What is marijuana? Marijuana comes from a Mexican Spanish translation marihuana. The true term to describe it is cannabis although both words can be used interchangeably. Medical cannabis or marijuana is parts of the plant that is used to help treat a number of ills from a prescribing physician. Now marijuana has been around for thousands of years with the first historical evidence linking it to be used as early as 4000 BC, and the first medical use of it around 3000 BC.
The Physiological Effects of Marijuana Marijuana derives from the dried leaves and flower of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa; for thousands of years, physicians regarded marijuana as a useful pharmaceutical agent that could be used to treat a number of different disorders. In the 19th century, physicians in the United States and Europe used marijuana as an analgesic, as a treatment for migraine headaches, and as an anticonvulsant (Grinspoon & Bakalar, 1993, 1995). In 1938, a physician used marijuana (hashish) to completely control the terror and excitement of a patient who had contracted rabies (Elliot, 1992, p. 600). Results from a research conducted in the 1880s indicated that smoking marijuana might help manage certain forms of glaucoma; regrettably, other studies disproved such claims. (Watson, Benson, & Joy, 2000).
Nevertheless, cannabis is widely used at the present time for intoxication and medical treatments. Marijuana is usually extracted from the flowers of the female plant (Grinspoon & Bakalar, 1993). According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana is well-defined as the “dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa, which contains the psychoactive (mind-altering) chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as well as other related compounds. This plant material can also be concentrated in a resin called hashish” (NIDA, 2014). Numerous studies have attempted to explain the use of cannabis throughout history.
The Legalization of Marijuana Marijuana is a plant, known as cannabis sativa and cannabis indica, which contains a psychoactive chemical called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The effects of THC include disruption of psychomotor behavior, short-term memory impairment, intoxication, stimulation of appetite, antinociceptive, and antiemetic activities. Marijuana, the Mexican name given to cannabis is a mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the plant. Cannabis is a term that refers to marijuana and other preparations made from the same plant. Hemp is a form of cannabis, cannabis sativa L, which contains less than one percent THC; it is used to make clothing, paper, and building materials.
(McPartland JM) Heather Miller Coyle, a botanist at University of New Haven, has ongoing research surrounding the contaminants in marijuana. Her lab uses DNA profiling and analysis, and the results have found mold, mildew, and bacteria on marijuana. (Collins) There are a variety of pesticides used when growing the marijuana, and the amount absorbed by the individual varies based on heating method and inhalation amount. A study recently published in the Journal of Toxicology demonstrated that the common pesticides found on marijuana are transferred to the user when marijuana is inhaled. As of 2012, it was still unclea... ... middle of paper ... ...-term heavy cannabis users seeking treatment.
Marijuana contains the chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which alters the mind when smoked, eaten, drank, or taken in the pill form. It is often called grass, pot, reefer, Mary Jane, herb, weed, or one of over 200 slang terms (National Institute of Drug Abuse). Hemp is bred to have lower THC content so that it does not have mind-altering capabilities. It is often used to make fibers, clothing, oil, ropes, and to aerate the soil in crop rotation. The qualities of both strains of the cannabis plant are not new discoveries to humankind.