With many states following the trend of Colorado and legalizing weed, it has created a strange new era, not just for pot smokers, but those worried about what mass legalization could cause in society. The year 2018 is slowly coming to an end, and 2019 is already starting to show that it is going to pick up where 2018 has left off. There are many states following suit and looking to legalize marijuana to take advantage of the tax revenue the plant offers. The real question the opposition has to ask is, “Is money worth the potential outcomes?”
It’s necessary to note that comparing marijuana to a drug like heroin is silly. There is no comparison when it comes to the two in regards to how addictive one is, and the lengths someone will go to obtain it. But that does not at all mean marijuana is harmless. In the 1970s, pot came from Mexico and Colombia in bricks filled with stems and seeds. Over time, however, growing marijuana became an art that was soon perfected, and today, marijuana is anywhere from 57 percent to 67 percent more potent than it was in those times. Stronger potency marijuana means that in most cases, people are still consuming the same amount of the drug but actually will consume two to three times the amount of the active ingredient –THC.
Advocates of marijuana describe it as entirely harmless, which is not true at all. Marijuana use is identified as a trigger for ischemic stroke, which is third only to tobacco smoking and cocaine use. In a study by the European Risk Analysis, they use a system called the Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE), which measures risk factors for heart attacks, and it found that obesity, sedentary lifestyle, age, elevated cholesterol, smoking, and also cannabis smoking contribute to this medical condition. Neither advocates, nor those who are pushing for the drug’s legalization, have discussed this information. An ischemic stroke occurs when the arteries to your brain become narrowed or blocked, causing severely reduced blood flow to the brain.
Another valid concern about the legalization of drugs like marijuana is the potential abuse that comes with it. Do the risks outweigh the benefits of a temporary high? The stronger versions of marijuana today leave those who use it more at risk of becoming addicted. Marijuana does not cause a physical addiction like stronger drugs, but it does cause psychological dependence and can cause mental cravings. Another problem with pot is that it is notorious for being a gateway drug. Many people who use hard drugs started with marijuana, and these concerns are valid and should not be overshadowed by dollar signs in an industry that could cause significant harm to the next generation.
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We are far removed from the days of sticks and seeds marijuana and hashish. Today, there are several types of marijuana that are called by different names. They all may seem like different drugs, but there are different ways of preparing the same drug that all have the same active ingredient of THC. The different types of marijuana all boast various strengths and different methods of consumption, but they all result in the same outcome—getting high. With so many kinds of marijuana to choose from, it should come as no surprise that developing marijuana use disorder has become increasingly common.
Your standard marijuana can be referred to as pot, weed, bud, or sticky green, which is the unprocessed form of the drug. It is most common, and is, for the most part, smoked, as a means to get high. Weed consists of the leaves and buds of the female cannabis sativa and cannabis indica plants. The only preparation required is to be cut from the plant and to dry the leaves and buds. Unfortunately, to avoid pests, the plants are often sprayed with contaminants, which can affect how someone experiences the high.
Weed has the appearance of a green herb, but it is lumpy, unlike your kitchen herbs. One of its most distinctive qualities is its strong odor. Learning to recognize the smell of pot can help you determine if your loved one has been consuming the drug and if you are offered to smoke.
Hash is the preparation of marijuana made from the resin of the plant. The resin is dried into blocks of hashish that produce an oily solid substance. Hash is often mixed with tobacco and rolled into a cigarette and smoked for its calming effects. This is more common in Europe and the Middle East, but the practice is still found in the United States. The effects of hash are said to be different from standard marijuana because the resin is stronger than the buds of the plant alone. Hash has a very distinct color and odor, which make it one of the easiest forms of marijuana to identify.
Shatter, also known as wax, is a newer form of marijuana. It is also referred to as dabs, and it is an extract of cannabis in its purest concentrated form. It can be smoked by freebasing or through a pen that is similar to a tobacco vaporizer. Those who smoke wax typically are resistant to marijuana and have built a tolerance so high that this is the only way they can achieve their desired effects. Smoking wax every day is an indicator that your marijuana use has become a problem.
Marijuana today is not your standard brick weed that has only six percent THC. There is such a high amount of the active ingredient in pot today that it can cause the user to rush back for more. The strength and legalization of the drug have caused marijuana abuse to increase among adults and adolescents in the United States. Marijuana use has increased in all age groups, and it can all be attributed to the higher potency of marijuana and initiation at a younger age. The most efficient and fastest way to get sober from weed fast is to seek treatment.
Marijuana treatment never seemed like a feasible option in the past, but with the strength of THC and methods of consumption changing rapidly, it has become a highly sought out option. If you are ready to stop marijuana and want the quickest option, it is time to consider treatment. Rehab for marijuana consists of outpatient services that allow for you to attend therapies that are geared toward getting to the root of your addiction, and that help alter your behaviors. One such therapy is called cognitive-behavioral therapy, and it is designed to retrain your reactions so that you do not give into triggers.
Going to treatment for your marijuana problem can be one of the best choices you make in your life. Those who smoke often want to get sober, but the recurring thoughts attributed to cessation make it challenging to do on your own. Help is available and should be sought out immediately to claim back your life and not waste another day.
Sometimes, the only way to stop smoking marijuana is to get treatment. We know that it is difficult to admit to a problem, but it is often the difference between making bad choices that stem from drug use, and living a sober, productive life. Ocean Breeze Recovery has the tools to help people rebuild their lives. We are an addiction rehab center based in Pompano Beach, South Florida, that is dedicated to healing broken minds, bodies, and spirits. Ocean Breeze offers customized treatment that helps provide a better chance at lasting recovery. If you are ready to regain control of your life, it’s time to reach out. Call one of our addiction specialists at 855-960-5341 or contact us online to discuss your options. When you are ready, we look forward to being part of your journey toward living a better life.
Angell, T. (2018, December 26). These States Are Most Likely To Legalize Marijuana In 2019. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomangell/2018/12/26/these-states-are-most-likely-to-legalize-marijuana-in-2019/#b8ade1b5adda
Steinbaum, D. S. (2014, April 23). The Truth About Marijuana: Health Risks Trivialized (Op-Ed). Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/45074-marijuana-cardiac-health-risks.html
NIDA. (2019, February 11). Teaching Addiction Science. Retrieved from from https://www.drugabuse.gov/teaching-addiction-science
Psychology Today. (2018, July 24) Is Marijuana a Gateway Drug? Jaffe, A. Ph.D. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/all-about-addiction/201807/is-marijuana-gateway-drug
Addiction Science Clinical Practices. (2007, December 4) Marijuana Dependence and Its Treatment. Budney, A. Ph.D., et al Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2797098/
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. )2019, September 26) Learn About Marijuana Risks. Know the Risks of Marijuana. Rise of Marijuana Use. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/marijuana