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What Type of Drug Is Marijuana?

Many Americans did not know marijuana before the 1960s. Today, marijuana is the most used illegal drug in the United States. A survey conducted on marijuana use in 2012 revealed that over 111 million Americans above 12 years old had used the drug at least once. The survey results also revealed that about 19 million had used the drug within the month of the survey. Such statistics and the effect of the drug on brain development worry many parents. Marijuana is addictive and its effect can last for a really long period of time. So, what type of drug is marijuana? This article answers this question and outlines the uses and effects of marijuana.

What Type of Drug Is Marijuana?

According to the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of 1990, marijuana is a schedule 1 substance with no legal medical use and high potential for abuse. Marijuana is made from dried and shredded leaves, stems, flowers and seeds of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. The mixture is green, brown or gray in color.

Marijuana is a depressant that slows down messages between your brain and body. It reduces hallucinogenic effects when taken in large doses. Marijuana contains THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and is referred to as yarndi, weed, pot, gunja, stick, joint, hash, cone, choof or Kronic.

Marijuana has three different forms. The first form is marijuana, which is the dried form of the plant and is smoked in a joint or bong. The second form is hashish, which is dried cannabis plant resin. Hashish is often mixed with tobacco and smoked. Hashish is also added to foods and baked foodstuffs such as cookies and brownies. Hash oil, which is a liquid form of cannabis, is added to a cigarette tip and smoked. The effects of eaten cannabis take an hour but those of smoked cannabis are immediate.

How Does Marijuana Work?

Now we have known that the answer to “What type of drug is marijuana?” is schedule 1 substance. But how does marijuana work exactly?

The Medical Use of Marijuana

Despite this classification of marijuana, some states in the United States have legalized its use for both recreational and medical purposes. In such states, prescription drugs containing synthetic cannabinoids are readily available. Marijuana reduces nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy and helps HIV/AIDS patient increase appetite. The drug is used to treat chronic pain and relieve muscle spasms.

However, it may have adverse effects like memory loss, cognition problems and risk of addiction and schizophrenia. The American Society of Addiction Medicine and the US Food and Drug Administration dispute the medical uses of marijuana because of harmful effects and lack of control of its content, production and supply.

Recreational Use of Marijuana

Here comes the big problem — use or abuse marijuana as a recreational drug, which can be smoked as a cigarette or in a pipe or bong. The highest concentrations of THC in marijuana are in the leaves and flowers. THC passes through the lungs to the blood stream. Then it is passed to the brain and other parts of the body. THC affects the cannabinoid receptors in the brain and triggers cellular reactions. These cause reactions to the euphoria or high feeling associated with marijuana. The worst adverse effects of the drug are felt on the parts of the brain that have high concentration of cannabinoid receptors.

What Are the Side Effects of Marijuana?

The discussion on “What type of drug is marijuana?” is not complete without discussing its side effects. The drug has short-term and long-term effects on its users.

The short-term effects include distortion of senses, panic attacks, anxiety, lack of coordination in movement and reduced reaction time. Other short-term effects include feeling sleepy or depressed immediately after using the drug and an increased heartbeat, which increases the risk of a heart attack.

The long-term effects include poor resistance to illnesses, a poor immune system, growth disorders and abnormal structure of cells. Other long-term effects include low male sex hormones, destruction of lung fibers and brain injuries, low sexual capacity, poor learning, drowsiness or apathy, mood swings and poor understanding. The brain injuries could be permanent.

7 Marijuana Test Related Questions

The table below outlines several methods and questions used to detect marijuana.

Question

Urine

Blood

Saliva

Hair

Parent drugs or drug metabolites tests?

Metabolites

Both

Parent drug

Metabolites

How long can marijuana be detected through this test?

Several days to a few weeks

Typically a couple of hours after past consumption, occasionally 1-2 days

Typically a couple of hours after past consumption, occasionally 1-2 days

About 90 days after past consumption

How soon will it be detected after use?

2-8 hours

Immediately

Immediately

5-7 days

Presently used in “driving under the influence” tests?

Yes

Yes

In some European countries and not in USA.

No

Presently used in employee or pre-employment tests?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Presently used in student testing?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Acceptable as court evidence?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

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