Marijuana remains one of the most abused drugs especially among the youth and has over 200 street names such as mary jane, weed, herb, pot, ganja, hash, among others. It comes from a Cannabis Sativa plant and is green or brown in appearance. The drug is derived from the flowers, leaves, seeds, and stems of the marijuana plant. Marijuana contains over 400 chemicals but the main active ingredient is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and is responsible for the drug’s psychoactive and mind-altering effects.
The psychoactive effects of marijuana may vary depending on the route of administration, or in simple terms, how a person uses the drug. High doses of this drug can cause hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and anxiety. Long-term users may have decreased interest in goals, hampered concentration, drowsiness, and euphoria — all of which may eventually lead to inappropriate decisions, poor body coordination, and memory loss. Marijuna use may can also bring severe damage to the lungs, impair respiratory functions, and ruin sexual health. Marijuana may cause serious damage to lungs, more serious than cigarettes because it is inhaled deeply and held for longer periods than cigarettes. Marijuana may interfere with male sexual functions and reproduction by increasing vasodilation in the genitals and ejaculation problems. It may also cause lessening of sperm count and degeneration. The females, on the other hand, may experience suppression of the ovulation process, disruption of menstruation cycles, and damaged eggs. Excessive use of marijuana over extended periods of time cause depression, loss of libido, and impotence. The effects of marijuana is associated with lower fertility rates and increased risk of producing abnormal embryo.
In addition to these effects of marijuana abuse, there are other parts of the body that are adversely affected by the use of marijuana. The chemicals found in this drug have been reported to damage the brain’s sensory reactions. High doses of marijuana also leads to incidences of hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and anxiety.
Blood vessels may also expand due to vasodilation and may cause reddening of the eyes. The effects of marijuana may be heightened if coupled with other street drugs like cocaine and Lysergic acid Diethylamide (LSD).
It is never too late to break the habit, or more appropriately, the addiction to marijuana. It may seem difficult since it is one of the most available drugs that can easily be acquired. Individuals who want to quit marijuana use usually experience sleeplessness, irritability, increased aggression, and other withdrawal symptoms. However, overcoming the addiction and the withdrawal symptoms is not an impossible task. For some, being confined to a drug treatment facility and counselling may be necessary to break the habit. Studies show that more than 120,000 individuals will enter a drug treatment facility to aid them in their marijuana problems. With the right tools and attitude, quitting smoking and reducing the health effects of secondhand smoke can be easier than others think. Understanding ill-effects of marijuana to sexual health and overall well-being is essential in ending the said addiction.