Marijuana is classified and treated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Food and Drug Administration as a Schedule I substance. This puts marijuana in the same classification as heroin which is one of the most highly addictive drugs available today. Even so, Marijuana was ranked as the third most popular recreational drug of choice, after alcohol and tobacco.
There has been much debate on the topic of legalization of cannabis in the US. Many have mixed feelings about the actual benefits or pitfalls of legalizing this drug. In recent years there has been an increase in the number of people that favor marijuana use amongst all generations and demographics. However, many agree that further research on the long and short term effects of regular marijuana use is needed to better understand if the existing classification of marijuana is accurate.
Studies have revealed that more than 100 million individuals admitted to trying marijuana at least once. Approximately 14 million of those will continue to use marijuana regularly. One of the major misconception about marijuana is it is used predominantly by the male population. While men are more likely to use this drug than women, studies are showing a growing increase in women smokers. Many prominent female entertainers are also openly admitting to their use of marijuana. As the negative stigma associated with use of this substance diminish, many more female smokers will admit to using it.
Tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, is the chemical in marijuana that causes the physiological effects of the drug. THC produces the euphoria that the drug is so popular for. The initial effects tend to be the same for both men and women. Short term effects include but are not limited to anxiety, panic, increased heart-rate, and/or poor coordination. While marijuana is renowned for its "relaxing effects" many users experience paranoia or anxiety rather than peace and tranquility. Long term effects may include, perpetual drowsiness, lack of motivation, mood changes and decreased ability to withstand common ailments due to a weakened immune system. As with most drugs, the effects of marijuana can vary for each individual whether they are male or female.
While there seem to be no apparent gender differences in the cognitive effect of marijuana, hormonal effects have been observed for both genders. A mutual concern of the medical community is the question of fertility with regular marijuana usage. In the case of men who are use marijuana on a daily basis, studies show a decrease in sperm production. Also, if marijuana use begins at an early age, it may also delay the onset of puberty. Alternatively, women are impacted by way of ovulation. Regular usage have been shown to inhibit the normal ovulation process in most women smokers.
A common thread to both genders is said to be the effect that cannabis has on Cortisol and Prolactin. Researchers report that THC raise cortisol levels which for a short time may be ok, however for longer periods it can pose a health threat. High levels are responsible for slowing down healing and can destroy healthy muscle tone. For women high levels of THC can also lead to ailments such as fibromyalgia or premature menopause. Another down-side is the potential for lowered sexual gratification from the reduction of prolactin with regular marijuana consumption.
The legalization of cannabis controversy has been going on since the 1970's. Still sufficient research relevant to the effect of marijuana on women versus men is still questionable. The bottom line is marijuana is an addictive substance that can impair normal brain functions much like any other mind altering drug.
If you or someone you love has an addiction to marijuana, call Charleston drug rehab renters today at 843-410-4190 for assistance with finding a treatment center.