 83 million Americans over the age of 12 have tried marijuana at least once. Research shows nearly 50% of teenagers try marijuana before they gradurate from high school.

One of the dangers of smoking marijuana is the possibility that it has been laced with another, more dangerous substance, such as cocaine, crack, PCP, or even embalming fluid. Although reports of laced marijuana are infrequent, it is important to remember that with marijuana, your teen has no way of knowing what other types of substances have been added.

Smoking a joint that has been dipped in embalming fluid or formaldehyde has effects similar to those of a joint laced with PCP - a drug that causes hallucinations, euphoria, and often times, panic or rage. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen linked to nasal and lung cancer, with possible links to brain cancer and leukemia, and should not be smoked or ingested in any way.

MARIJUANA

MIND-ALTERING DRUG OR HARMLESS PLANT?


http://www.nida.nih.gov/
www.marijuana-info.org



Digg!

22 comments:

Manic Mother said...

I think it should be available for medicinal purposes, but I don't agree in recreational uses, not that I wasn't a dumb teen at one point as well ;)

Windi said...

Wow! Hey, when I was young I used to smoke it, but man I never did what they are doing now. That's scary! Pot pretty much made me really lazy and I lost all ambition. I lost a few years to sitting around doing nothing while my other friends were going on to college, careers, and life in general. I realized one day as I watched a kid I used to babysit graduate from highschool with a scholarship that I was going nowhere. I decided to put the pot away and clean up my act.
So hey, it's not a harmless plant at all. It's a plant that will keep you stuck in no mans land! That's how I see it anyway. ;)

I am Harriet said...

Hi there.
Great info!
I'm stopping by via SITS to say hello.

Diane said...

not to sound snarky but you failed to list any medicinal BENEFITS. so, this is extremely biased.

Diane said...

i just wanted to add, just to be informative - there is another medicinal property to marijuana besides THC. in order to get the effects of it you MUST digest it. smoking it will not be effective for pain control - nausea, yes, but not pain. when you digest marijuana, there is no intoxicated feeling whatsoever.

i just feel that all info should be available if you are to make an educated decision on how you feel about this topic.

when you listed "health effects of marijuana" you were totally on the con side, you didn't list any pros at all.

medical marijuana patients are encouraged to grow their own plants, therefore eliminating the chance that their medication is being tainted in any sort of way.

i know it's extremely controversial right now, but i just feel that you didn't provide all the facts here.

medical marijuana gives many, many patients the relief they need to maintain a normal quality of life, which everyone deserves.

pharmaceutical companies have us all snowed if you don't think that prescriptions drugs aren't full of scary chemicals too. plus, they and the government are taking your money so that you can "feel better". that is, if you have insurance and/or are even able to afford your medication.

i am of course not trying to sway anyone's thoughts on this, but lets provide all relevant info so people can make an informed choice.

sorry if i overstepped here, but you asked. :)

Cairo Typ0 said...

Hi, stopping by from BPOTW.

Interesting post.. I'm not sure where i stand on this issue. I'm that rare loser who has never tried marijuana so i have no grounds on which to speak.

Jeve (aka John and Steve) said...

Interesting and VERY informative!

Saw this via Best Posts of the Week. Mine was featured too!

John
http://johnandstevearehavingababy.blogspot.com

Laura said...

Several readers have mentioned that I didn't talk about the medical benefits of marijuana.

I know marijuana has medical benefits for those undergoing chemo & all, but my blog is geared towards "teen" use/abuse of marijuana (as all my other posts have been geared towards teen trends), which is why I didn't get into the medical benefits of marijuana.


As a mom with a 19-year-old, who "experimented" with many things & almost died several times, I am trying to inform parents of tweens & teens (I also have a 13-year-old) of what is "out there", because I feel this is info parents need to know.

My 19-year-old is always saying "marijuana needs to be made legal, it don't hurt nobody", but it does hurt the teenage brain that is still developing, the teenager who smokes a joint & then gets in a car to drive...

I don't mind anyone's comment. I know this is a controversial topic, but I'm looking at the teen side of things.

Maybe when I have time, I'll do an addendum listing the medical benefits.


Laura

tracy said...

Yikes, lots of info to go over...

tracy

Shana. said...

and the slang goes on and on...lol.

http://www.pride.org/slangdrugterms.HTM?

Benjamin said...

Most of the teens use Marijuana for recreational purposes and to relax their mind, but what ever the case it is not smoothly beneficial but rather it is harmful specially for teens who are in growing stage. Teen Marijuana Abuse stats are not the same as couple of years before but this is the first drug of choice for teens. Read the facts about marijuana, if someone don't considered researches to be a proven one, then consider those who are addicted to it and are ruining their lives.

Anonymous said...

Listen, one a person will know if there weed is laced because one it smell different, two the dealer will tell you, and three it costs way more. Also I read the study you are talking about, when you were talking about the toxins in weed and the toxins in tobacco. In the study they used a machine to test on. The machine smoked 30 cigarettes of tobacco and pot. both weighted at around 780mg (0.7gram) first note that a normal cigarette weights around 2.2 grams (remove up to .4 for the weight of the filter) now, the total of 20% more chemicals coming from the marijuana is calculated at the end of the 30 joint smoking session.

total pot smoked by the machine 21 gram
total tobacco smoked by the machine 21 gram

now THINK .. i defy anyone here, the most hardcore smokers, to smoke 21 gram of weed a day, really. its ludicrous. nobody does that, ever.

do people smoke up to 30 cigs/day ? very very common. so take this down to a more reasonable level.. hardcore smokers will go from 1-3 gram a day. and now remember that i said that a cigarette weights about 2.5gram .. about 3 times more than the amount used in the study.

Plus 21 grams of regular weed is 210 dollars. And for some dank weed it's double. So unless you are rich, you are not smoking that much.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this one..I would say No to legalize it or our adolescent drug treatment centers will have no vacancy for their patients.

Anonymous said...

Haahah! Excuse me but a marijuana high is way more "controllable" than being drunk off alcohol. Not to mention how poisonous alcohol is.. Alcohol should be illegal.

PS: Don't drink and drive, smoke and fly. Most smokers I know say it's way easier for them to drive while "high" than drive while drunk!

PS2: The real danger: skunk weed and all the new super-potent breeds.

Mary Jane said...

I'm a 19 year old female college student doing research on public perception of marijuana.

I've been smoking marijuana for 3 years. While I agree that it *might* be harmful to adolescent brains still developing, there has been no research whatsoever to prove this. All of the side effects you listed above (such as memory loss, increased heart rate, laziness, respiratory problems, etc.) are all SHORT TERM. The chemicals present that you mentioned (supposedly more abundant than cigarettes) are all conditional, depending on how you smoke/digest it (it is completely possible to obtain a high from digesting marijuana, I know first hand, and it's also a plus that this eliminates all issues associated with smoking any substance). Coming from an experienced ganja smoker, most people will go out of their way to smoke from a bong, a pipe (often referred to as a "piece" for all you parents out there), or a vaporizer, rather than a joint. Not only do they decrease the number of harmful chemicals you are inhaling, they create a more potent high. There has no been no research whatsoever linking marijuana to any long-term biological or psychological health effects.

There is, however, extensive government-funded research that has found a strong correlation between heavy long-term marijuana use and decreased risk of 3 different kinds of cancer, including brain cancer and brain tumors.

Marijuana is NOT physically addictive. This is a ridiculous statements altogether. It is not like other hard drugs which have often have an immediate impacts on the body's need for certain chemicals present. It can be psychologically addictive much like one can get addicted to food or a certain tv show. If you have an addictive personality you can get addicted to anything.

The possibility of another drug being mixed with marijuana is there, but it is small. The chance of this happening is miniscule, especially if you know where your weed comes from. Accepting marijuana from someone you don't know or don't trust is reckless behavior and if that is the case with your child, chances are there are other things you should be more concerned with than their buddha-smoking habits.

As for laziness, nothing is good for you in excess. I have been enjoying cannabis for a long time have never felt the need to abandon important parts of my life to toke up any more than I've wanted to skip school and do anything else more enjoyable. I graduated high school in the top 10% of my class, I was captain of the cross country team, senior editor of my school newspaper, and last semester I made the Dean's list at the University of Minnesota. Not for a moment have I considered myself unsuccessful or a "bum" because I like to smoke herb a few times a week.

With that I said I believe any emotionally stable person can control and enjoy their use of mary jane without any life-altering consequences. I also made sure to include a variety of terms for bud just for all you parents out there who don't know what's up ;)

viagra online said...

the young must be given good information from drugs because they are the most susceptible to these drugs especially murijuana

Jaz said...

The majority of drug treatment California centers provide drug detox to their patients. Drug detox is the process of removing all traces of harmful substances due to illicit substances and alcohol.

Kimberly said...

I too smoked pot as a teen and it wasn't a big deal, no one did what they did today, and I believe it was a lot weaker back then too. I've read that it gets stronger and stronger.

I stopped smoking when a friend bought a joint laced with angel dust. He freaked out and that freaked all of us out. No more pot.

Viagra Online Without Prescription said...

I am pro-legalization and I think that MJ is not bad all, I've bee using it for 8 years and I graduated from college, I have a good job, no health issues at all, my marriage is successful and, if stop and see what people told me in the past that would happen to me i I smoked, nothing like that ever happened.

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Iago de Otto said...

"Accepting marijuana from someone you don't know or don't trust is reckless behavior and if that is the case with your child, chances are there are other things you should be more concerned with than their buddha-smoking habits."

Well-said, Mary Jane. I have been friendly with the flower and its THC component for about 40 years. It has been quite a while though science we have been in contact with one another, and to tell the truth, I generally don't think about it all that much since I am quite busy doing constructive things in my life, such as finding alternatives to ways to get rid of anxiety, for one. Medical use, recreational use, personal use, industrial use, culinary use, these forms of relationships with both THC-infused cannabis and THC-free hemp should be at the discretion of the individual and should have nothing to do with government decree. Free the herb to save the planet!

Anonymous said...

I would like to see the studies that indicate any of this information to be accurate. It DOES NOT kill brain cells. I think it's important to read ALL research studies before you place wrong information about the plant. I started using it two months ago and I have never been so focused in my life. You are placing inaccurate information on your blog about something that deserves much more credit than all these people who simply "say" it's bad for you without backed up studies.

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