The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Marijuana smoking too unhealthy

Marijuana+smoking+too+unhealthy

By Sharon Murra-Kapon/reporter

edcartoonp3Pot, grass, Mary Jane, weed, hemp … marijuana. Everyone knows what it is, or think they do.

Marijuana is a mixture of seeds and dried leaves from hemp, used to make different drugs in various concentrations. The main active chemical is THC; the strength of marijuana depends on this chemical’s concentration. This drug alters the mind because it has psychoactive effects.

The National Institute of Drug Abuse Web site said although the drug has a variety of effects, certain facts remain true for everyone.

TCH affects coordination, perception, alertness, concentration and reaction time. It hinders the user’s short-term memory and can make it difficult to handle complex tasks. This effect increases negative output in anyone with daily responsibilities. A study made by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed marijuana use impaired drivers as much as alcohol intoxication does.

Long-term negative effects of marijuana could lead to severe health problems. A group of scientists in California studied 450 daily smokers, not including those who also smoked tobacco. Results showed these smokers had more respiratory problems and other types of illness and, thus, more doctor visits than those who did not smoke at all.

Studies have not been successful in finding if marijuana alone causes cancer because most people who smoke marijuana smoke tobacco too. But the NIDA Web site said marijuana contains some of the same cancer-causing compounds as tobacco, sometimes in higher concentrations. Studies showed someone who smokes five joints a day may take in as many cancer-causing chemicals as someone who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day.

More studies in animals and humans revealed marijuana hinders T-cells’ effects in the lung’s immune system. T-cells fight off infections, so marijuana smokers are at higher risk for lung infections.

In addition, marijuana provokes daily coughing and phlegm production, which causes obstruction in the airways making smokers breathe deeper more frequently and increasing the chances of breathing chemicals or irritants.

TCH affects the brain area where the memory is formed. Smoking marijuana leads to a deficiency of memory and motor skills. Psychosis is linked to heavy marijuana smokers.

Long-term users showed emotional problems such as lack of motivation, carelessness regarding their lives and looks, lack of desire to work regularly and fatigue. These symptoms led to poor performance at school or work.

According to NIDA’s Web site, certain types of cannabinoids are being researched for medical purposes. THC, manufactured into a pill can be used for treating the nausea and vomiting that go along with certain cancer treatments and is available by prescription.

The difference between smoking THC to get high and taking it as a prescription to lessen chemotherapy side effects is very big.

Marijuana in the plant variety does not need to be legalized because a legal medical alternative is available.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian