Marijuana is one of the most commonly used drug in the world. There is a growing gap between the latest scientific studies about marijuana and the myths surrounding it. Some people think that as it is legalized in some places, then it must be safe. But your body does not distinguish between a legalized drug and an illicit drug. It only feels the effect that the drug creates after you have used it. Marijuana comes from the hemp plant, and the drug-containing part is found mostly in the flowers, or bud. There are over 400 chemicals contained in marijuana. The chemical that causes intoxication or the “high” in users is called THC (abbreviation for tetrahydrocannabinol). THC creates the mind-altering effects, which characterizes marijuana as a “drug.” Intoxicating literally means “poisoning by putting a toxic substance inside your body”. Any substance that intoxicates causes changes in body and mind. It can create addiction and/or dependency, making the person want to use this drug even if it harmful to them. It may be that you have heard someone say that because marijuana is a plant, it is “natural”, therefore, harmless. However, this information happens to be inaccurate. Also, burning dried leaves and flower buds and inhaling the smoke is not “natural” and as in the case of smoking cigarettes, can be harmful to the body.
After marijuana usage, THC – the primary psychoactive drug ingredient – can remain in the body for up to several months. The duration that THC (or its metabolites – chemical compounds produced to eliminate the drug from the body) can stay in the system varies according to the person and depends on numerous health and lifestyle factors.
- Metabolism– Metabolism plays an important role in determining the rate of metabolism and expulsion of THC from the system. All have a different rate of metabolism, which is determined by height, weight, sex, physical activity level, and genetics.
- Body fat– THC builds up in the fat cells. This means that after use, it becomes more densely concentrated in fatty organs – such as the brain, ovaries, and testes. THC metabolites can be detected in body fat for up to one month after ingestion and exercise releases the THC into the blood stream.
- Frequency of use– The frequency with which you use marijuana helps determine the extent of your detectable period. Because THC and metabolites remain in the body even after their effects have passed, frequent use will cause levels of these chemicals to accumulate, eventually remaining at a high rate. Thus, addicted users will often test positive for longer than those who smoke occasionally if they both stop using marijuana at the same time.
- Potency– The potency of marijuana also affects how long the drug remains in the body. Strong marijuana – that is, marijuana with a high level of THC – will remain in the body longer than one of lower quality.
- Exercises and lifestyle– The frequency of exercise is known to affect ones’ THC level – although little is known precisely “how” such exercises affect that level.
The detoxification symptoms from marijuana vary from each person and they can cause serious discomfort. The most common withdrawal symptoms for a chronic user are insomnia, depression, and feeling of anger. Other symptoms include decrease in sex drive, anxiety, headaches, nausea, restlessness, cravings for marijuana, and poor appetite.
Using and abusing this drug can cause serious problems just like any other drug and should be dealt with the same way as any other addiction. For more info on drug and alcohol treatment be sure to contact us with any inquiries.