There are many names for the drug marijuana but that does not change how it is used or the effects it has on people’s lives. The most commonly used recreational drug, marijuana has been touted as having medicinal purposes along with casual use. Marijuana is not legal to use everywhere but states are starting to get on board with legalization. Explore the issues around marijuana use and the ramifications.

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana is, essentially, dried, shredded up green, brown or grey mixtures of leaves, seeds and flowers of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. Containing nearly 400 chemicals, the most potent active ingredient is THC. The amount of THC in marijuana determines the potency. Hand-rolled cigarettes or ‘joints’ are the most common usage of marijuana. It can be smoked using pipes, bowls or bongs. It may be concentrated in a resin called hashish. Some people may even brew it as tea or mix it in with food.

History of Marijuana Use

The earliest documentation of marijuana cultivation in the U.S. dates from early 17th century when colonists brought the plant to Jamestown, Virginia to produce hemp. Even then, marijuana was recognized medicinally. Permissive attitudes in the early 20th century discovered the permissive attitude was changing.

Uses and Side Effects

The past two decades have seen marijuana uses change which has become quite controversial. Legal in 20 states, marijuana use regularly conflicts with federal drug laws. THC is a cannabinoid, used to treat various conditions, including:

  • Chemotherapy-induced pain or nausea
  • Appetite stimulant in people suffering from AIDS
  • Motor disturbances in people with multiple sclerosis

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve marijuana for medicinal use. The main reason is that the plant has no way to measure consistency of each ingredient. Not enough studies exist to support that benefits outweigh health risks. THC-based drugs may already be approved by FDA and prescribed, which means scientists investigate the possible medical properties and uses of the plant even amidst the controversy.

Typically people who use marijuana will experience some of the following symptoms: anxiety, distortion of sensory perception, increased heart rate, loss of coordination, memory or learning problems, loss of coordination, difficulty thinking or problem-solving. Some of the ramifications of taking marijuana long-term can include brain changes, fertility issues and respiratory problems.

Marijuana is highly addictive and can be a ‘gateway’ to using other drugs, in combination or otherwise. Addiction is most noted among early-age users and those who practice daily use of the drug as tolerance and dependence build in the system. More of the drug will then be needed to achieve the same effects. The safest way to use marijuana is under a doctor’s orders and supervision then seek a recovery program.


If you are unable to stop using marijuana or need it to function on a daily basis and find it interfering with activities of daily life, call Hired Power at 714-559-3919. We can connect you with our program and help you recover.