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Signs & Symptoms

It is not hard to miss the many depictions of people high on marijuana in entertainment. The bloodshot eyes, lazy demeanor, and sluggish reactions are unmistakable.

While these portrayals can often be a bit exaggerated, they are quite similar to an accurate representation of the symptoms of marijuana use.

Signs that may indicate regular marijuana consumption are easier to see over a period of time. These signs include a developing lack of motivation, weight gain, changes in daily priorities, short-term memory loss and marijuana-related paraphernalia, often containing an illustration of a cannabis leaf on the packaging.

Withdrawal & Overdose

After a prolonged period of marijuana abuse, the brain begins to adjust to the constant presence of THC, causing withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms appear when someone who regularly consumes marijuana for a lengthy period of time, abruptly stops their intake.

Marijuana withdrawal symptoms are similar to those of caffeine withdrawal, including insomnia, restlessness, anxiety, general feelings of unhappiness and stomachaches, which begin a couple of days after the last marijuana intake and can last up to four weeks.

An overdose on marijuana creates extreme fatigue and uncontrollable lethargy for hours and sometimes days. The measure of marijuana that constitutes an overdose and the severity of overdose symptoms are widely dependent on age, sex, body type, and dependency level of the person ingesting the substance.


What is Marijuana?

Cannabis Sativa is the plant that most people refer to as Marijuana. It is a psychoactive drug, meaning it has mind-altering properties. Although marijuana has over 480 chemical components, but THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the chemical that is believed to be responsible for producing Marijuana’s psychoactive effect

What is Marijuana’s origin?

Marijuana can be grown indoors anywhere in the world, and outdoors in the United States, Asia, South America, Canada, and Mexico.

What are Marijuana’s common street names?

BC Bud, Chronic, Gangster, Hash, Indo, Mota, Reefer, Skunk, Yerba, Aunt Mary, Blunts, Dope, Ganja, Herb, Keef, Pot, Sinsemilla, Weed, Boom, Grass, Hydro, Joint, Pot, Smoke, Mary Jane, Wax, Dabs, Edibles.

How is Marijuana abused?

Most often, Marijuana is smoked, either as a cigarette (joint), blunt, in a bong, or in a pipe. There are also wax pens that look similar to the electronic cigarettes that are used to smoke wax and hash. It can also be brewed into tea, or mixed into foods.

What are Marijuana’s effects on the mind?

The chemical THC has various effects on the brain, and can influence pleasure, thought, sensory perception, memory, motor coordination, time perception, learning, and problem-solving. Long term use leads to physical and psychological dependence. There are also a host of behavioral, psychological, and physiological effects associated with Marijuana, including nausea, exhilaration, relaxation, enhanced sensory perception, heightened imagination, illusions, impaired judgment, paranoia, confusion, emotional liability, and increased appetite.

What are Marijuana’s effects on the body?

Some effects of Marijuana include increased heart rate, coughing, sedation, decreased blood pressure, sweating, stomach pains, headache, nausea, shakiness, blood shot eyes, and increased appetite.

What are Marijuana’s overdose effects?

Overdosing on Marijuana is next to impossible. That’s not to say you are not unable to take too much and have negative effects like, extreme paranoia, anxiety, and in some cases fainting. Marijuana has the ability to impair an individual’s coordination, judgement and perception, so it is possible to injure yourself or others while you are under the influence.

What are the withdrawal effects of Marijuana?

The withdrawal effects of Marijuana abuse include sweating, stomach pains, headache, nausea, shakiness, restlessness, sleep difficulties, irritability, and decreased appetite.

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Medical Marijuana Refugees: From Schedule I to Life Changing Medication

In 1970, President Nixon asked his Attorney General to manage the brand new Control Substance Act. As part of the task, the attorney created a categorized organizational chart referred to as the “schedule.” President Nixon was strongly opposed to the legalization of marijuana. It coincidentally found its way to the top of the schedule where it currently sits amongst countless ignored petitions to have it removed.

About 1 million people in the United States suffer with seizures that do not respond to regular treatment, but derivatives of marijuana have proven to considerably decrease seizures for many patients from hundreds of seizures per month to just a few. When Colorado legalized Marijuana, people from all walks of life relocated to the state to relieve loved ones of seizures and other illnesses. Many are forced to make a choice between their lives in their hometown or their child’s health and quality of life.

Not only does Marijuana change the lives of some patients, but it also changed the lives of Colorado residents as well. In the first year of legalization, residents saw a cash influx of $800,000—that’s 4 times the projected tax revenue, which has lead to multiple city improvements.

Effects of Cannabis on the Adolescent Brain

Human brains become fully developed at the age of 25. Adults over the age of 25 years old use the prefrontal cortex for rational thinking. Coincidentally, the prefrontal cortex is the last part of the brain to develop.

Marijuana consumption during brain development causes disruptions that could substantially change the genetic curve of its growth; the effects of this change inhibit the brain’s growth potential. These could have rampant connotations for analytical thinking and routine living activities in adulthood.

Some of the biggest concerns researchers have about adolescents using marijuana involve attention and memory. The studies of the effects of cannabis on the adolescent brain are limited; however, the knowledge that we do have alludes to adverse, possible long-term effects on the healthy growth of the brain. Adolescents often need individual treatment to address their tendencies to use marijuana in social situations or during difficult emotional times. Through treatment, adolescents are able to regain a confident sense of self without marijuana.

However, more long-term studies need to be done to understand many unanswered questions, including those regarding naturally pre-determined risk-taking tendencies compared to risk-taking tendencies that can be attributed to the early commencement of use and frequency of use.

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Drug & Alcohol Interventions for Marijuana Dependency

When a loved one has a dependence on marijuana, he or she typically experiences mood swings in day-to-day life. If it’s plentiful or recently consumed, your loved one’s behavior may be one of satisfaction and content; however, if the supply is running low or it hasn’t been consumed recently, your loved one may become irritable and aggressive.

Family members on the receiving end of these moods are often shocked, confused and angry, causing a ripple effect that can reach several members of your family. Family members often struggle with what to do to help, while feeling hurt and betrayed.

An intervention allows loved ones to come together to share the burden of their concern. For an addicted individual, it can be hard to see past the next time he or she can get high. Bringing respected loved ones together has often shown the individual that treatment is now crucial.

Common Behaviors Associated With Marijuana Abuse

CDB and THC work together in producing the effects of marijuana. About 30 minutes after ingesting the plant, the effects begin to take form. Feelings of euphoria and relaxation replace feelings of stress and anxiety. During this time, common behaviors are generally pleasant and easy-going. Laughing comes easily and optimism is present.

As the effects continue to build, the brain’s response transforms behaviors to accommodate lower inhibitions, anxiety, and in extreme cases, hallucinations. Many people experience sleepiness or fatigue and ravenous hunger while under the influence of marijuana as well.

The behavioral effects of long-term daily abuse of marijuana that can appear over time are a loss of interest in school or work achievements, goals for the future and a significant change in friend groups. Neglecting personal appearance and other priorities can also be an indicator that someone is struggling with marijuana abuse.

Spotlighting Marijuana: Both Sides of the Story

Because marijuana use and abuse is a hot-button issue, it can be difficult to determine whether marijuana use is truly dangerous. Further, it can be hard to decide if someone needs to be treated because of marijuana use. To find out whether marijuana is truly a dangerous substance, one can ask these questions:

  • Can you become dependent on marijuana to the point that puts yourself and your family members into unhealthy comprising situations?
  • Does the dependency on that substance influence, shape, and/or negatively impact the life you are living?
  • Can this substance become a crutch for avoiding problems and life experiences?
  • Does using and abusing marijuana alter the brain permanently in anyway that could negatively impact an individual’s future growth and development?
  • Last but not the least important, can the individual die from using or abusing too much of the substance when seeking treatment was a possible solution?

These questions are hard to answer because some of them are subjective. Those questions can be answered from a foundation of perspective, religious beliefs, values and morals that will be unique to each person when they are asked.

What ABTRS can do is respect each opinion and the impact, positive and negative, that it has on society. What we can do is help individuals and their loved ones that do feel like their dependency on marijuana is negatively impacting their life. A Better Today Recovery Services wants to be there for you when you need it most. We are here for those who need support in getting clean from their substance of choice and remain sober because being sober positively influences their life. We provide help to people without stigma, regardless of their background or experience with drug use.

Reliable Sources Matter to ABTRS

Addressing Chemically Dependent Colleagues Volume 2/Issue 2 July 2011. Retrieved from https://www.ncsbn.org/Addressing_Chemically_Dependent.pdf

Mealer, M., Burnham, E. L., Goode, C. J., Rothbaum, B., & Moss, M. (2009). The prevalence and impact of post-traumatic stress disorder and burnout syndrome in nurses. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2919801/

The Opioid Crisis and the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist: How Can We Help. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.aana.com/docs/default-source/aana-journal-web-documents-1/guest-editorial—the-opioid-crisis-and-the-certified-registered-nurse-anesthetist—how-can-we-help.pdf?sfvrsn=76ad4ab1_4

Toney-Butler TJ, Siela D. Recognizing Alcohol and Drug Impairment in the Workplace in Florida. (2018). Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507774/

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