Cannabis Effects on Human Beings
In today’s society, there are many opinions about certain topics, such as illegal substances, that differ from one person to another. Those opinions, sadly, are shaped mostly by things that one hears or sees. However, fallacies have become extremely common nowadays. This is why people should always analyze the information they receive before actually believing it. In fact, there are many people that still believe that cannabis is one of the worse drugs on earth. Well, believe it or not, there is not even a single case of death caused by cannabis (Iversen, 2000). Surprisingly, a lot of studies reports on that drug came to the same conclusion: although there are some negative effects on human beings caused by cannabis (mostly for heavy users), it seems that cannabis is also beneficial for health at some point, and this, of course, applies mostly for light users (Iversen, 2000; Crockford & Quickfall, 2006). If this essay’s topic is about cannabis, it is mostly to inform people, especially cannabis users, about all the effects, whether they are positive or negative, that marijuana has on the human organism. Of course, these effects are different in most cases, but the main variable that can change them is the age of the cannabis users (Large, Sharma & Compton, 2011). Almost all the studies on cannabis were made with adult subjects and were comparing adult cannabis users versus adult non-cannabis users. It is only very recently that researchers discovered that the age of the users was actually one of the most important details that could determine the effects of cannabis. As not many may know, cannabis, if used with moderation, is not really damageable, especially for adult users. It is the teenage users that should be really careful when using cannabis, since they are still young and their brain is not fully developed yet. The objective of this research is to completely understand the risks and the benefits that one is exposed to by using cannabis. In this text, all the most observable effects of cannabis on human beings will be explained. Cannabis has various different properties, and some of them are quite negative for human beings, especially when consumption of cannabis is frequent and has been for a great amount of time. Cannabis, which originally comes from hemp, can actually damage the brain of a person when used excessively. It has been proven by a lot of research (Iversen, 2000) that long-term cannabis usage is permanently damageable for the brain, and especially when abused during youth. According to the National Institute on drug abuse (2012), Tetrahydrocannabinol, the most active compound of cannabis, prevents the development of the brain when it is not fully developed yet, which is usually at age 17 and under. A long-term study of about 25 years done by the Institute has shown some quite interesting results. Apparently, many patients who first smoked when they were aged between 13 and 15 and started smoking frequently for many years now have a significant amount of drop in IQ 25 years later, as the average is numbered at 8. However, some external factors, such as consumption of other harmful substances, were not included in the report. Moreover, cannabis is also damageable for lungs, but only when smoked. Cannabis, like many other plants, releases many different chemicals when burnt, and some of them are carcinogenic for the lungs. Cannabis is actually more carcinogenic than tobacco, but it is also extremely less consumed than tobacco. Since a cannabis smoker will smoke about 2 or 3 marijuana cigarettes per day compared to the average cigarette smoker that can consume up to 20 cigarettes per day, the damages caused to the lungs are pretty similar after a large period of time (Iversen, 2000). Cannabis has also some negatives side effects when consumed. During the intoxication, a person may feel terrible dizziness, headache, and if one is overdosed, these effects can even go to...
References: National Institute on drug abuse. (2012). Marijuana’s lasting effects on the brain. Retrieved from http://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/directors-page/messages-director/2012/09/marijuana%E2%80%99s-lasting-effects-brain
Crockford, D., & Quickfall, J. (2006) Brain neuroimaging in cannabis use. The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 18, 318-332
Iversen, L. L. (2000). The science of marijuana. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Large, M., Sharma, S., & Compton, M.T. (2011) Cannabis use and earlier onset of psychosis. Archives of General Psychiatry, 68, 555-561.
Medical Center Cologne (2005). Medical use of cannabis. Retrieved from http://www.medical-center-cologne.com/therapies/cannabis-as-medicine/
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