weed on brain

Marijuana and Its Effects on the Brain

Marijuana, or Cannabis, is a flowering plant cultivated and used by humans for several purposes. The most well-known of which is as a psychoactive drug. Also referred to as ganja, pot, weed or herb, it has persisted as one of the most popular drugs ever discovered for much of human history. In fact, it is now almost certain that even prehistoric humans used the Cannabis plant. The recent era, however, has seen a sharp rise in its use for recreational, medicinal and spiritual uses. Because of this, it has in the past one hundred years been a hot button issue of debate, and is currently outlawed in the United States.

The plant itself is grown in warm and temperate climates. Most all of its parts have some sort of psychoactive effect when consumed, but the most popular parts used are the flowering body structure of the female plant, and to a lesser extent the male flowering buds. When harvested, most marijuana comes in clumps called nuggets, or “nugs” as they are often referred to.

marijuana effects on brain

The harvested form can be ingested in a few different ways. The most common forms are oral ingestion and inhaling the smoke from a combusting plant. For oral ingestion, it is often popular to bake the marijuana within other foods, such as “pot brownies”. But the most popular form of ingestion by far is igniting the plant and inhaling the smoke. There are many devices made for this process, some of which include bongs, chillums, and pipes. Other methods include the rolling of a marijuana cigarette, or joint.

When ingested, the psychoactive chemical compound THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol is released into the system. This chemical greatly affects the flow of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, creating an altered state of mind. Although the feeling of “getting high” is described as pleasant, there is no intense feeling of euphoria, as with other more addictive drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Therefore, marijuana is classified as a mildly hallucinogenic drug.

The health effects of marijuana are really not that well known. It is understood that there is no way to overdose on THC, which automatically makes it less dangerous than other hard drugs. However, by some, it is considered a “gateway drug”, which means that the use of it increases the risk of using other drugs. It is also more or less accepted that smoking marijuana, or any organic material for that matter, has a negative effect on the lungs.

This article is by no means a suggestion to try marijuana, but rather simply an educational tool to learn about the historical importance and chemical science of the drug.

Is Marijuana an Effective Treatment for Chronic Pain? Here Are the Facts

Most of us are familiar with the use of marijuana as a medicine, and in areas where its use for the relief of pain is legal at a local level, many who prescribe it to their patients and who suffer from chronic pain themselves claim that it has great benefits. Is medical marijuana truly an effective treatment for those who suffer from chronic pain conditions, and if so what potential does it have for more widespread use as a medicine?
Individuals suffering from HIV/AIDS.

Marijuana has perhaps been most widely used as a pain reliever by people who are suffering the effects of the HIV virus. According to Dr. Marcus Constant, director of the Constant Medical Group, one of the largest private practices devoted to AIDS treatment in America, marijuana has significant efficacy in the treatment of individuals suffering from many of the wasting effects of AIDS. It seems particularly effective at combating the effects of nausea, fatigue, loss of stamina, and some of the mental impacts of AIDS, such as depression and anxiety, while also stimulating appetite.

marijuana for pain

In 2005, the American Academy of HIV Medicine stated that marijuana had the potential to provide significant benefits to the victims of AIDS so long as it is properly prescribed and its use is monitored carefully. The stimulation of appetite is at least responsible for some of the benefit of marijuana, since individuals AIDS often suffer from “wasting” in which a decline in appetite causes precipitous loss of weight and energy.

Cystic Fibrosis

It seems that a decline in appetite results in a similar wasting phenomenon in individuals with Cystic Fibrosis. This malnutrition weakens the immune system and makes sufferers more susceptible to the pain associated with this disease.

According to Dr. Sean Breen of Medical Cannabis of Southern California, marijuana can be used as an effective supplement to the standard medications of individuals suffering from Cystic Fibrosis. Dr. Breen noted in regards to an informal case study that one young individual with Cystic Fibrosis was able to stop taking the potent drug Oxycontin for his pain once he was given marijuana.

Other individuals suffering chronic pain

Unfortunately for those interested in the legalization and prescription of marijuana to treat their particular problems with chronic pain, American legislators have been more reluctant to allow its use for all but the most potentially deadly illnesses such as AIDS or Cancer. While the state of New Jersey recently passed a law in early 2010 legalizing medical marijuana for the treatment of various diseases, many chronic pain sufferers were left out of the new legislation.

According to Ken Wolski, the head of New Jersey’s Coalition for medical marijuana, there are many other individuals who could benefit from its use to relieve pain. Meanwhile, the drug continues to gain mainstream acceptance by organizations and bodies as respected as the FDA, which has approved the use of THC, marijuana’s active ingredient, as a regulated medicine. But even if marijuana a proven effective way to relieve pain, its still illegal and drug testing in the USA still remained the same.

Phelps Marijuana: Is Michael Phelps Smoking Weed?

Today, the ‘Phelps Marijuana’ and ‘Michael Phelps Smoking Weed’ stories hold top reading spots on the internet. According to the British newspaper ‘News of the World’ our favorite Olympic swimming star Michael was caught on film happily smoking away out of a big cheery cherry-red marijuana bong at a South Carolina college-crowd party.

Internet reader comments included on the vast amount of stories devoted to ‘Phelps Marijuana’ and ‘Michael Phelps Smoking Weed’ are running the normal celebrity gossip comments: ‘Who cares?’ and ‘What about his lungs?’ seem to be among the favorite comments on the comment blogs.

is phelps smoking weed

What do YOU think about the issues brought up in articles about Michael Phelps smoking weed stories? I have heard stories that he smoked and was drug tested, accorind to the rumors he used synthetic urine, it was in the beggining in his career. Don’t we really have issues showing that go slightly beyond a few college age young adults imbibing?

My personal opinion includes a very bad attitude about media paying for gossip stories that are designed to injure reputations and promote the use of illegal substances as proper for the ‘in crowd’ to be doing.

Sure, many people enjoy unwinding with marijuana or a few drinks on weekends, but is it proper to be announcing this fact to impressionable children who are idolizing our sports hero’s like Michael Phelps? Smoking weed is an illegal act. We preach this fact to our children who will now see Michael Phelps doing it without visible consequences.

The Michael Phelps smoking weed habit is quietly being promoted to our children as an appropriate party time activity when authorities are not involved visually upset that weed laws have been broken.

We can expect that the Olympic star may lose a few dollars on advertising contracts if sponsors sever the ties to a marijuana smoker. Our children will not be exposed to this; the cheery red marijuana weed bong is what they will internalize.

Perhaps it is time for the United States of America to legalize weed. If American comments on the habits of Olympic star Michael Phelps smoking weed or drinking, then it is logical to believe that marijuana could be made legal and taxed to help with economic issues. Phelps marijuana smoking choices could donate to our struggling economy in a nice way.

Michael chose to smoke marijuana, and did so because media promotes pot as a normal for of relaxation for young adults. This issue isn’t if Michael smoked marijuana, the showing issues is the question: Should Weed Be Legal and Taxed?