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Gun Control

Essay by   •  October 21, 2010  •  Essay  •  521 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,541 Views

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Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States.

A dry, shredded green/brown mix of flowers, stems, seeds, and leaves of

the hemp plant Cannabis sativa, it usually is smoked as a cigarette

(joint, nail), or in a pipe (bong). It also is smoked in blunts, which

are cigars that have been emptied of tobacco and refilled with

marijuana, often in combination with another drug. Use also might

include mixing marijuana in food or brewing it as a tea. As a more

concentrated, resinous form it is called hashish and, as a sticky black

liquid, hash oil. Marijuana smoke has a pungent and distinctive,

usually sweet-and-sour odor. There are countless street terms for

marijuana including pot, herb, weed, grass, widow, ganja, and hash, as

well as terms derived from trademarked varieties of cannabis, such as

Bubble GumÐ'®, Northern LightsÐ'®, Juicy FruitÐ'®, Afghani #1Ð'®, and a number

of Skunk varieties.

The main active chemical in marijuana is THC The membranes of certain

nerve cells in the brain contain protein receptors that bind to THC.

Once securely in place, THC kicks off a series of cellular reactions

that ultimately lead to the high that users experience when they smoke


Scientists have learned a great deal about how THC acts in the brain to

produce its many effects. When someone smokes marijuana, THC rapidly

passes from the lungs into the bloodstream, which carries the chemical

to organs throughout the body, including the brain.

In the brain, THC connects to specific sites called cannabinoid

receptors on nerve cells and influences the activity of those cells.

Some brain areas have many cannabinoid receptors; others have few or

none. Many cannabinoid receptors are found in the parts of the brain

that influence pleasure, memory, thought, concentration, sensory and

time perception, and coordinated movement(5).


The short-term effects of marijuana can include problems with memory

and learning; distorted perception; difficulty in thinking and problem

solving; loss of coordination; and increased heart rate. Research

findings for long-term marijuana use indicate some changes in the brain




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