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Pot, weed, grass, ganja and skunk, are some of the common words used to describe the dried leaves drug known as marijuana. Marijuana comes from the Indian hemp plant and was given its botanical name, Cannabis sativa, by Linnaeus in 1753. The term cannabis is derived from cannabinoids, a class of chemical compounds unique to this plant which produce its unusual effects. (Marijuana, Its Effects on Mind & Body, p. 27) Marijuana was first described in print in a Chinese book of medicine. The ancient Persians, Greeks, Romans, East Indians, and Assyrians, also used the drug. They used it to control muscle spasms, to reduce pain, and to treat indigestion. In Asia and Africa, people use it as an herbal preparation in folk medicine. Western practioners also used marijuana in medical practices. In 19th century in America, it was used by the medical profession for treating ailments such as spastic conditions, headaches, labor pains, insomnia, and menstrual cramps. (Marijuana, Its effects on mind & Body, p. 37, 38) Marijuana was introduced to Western medicine by the British doctor; W.B. O¶Shaughnessy, who learned about it while he was stationed in India. The main ingredient in Cannabis is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol also called (THC) and it is the specific cannabinoid which is psychoactive²meaning that it alters mood, perception, thought processes, and

consciousness. (Journal of Alcohol & Drug Education p. 1) Marijuana is a very harmful drug causes a lot of damage to the person who consumes it. Effects of marijuana use are consists of respiratory health complaints, learning and social behaviour (mess up your performance in school,sports and others parts of your life)effects on body system and effects on baby during pregnancy. The smoke of marijuana, like that of tobacco, consists of a toxic mixture of gases and particulates, many of which are known to be harmful to the lungs. Someone who smokes marijuana regularly may have many of the same respiratory problems that tobacco smokers do, such as daily cough and phlegm production, more frequent acute chest illnesses, and a greater risk of lung infections. The amount of tar inhaled by marijuana smokers and the level of carbon monoxide absorbed are three to five times greater than among tobacco smokers. This may be due to marijuana users inhaling more deeply and holding the smoke in the lungs. One study found that relationship between marijuana smoking and pulmonary function or respiratory complications. The authors noted several common limitations among the studies, including inadequate control of the complicating effect of tobacco smoking; lack of standardized measures for the amount or duration of marijuana use; and lack of standardized

measures of the outcomes that were evaluated. "Despite these limitations, clinicians should advise their patients of the potential negative impact of marijuana smoking on overall lung health," said Tetrault.( Yale University 2007, February 14 Long-term Marijuana Smoking Leads To Respiratory) Adolescents and young adults who are heavy users of marijuana are more likely than nonusers to have disrupted brain development. Critical skills related to attention, memory, and learning are impaired among people who use marijuana heavily. Longitudinal research on marijuana use among young people below college age indicates those who used have lower achievement than the nonusers, more acceptance of deviant behavior, more delinquent behavior and aggression, greater rebelliousness, poorer relationships with parents, and more associations with delinquent and drug-using friends. Studies of normal brain development reveal critical areas of the brain that develop during late adolescence, and our study shows that heavy cannabis use is associated with damage in those brain regions," said study leader Manzar Ashtari, Ph.D., director of the Diffusion Image Analysis and Brain Morphometry Laboratory in the Radiology Department of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia 2009, February 3. Heavy Marijuana Use May Damage Developing Brain In Teens, Young Adults.)

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