Signs of marijuana abuse:
- Rapid, loud talking and bursts of laughter in early stages of intoxication.
- Sleepy or stuporous in the later stages.
- Lack of concentration and coordination.
- Forgetfulness in conversation.
- Inflammation in whites of eyes.
- Odor similar to burnt rope on clothing or breath.
- Distorted sense of time passage - tendency to overestimate time intervals.
- Craving for sweets.
- Increased appetite.
- Use or possession of paraphernalia including roach clip, packs of rolling papers, pipes or bongs.
How does marijuana affect the body?
Some immediate physical effects of marijuana include:
- a faster heartbeat and pulse rate
- bloodshot eyes
- dry mouth and throat
No scientific evidence indicates that marijuana improves hearing, eyesight, and skin sensitivity.
Marijuana use increases the heart rate as much as 50 percent, depending on the amount of THC.
It can cause chest pain in people who have a poor blood supply to the heart - and it produces these effects more rapidly than tobacco smoke does.
Scientists believe that marijuana can be especially harmful to the lungs because users often inhale the unfiltered smoke deeply and hold it in their lungs as long as possible. Therefore, the smoke is in contact with lung tissues for long periods of time, which irritates the lungs and damages the way they work.
Marijuana smoke contains some of the same ingredients in tobacco smoke that can cause emphysema and cancer. In addition, many marijuana users also smoke cigarettes; the combined effects of smoking these two substances creates an increased health risk.
"Burnout" is a term first used by marijuana smokers themselves to describe the effect of prolonged use. Young people who smoke marijuana heavily over long periods of time can become dull, slow moving, and inattentive. These "burned-out" users are sometimes so unaware of their surroundings that they do not respond when friends speak to them, and they do not realize they have a problem.
How does marijuana affect your mind?
Laboratory studies have shown that animals exhibit symptoms of drug withdrawal after cessation of prolonged marijuana administration. Some human studies have also demonstrated withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, stomach pain, aggression, and anxiety after cessation of oral administration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), marijuana's principal psychoactive component. Now, NIDA-supported researchers at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, and Columbia University in New York City have shown that individuals who regularly smoke marijuana experience withdrawal symptoms after they stop smoking the drug.
Studies at Columbia University in New York City have demonstrated that, in addition to aggression, marijuana smokers experience other withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, stomach pain, and increased irritability during abstinence from the drug. "These results suggest that dependence may be an important consequence of repeated daily exposure to marijuana," says NIDA.