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Marijuana good or bad?

Updated on March 18, 2012


Marijuana also known as cannabis (or more commonly used weed) became very popular in society around the 70's-80's. Today it is one of the most controversial topics right now spreading from state to state. In California for example, has legalized the use of cannabis for medical purposes and can be legally obtained with a special license. One side of the heated debt, is that cannabis has been proven to help people with medical conditions. For example, Montell Williams who became a voice of supporting the use of cannabis after he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 1999. He among many others who suffer from other various diagnosed conditions have facts that support the use of cannabis has helped them better than any of the alternative drugs which have worse side effects then cannabis. The other side of the debt, claims that cannabis has been proven among society to be a "gateway" drug meaning that a lot of the people who use cannabis either legally or illegally have been 60 times more likely to use other worse drugs. That use of cannabis has been linked to memory problems and that when used at a young age has lead to dropout rates and long term addiction. So with the long history of facts pro and against cannabis who is right? Is it good for you or is it bad? Should it stay illegal or not? I don't have the answers to these questions as it would be my forcing my opinion onto others so i will not personally state my side of the debate. I will however give you the facts about what exactly is cannabis and the chemical reactions in it.

How Marijuana effects the brain

The main chemical change in the brain is THC. When someone smokes cannabis, THC rapidly passes from the lungs to the bloodstream which then carries chemical THC to the brain. THC acts upon specific sites in the brain, which are called cannabinoid receptors which lets off a lot of cellular reactions which is what gives the person using it the feeling of being "high." Some brain areas have many cannabinoid receptors; while others have few to none at all. The highest amount of cannabinoid receptors are found in the parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thinking, concentrating, sensory and time perception, and lastly coordinated moment. As a result of someone who uses cannabis every day may be functioning at a suboptimal intellectual level all the time.

Marijuana and Mental Health

A number of studies have shown the association between chronic cannabis use and increased rates of anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia. Some studies have shown that age at first use to be an important risk factor, early use is a marker in increased vulnerability to later problems. However, it is not clear by research that cannabis causes mental problems, exacerbates them, or reflects any self-medicate symptoms.

Marijuana and effects on the heart

Cannabis increases your heart rate by 20-100 percent shortly after smoking; this effect can last up to 3 hours. In one study, it was shown that cannabis users have a 4.8-fold increase in the risk of heart attack during the first hour after smoking. This is due to increased heart rate as well as effects of cannabis has on heart rhythms, causing palpitations and arrhythmias. This risk may be even greater with people who have family history of cardiac vulnerabilities.

Marijuana effects on the lungs

A lot of studies have shown that cannabis smoke contains carcinogens and to be irritant to the lungs. In fact, cannabis smoke contains 50-70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke. Cannabis users usually inhale more deeply than and hold their breath longer than tobacco smokers do, which further increases the lungs exposure to carcinogenic smoke. Cannabis smokers show dysregulated growth of epithelial cells in their lung tissue, which can lead to cancer. Cannabis smokers can have many of the same respiratory problems as tobacco smokers, such as daily cough and phlegm production, more frequent acute chest illness, and a heightened risk of lung infections.

Marijuana used as medicine

Scientists have confirmed that the cannabis plant contains active ingredients with therapeutic potential for relieving pain, controlling nausea, stimulating appetite, and decreasing ocular pressure. Scientists are still investigating the medicinal properties of THC and other cannabinoids.

What is your side on the debate?

Do you think that Cannabis should be legal or illegal?

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Final thoughts

All this information comes from facts about marijuana that you can look up for yourself on google or any other search engine. Like i said before this doesn't reflect my personal thoughts on cannabis one way or the other. Just data that was taken for the use of this article. As for is Cannabis good or bad for you, i leave that for you as the reader to decide. Although if your reading this article and want to give some feed back you are more than welcomed to answer the quick poll on the right. I hope that you enjoyed the article or at least learned something you might have not been aware of. Please feel free to leave some comments at the bottom if you wish. Thanks for reading. :)


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    • martatron23 profile image

      martatron23 6 years ago

      An excess of anything is detrimental to ones evolution...except the will to evolve. Ancient temple guards in peru used to chew on coca leaves to keep them awake up to 3 days while on duty, also lessening fatigue and hunger (constructive in that small amount). However, people figured out how to isolate contents from the leaf and concentrate it to about 10x original potency making it fatal if ingested in many cases. We now call it cocain.

      But i dont judge.

    • Mistressoflove profile image

      Mistressoflove 6 years ago from Rhode Island

      Thank you Rock and Saleenln for commenting on the hub. Saleenln I am delighted to read that you enjoyed my hub :)thanks for the feedback.

    • Saleeln18 profile image

      Saleeln18 6 years ago from Illinois

      Great hub, good job with explaining the medical/physical side effects of it all.

      I personally don't see anything particularly wrong with smoking "weed", but then again having high people walking the streets might not be the best thing lol. I can completely see why "weed" (and other drugs as well) is illegal but I still feel like it's a personal choice (just like cigarettes or alcohol).

      As long as the smokers don't infringe upon the rights of others I'm not against it, it's up to the people whether or not they want to take the risk of smoking.

      Anyways, good job I enjoyed it.

    • Rock_nj profile image

      John Coviello 6 years ago from New Jersey

      Interesting Hub. Most people look to the 1960s as the decade in which marijuana gained popularity in the United States. Marijuana became part of the anti-Viet Nam War hippie culture of the 1960s, and that carried into the 1970s and 1980s.

      In the early 1970s it was widely believed that marijuana was on the road to legalization in the United States. It appears that the conservative swing the U.S. made during the 1980s and the crack epidemic of that decade, which turned people off to the idea of drug legalization, ended the budding marijuana legalization movement of the 1970s.

      If an alien landed on earth and observed the behavior of marijuana users versus alcohol users, they would certainly conclude that alcohol is by far the more dangerous substance for humans to use, and the one that should be considered for a ban based on the health and social consequences.