Essay about Marijuana

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Marijuana Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States. A dry, shredded greenish brown mix of flowers, stems, seeds, and leaves of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa, usually is smoked as a cigarette or in a pipe. It also is smoked in blunts, which are cigars that have been emptied of tobacco and refilled with marijuana, often in combination with another drug. As a more concentrated form it is called hashish and as a sticky black liquid, hash oil. There are countless street terms for marijuana including pot, herb, weed, grass, widow, ganja, and hash. The main active chemical in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, also …show more content…
Research findings for long-term marijuana use indicate some changes in the brain similar to those seen after long-term use of other major drugs of abuse. One study has indicated that a user’s risk of heart attack more than quadruples in the first hour after smoking marijuana. Researchers suggest that such an effect might occur from marijuana’s effects on blood pressure and heart rate and reduced oxygen-carrying capacity of blood. Even infrequent use can cause burning and stinging of the mouth and throat, often accompanied by a heavy cough. Someone who smokes marijuana regularly may have many of the same respiratory problems that tobacco smokers do, such as daily cough and phlegm production, more frequent acute chest illness, a heightened risk of lung infections, and a greater tendency to obstructed airways. Smoking marijuana increases the likelihood of developing cancer of the head or neck, and the more marijuana smoked the greater the increase. A study comparing 173 cancer patients and 176 healthy individuals produced strong evidence that marijuana smoking doubled or tripled the risk of these cancers.

Marijuana use also has the potential to promote cancer of the lungs and other parts of the respiratory tract because it contains irritants and carcinogens. In fact, marijuana smoke contains 50 to 70 percent more
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