Free Research Paper On The Bad Effect Of Weed
The question of influence of cannabis on the human body has fairly controversial nature. Even though there might be some beneficial effect of cannabis, still the negative impact of weed is quite apparent.
Weed, or in other words marijuana, is a psychoactive product that is commonly used to inhale its fumes. This immediately gives an idea of the two main risks, namely mental impact and long-term toxic effects on the lungs. However, raising the question of the effects of cannabis on the human body, it is worth pointing out the frequency of use, age range and other pertinent details (Volkow et al. 2220). Each of these factors is directly related to the influence of cannabis on a person. Thus, it could be argued that recreational use of cannabis has a definite effect on the body as a whole, but each body carries the influence of cannabis individually.
According to the study conducted by Volkow et al., weed demonstrates a close connection with inappropriate behaviour and significant changes in emotional state. Daniel Freeman and Jason Freeman state that weed is prone to trigger paranoia, thereby causing impaired memory together with paranoid thoughts and in some rare cases even imaginary voices (par. 7). Experiences of persecution, visual hallucinations, negative thoughts, anxiety – that is not a complete list of what might occur (Cox par. 12). Sudden changes in periods of complete silence on the fast incoherent speech are likely as well. Moreover, hysterical panic attacks or quite ridiculous behaviour might arise. Cannabis smoker's mood can significantly vary from the feelings of joy and euphoria to depressed mood, verging on panic (Cox par. 8). Moreover, each episode of intoxication of marijuana may be accompanied by the emotional effect. In one case, the same smoker may experience overwhelming joy, whereas in another disturbing melancholy (Cox par. 13).
In the article “Is cannabis really that bad”, Sabrina Richards outlines the negative impact of weed on brain, stressing the risk of schizophrenia. The reaction of the brain to cannabis is expressed by time retardation, impaired thinking process, failure of short-term memory, as well as the lack of abstract thinking (Richards par. 6). It is worth noting that much depends on the concentration of cannabis as well as on the individual perception of the body. Disorders caused by the influence of cannabis tend to be temporary. However, long-term use of cannabis can lead to structural abnormalities of brain function (Richards par. 9). In light of this, according to American Academy of Sleep Medicine, there is an increased likelihood of impaired sleep among cannabis smokers.
Long-term use of marijuana leads to partial impairment of cognitive functions, learning and memory, perception of space, motivation and coordination (Hurd et al. sec. 2). Cannabis is prone to cause short-term and transient disturbances of thinking and information processing. In adolescents, regular marijuana smoking can cause cognitive impairment and varying degrees of self-imposed isolation from the social life. Studies have shown that during this period the use of marijuana has a particularly detrimental effect on the body because the brain is still in the stage of formation (Cox; Hurd et al.). In particular, according to Hurd et al., this applies to active smoking of marijuana under 16 years. Another consequence is a change in relationships with others and especially with parents. As a result, a teenager who smokes weed is in a kind of bubble that becomes immune to the comments, gradually distancing himself from any activity (Volkow et al. 2223-2224). Volkow and colleagues state that such deterioration of the relationship may entail a relatively long period of rejection of relatives along with “impaired school performance” (2224).
In her article “Marijuana: effects of weed on brain and body”, Lauren Cox argues that cannabis use can adversely affect the condition of nervous system. The author asserts that in moderate doses, effects of cannabis on the nervous system can suppress anxiety, excitement or irritability. However, Cox admits that if excess dosage is taken the opposite reaction is expected. The nervous system can only worsen, thereby provoking intense complicated symptoms. Volkow et al. in their study “Adverse health effects of marijuana use” maintain that cannabis smokers are likely to suffer from irritability. It can vary from a gradually increasing anger against the background of constant irritability to sudden outbursts of uncontrollable anger. Emotional peaks with feelings rushing between depression, anger and euphoria, occur constantly.
What is more, the negative long-term impact of cannabis on the lungs is observed in the case of regular and systematic smoking of cannabis. Although the side effects and complications in the lungs that are normally associated with conventional tobacco are far more serious than those caused by smoking weed, still cannabis use proves to be detrimental to lungs (Richards par. 5). The adverse impact of weed should be recognized, particularly it is worth raising public awareness about the negative side of smoking cannabis.
According to Hurd et al., regular smoking marijuana can lead to the emergence of involuntary addiction, as it is the case with tobacco and alcohol. There is sufficient evidence that 5 to 10% of those who smoke cannabis routinely for 6 months, eventually tend to become addicted to it. Furthermore, cannabis is prone to increase the likelihood of switching to other illicit drugs (Hurd et al. sec. 3).
American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Marijuana use associated with impaired sleep quality." ScienceDaily (2 June 2014). www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140602102013.htm. Web. 17 Apr. 2015.
Cox, Lauren. “Marijuana: Effects of Weed on Brain and Body.” Live Science (23 June 2014). http://www.livescience.com/24558-marijuana-effects.html. Web. 17 Apr. 2015.
Freeman, Daniel & Freeman, Jason. “Cannabis Really Can Trigger Paranoia.” The Guardian (16 July 2014). http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/jul/16/cannabis-paranoia-psychoactive-thc-mood. Web. 17 Apr. 2015.
Hurd, Yasmin L. et al. “Trajectory of Adolescent Cannabis Use on Addiction Vulnerability.” Neuropharmacology 76.0 (2014): 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2013.07.028. PMC. Web. 17 Apr. 2015.
Richards, Sabrina. “Is Cannabis Really That Bad?” The Scientist. (23 Jan. 2013). http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/34110/title/Is-Cannabis-Really-That-Bad-/ Web. 17 Apr. 2015.
Volkow, Nora D. et al. “Adverse Health Effects of Marijuana Use.” The New England Journal of Medicine 370.23, 2219-2227 (2014): 10.1056/NEJMra1402309. Print.