Due to marijuana effects, students may find it hard to study and learn. Young athletes could find their performance is off; timing, movements, and coordination are all affected by THC. It is very important to get the use of this drug stopped.
How do marijuana effects hinder the user’s driving ability? Marijuana effects many skills required for safe driving: alertness, the ability to concentrate, coordination, and reaction time. These marijuana effects can last up to 24 hours after smoking marijuana. Marijuana use can make it difficult to judge distances and react to signals and sounds on the road. There are data showing that marijuana can play a role in crashes. When users combine marijuana with alcohol, as they often do, the hazards of driving can be more severe than with either drug alone.
Marijuana effects due to the THC in the drug changes the way in which sensory information gets into and is processed by the hippocampus, a brain component that is crucial for learning, memory, and the integration of senses with emotions. Learned behaviors also deteriorate. Long-term use of marijuana produces changes in the brain similar to those seen after long-term use of other major drugs.
Someone who smokes marijuana regularly may have many of the same respiratory problems as tobacco smokers. Regardless of the THC content, 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.
If someone is high on marijuana, he or she might:
Marijuana effects on the user depend on the type of cannabis and how much THC it contains; way the drug is taken (by smoking or eating); experience and expectations of the user; setting where the drug is used; and whether drinking or other drug use is also going on. Some people feel nothing at all when they first try marijuana. Others may feel high (intoxicated and/or euphoric).
It's common for marijuana users to become engrossed with ordinary sights, sounds, or tastes, and trivial events may seem extremely interesting or funny. Time seems to pass very slowly, so minutes feel like hours. Sometimes the drug causes users to feel thirsty and very hungry-an effect called "the munchies."
Regarding children, parents should be aware of changes in their child's behavior, although this may be difficult with teenagers. Parents should look for withdrawal, depression, fatigue, carelessness with grooming, hostility, and deteriorating relationships with family members and friends. In addition, changes in academic performance, increased absenteeism or truancy, lost interest in sports or other favorite activities, and changes in eating or sleeping habits could be related to drug use. However, these signs may also indicate problems other than use of drugs.
As a parent, you may wonder “does using marijuana lead to other drugs?” Long-term studies of high school students and their patterns of drug use show that very few young people use other drugs without first trying marijuana, alcohol, or tobacco. Though few young people use cocaine, for example, the risk of doing so is much greater for youth who have tried marijuana than for those who have never tried it. While research has not fully explained this association, growing evidence suggests a combination of biological, social, and psychological factors are involved.
Researchers are examining the possibility that long-term marijuana effects may create changes in the brain that make a person more at risk of becoming addicted to other drugs, such as alcohol or cocaine. While many young people who use marijuana do not go on to use other drugs, further research is needed to determine who will be at greatest risk.