MARIJUANA: USE IT OR NOT (PART 1)
by Marylin Salgado
This blog is part one of a two-part series on the effects of Marijuana on the mind and body.
People have used Marijuana as a recreational and medicinal drug for many, many years. Medicinally, Cannabis has assisted in pain management among the elderly with chronic conditions and cancer patients. It has also assisted with those patients who have poor appetite. That does not mean that if you have poor appetite, you will get a prescription for Cannabis from your physician. There are certain criteria that must be met, such as, diagnosis of condition causing decreased appetite, an individual’s daily food intake and weight.
Recreational Marijuana is just that; for fun. You are not treating a condition or trying to increase your appetite, although you will get the munchies and go out to chase after a Hershey bar. In this first part of the two-part series, I will discuss the effects of Marijuana on the brain.
Recently, with legalization of Marijuana in certain parts of the country, and in the past two to three years, there also has been an increased use in synthetic marijuana. Synthetic Marijuana is created by spraying Marijuana with other drugs. It’s either known as K2 or Spice, as well as other street names. The drug’s effect increases when it is spiked or laced with another drug other than the substance its already been sprayed with. Also, K2 is more addictive than Marijuana.
So, why am I telling you all this? Because if you currently smoke Marijuana and are also working out regularly or just starting to work out, you need to be aware of the short- and long-term effects of using this drug. I have seen first-hand individuals who have used K2. They present with pupils that do not react to light, high blood pressure, and not just 140/90, more like blood pressure between 160/90’s or higher and 200/90’s or higher, hyperactivity, vomiting and increased aggressiveness. Continued use with continuous increases in high blood pressure, can lead to heart attack or stroke.
So, with that being said, let’s get to the part where, if you feel so inclined to either smoke Marijuana or synthetic Marijuana; and depending on the quantity, quality or how it is consumed, you might have some if not all of the following:
- Problems with concentration
- Some if not all inability to perform those tasks that require focus and coordination (such as weight lifting or squatting)
- Hallucinations, or seeing things that are not really there
- Lessens the ability to perform or complete a workout or task
- Slows reaction time
According to the Centers for Disease Control, while Marijuana has been proven to help patients with Cancer and pain management, the toxins contained in the smoke can affect your lungs and can increase the chances of harming lung tissue. In addition to this, the smoke in Marijuana contains the same carcinogens as tobacco smoke. Those prescribed Marijuana consume lab prepared dosages and are monitored by a physician. The Cannabis prescribed is definitely not the same as the one bought on the streets or in small Markets.
Some ways of consuming Marijuana are with a bong, bowl, joint, edibles, oils and many other forms. The issue is; can you trust the source of the individual or supplier selling you the product? Just because the package is shiny and pretty, doesn’t mean it is safe.
Eventually, and over time, you will feel tired and depressed. Your ability to concentrate will lessen more and more every day. While in the moment you may feel mellow and collected, use of this drug can also cause agitation, insomnia and irritability. The cravings that you will get from the use of Marijuana will also be sweets, which over time will cause you to gain weight and feel tired and sluggish. Again, the choice to use or not use is strictly personal.
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