Cannabis is the most widely used illegal drug in the UK, but what about the body?
With 7.6% of adults in England and Wales saying they used it between 2018 and 2019, cannabis use is at a 10-year high, according to a government report on the situation. of the country’s drugs. Use was 17% among young people aged 18 to 24 years. As a Class B drug, owning, distributing, selling, or cultivating cannabis carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, an unlimited fine, or both.
But a 2018 law change allowed specialist doctors to legally prescribe cannabis-based drugs to patients for whom first-line treatments have failed. Medicinal cannabis contains the same CBD and THC compounds that are found in recreational cannabis, but growers need to make sure that the levels are consistent between batches and that the batches are not contaminated.
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Cannabis chemicals help relax and relieve pain by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system receptors. Some receptors in the brain are involved in emotional processing, while others affect how pain is experienced, meaning that the products can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, from anxiety to anxiety. epilepsy and chronic pain. It has also been found to benefit the concentration of some people with ADHD and reduce the pain of people with endometriosis, but more research is needed on cannabis as a treatment for these conditions.
Although previously thought not to cause physical dependence, intensive cannabis use can reconnect the brain to search for the substance despite the negative effects on users’ social, family, and work lives. According to a study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, approximately one in 10 people who use cannabis become addicted to the substance, up to 17% for those who start using it in their teens.
According to Delamere, an addiction clinic in Northwich, Cheshire, the signs of cannabis use and intoxication are:
- Fatigue, lethargy, apathy
- Dry mouth
- Bloodshot eyes
- Lack of interest in physical appearance
- Evidence of cannabis paraphernalia (e.g., joints, bongs, pipes, scales, windmills)
- Overeating (marijuana stimulates appetite)
- Obsessive involvement in activities such as games, music, or the Internet while under the influence (users lose track of time and may spend an excessive amount of time doing an activity)
- Impaired memory
- He speaks confused or retarded
- Unusual euphoria
- Mood swings
- Little attention span
- Difficulty with coordination and balance
- Increased heart rate
- Anxiety, paranoia
The signs and symptoms of cannabis addiction are:
- Frequent cannabis poisoning
- Consuming cannabis in dangerous situations, such as driving or using heavy machinery (cannabis affects motor skills, judgment, and decision making)
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Obsessed with finding and testing different varieties of stronger cannabis, or mixing with drugs or other drugs for greater effect
- Paranoia, anxiety and depression
- Increasingly isolated and demotivated
- Immerse yourself in a cannabis culture to find acceptance
- Personal relationships that suffer as a result of cannabis use
- Finances, work or school suffer as a result of cannabis use
- Increased risk-taking while under the influence
- He seems overly agitated and anxious if he can’t get cannabis
- Serious mood swings that include aggressive outbursts, extreme euphoria, apathy
- Imagined memory: a difficulty in retaining new information, remembering appointments / arrangements, or repeating things over and over again
- Cannabis desires that are overwhelming
- Ruminate on past events with a disinterest in problem solving
- Defending or justifying cannabis use despite the apparent decline in mental, physical, social, or emotional health
- Disinterest in family, friends, loved ones, and things that used to be nice
- Suicidal ideation or tendency to self-harm
Effects on the brain
While cannabis is known for its relaxing effects, it can make people more anxious, especially with rising THC levels in recent decades. For some people, it is thought to trigger or aggravate underlying conditions such as psychosis. In addition to an increased risk of addiction, people who start using cannabis when they are teenagers may experience greater effects on the brain, such as impaired thinking, memory, and learning.
According to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, the short-term effects of cannabis use on the brain include:
- altered senses (e.g. see brighter colors)
- altered sense of time
- mood swings
- altered body movement
- difficulty thinking and solving problems
- impaired memory
- hallucinations (when taken in high doses)
- delusions (when taken in high doses)
- psychosis (risk is higher with regular use of high potency marijuana)
Effect on the lungs
Research into whether smoking cannabis causes lung cancer is not yet conclusive, but smoking irritates the throat and lungs, deposits tar and chemicals in the airways, can damage lung tissue and may increase the risk of respiratory infections. .
This is also the case with smoking tobacco, with which cannabis is often consumed, questioning the myth that cannabis nullifies the harm of tobacco as a whole. A study published in the British Journal of General Practice found that cannabis users self-reported more respiratory symptoms than tobacco smokers.
According to the American Lung Association, smoking cannabis injures the cell linings of the large airways, possibly causing symptoms such as:
- chronic cough
- phlegm production
- wheezing (whistling or noise when an airway is partially blocked)
- acute bronchitis