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factsheet

MARIJUANA
marijuana

Marijuana is a hallucinogen, which alerts mood and cognition. Generally smoked or eaten for it's major psychoactive ingredient THC. Effects depend largely on user's mood and personality as well as the amount and strength of the preparation used. Effects range from feeling of relaxation, well being, with enhanced sensations and perceptions to reduce social interaction and increase passive behavior. For some people the drug may have little or no effect at all. Marijuana smoke contains many of the same carcinogenic compounds found in tobacco smoke thereby increasing the risk of lung cancer and other respiratory ailments.

Signs o ntoxication: Bloodshot eyes, incoordination, enhanced sensations and perceptions, increased appetite, dry mouth, possible dizziness and nausea.

Withdrawal Symptoms: Symptoms may include restlessness, irritability, mild agitation, insomnia, sleep disturbances, nausea, cramping and craving for the drug.

EFFECTS OF CHRONIC ABUSE

  • Mind & Behavior: Decrease sense of time, confusion, inability to carry out multiple tasks, short-term memory impairment; users may become apathetic, anxious: high doses may trigger paranoia, hallucinations and "flashbacks" in susceptible individuals.
  • Heart & Blood: Reduces oxygen delivery to the heart muscle. May increase heart rate and lower blood pressure. This may pose significant risk to people with heart disorder.
  • Lungs: Heavy smokers suffer bronchial irritation and inflammation leading to an increase risk of bronchitis and other pulmonary disorders.Possibly carcinogenic. 
  • Immune System: Possible decrease in immune responses increasing risk of infections and disease.
  • Sexual Organs: Reduces hormone levels; may reduce fertility in both men and women.
  • Fetus: May contribute to premature birth. Marijuana freely crosses the placenta and is secreted in breast milk; possible delay development after birth.
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