Marijuana or Cannabis or Ganja is the opening batsman, i.e., many people start using drugs from Marijuana. It has been made legal in many countries, not only for medicinal use but also for recreational use too. Many states in the U.S. now permit its use. That is not to say that it is harmless. It has got its own harmful effects. Many youngsters say that it is now legal, but then so is alcohol. And alcohol has been legal for such a long time and so many people suffer deleterious effects of alcoholism which cause so much morbidity and mortality.
Marijuana is derived from the hemp plant. It is commonly known as weed or grass. Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa is the Latin name for the plant. Ganja is the flowering top of the plant. Hashish or Charas is the resinous extract of the plant and rest of the plant is called Bhang. Whatever the form, the active ingredient in all three is the same, namely, Tetrahydrocannibinol or THC in short. It grows wild in many parts of Asia and Americas and Africa. But people cultivate it now for their own personal use. Cultivation is also done since it has become legal. THC content has nearly doubled over the past few years as hybrid and high yielding varieties are now cultivated. It is most commonly smoked but it many also be eaten like Bhang or Hash Cookies etc. THC is the psychoactive chemical found in Marijuana. While THC is not physiologically addictive it is definitely psychologically addictive as evidenced by the drug seeking behavior of addicts when they do not get their dose. It has no withdrawal symptoms except mild headache, insomnia or lack of appetite. Mood swings may also occur.
Pharmacological effect of THC is that it opens the gate at the level of the spinal cord which regulates the inflow of sensory information to the brain. As a result of this increased sensory input lot of people have this misconception that they become more artistic after consuming Marijuana. Colors seem more vivid and music also takes on a different sensory perception because of this. It is one of the few psychoactive substances which has no known lethal dose, that is to say you cannot die because of overdosing on Marijuana.
While it may not be lethal Marijuana is not without serious side effects. THC is a psychoactive substance and has been found in the fatty tissue of the brain even eight years after the person stopped using Marijuana. The most serious harmful effect of Marijuana is that it causes Amotivation Syndrome. The person who uses Marijuana lives in a dream world of his own and never gets down to actually doing the physical action required for work. It is an ideal nasha for two kinds of people, a king or a beggar. People who do not have to work in life. For everybody else it is a strict no-no, especially for addicts. With any substance there is use, misuse and then abuse. Abuse of Marijuana is very common. Very few people are able to use it and do their day to day work.
Next deleterious effect of Marijuana is that it is a “gateway drug”. People who use Marijuana are more likely to use other drugs also. It is as if weed is the opening batsman and the other substances follow soon after.
The most harmful effect of Marijuana is that it may cause Cannabis psychosis. It does not cause it in everyone who uses it but it is a distinct entity. It is not dose dependent, that is to say more use does not seem to increase the incidence but more of an allergic reaction. A single joint may flip a person. Anti-psychotics and total abstinence from Cannabis is required and the treatment is long drawn. Whether it causes psychosis itself or precipitates a preexisting underlying psychosis cannot be determined. But its accumulation in the fatty tissue of brain is well known.
So, Marijuana may be herbal but it is not without its harmful effects. If you were to come to know before a flight that the pilot has had a few joints of Cannabis, would you feel safe to fly in that flight? While it is better than most other intoxicants it is not safe for addicts and people who have to do some work or study in life.
All this is explained at Sahyog Detox and De addiction Clinic and that is why it is the Best Rehabilitation Center in Delhi.