Cannabis is not only probably the most abused illicit drug in the states (Gold, Frost-Pineda, & Jacobs, 2004; NIDA, 2010) it is actually the most abused illegal drug worldwide (UNODC, 2010). In america it really is a schedule-I substance so that it truly is legally viewed as having no medical use and is particularly highly addictive (US DEA, 2010). Doweiko (2009) explains which not all cannabis has abuse potential. He therefore suggests utilizing the common terminology marijuana when talking about cannabis with abuse potential. With regard to clarity this terminology is employed within this paper also.
Today, marijuana is at the forefront of international controversy debating the appropriateness of the widespread illegal status. In numerous Union states it has become legalized for medical purposes. This trend is termed "medical marijuana" which is strongly applauded by advocates while simultaneously loathed harshly by opponents (Dubner, 2007; Nakay, 2007; Van Tuyl, 2007). It truly is in this particular context that it was decided to decide on the topic in the physical and pharmacological effects of marijuana for that basis of this research article.
What is marijuana?
Marijuana is actually a plant more correctly called cannabis sativa. Like i said previously, some cannabis sativa plants do not possess abuse potential and so are called hemp. Hemp is commonly used widely for many different fiber products including newspaper and artist's canvas. Cannabis sativa with abuse potential is what we call 420 (Doweiko, 2009). It truly is interesting to keep in mind that although widely studies for many years, there is a lot that researchers still have no idea about marijuana. Neuroscientists and biologists know what the impact of marijuana are but they also still tend not to completely grasp why (Hazelden, 2005).
Deweiko (2009), Gold, Frost-Pineda, & Jacobs (2004) point out those of approximately four hundred known chemicals located in the cannabis plants, researchers are aware of over sixty which might be believed to have psychoactive effects on the brain. The most well known and potent of those is really a??-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Like Hazelden (2005), Deweiko states that while we know a lot of the neurophysical outcomes of THC, the reasons why THC produces these effects are unclear.
As being a psychoactive substance, THC directly affects the nervous system (CNS). It affects an enormous variety of neurotransmitters and catalyzes other biochemical and enzymatic activity too. The CNS is stimulated when the THC activates specific neuroreceptors during the brain creating the various physical and emotional reactions which will be expounded on specifically further on. The one substances which can activate neurotransmitters are substances that mimic chemicals that the brain produces naturally. The fact that THC stimulates brain function teaches scientists that this brain has natural cannabinoid receptors. It is actually still unclear why humans have natural cannabinoid receptors and exactly how they work (Hazelden, 2005; Martin, 2004). What we know is that marijuana will stimulate cannabinoid receptors approximately twenty times more actively than any one of the body's natural neurotransmitters ever could (Doweiko, 2009).