How Smoking MARIJUANA Affect Your Mental Health?

1.  Introduction:

Marijuana is a mind alerting drug which is used for medical purpose in some countries. This drug is illegal in most of the countries especially in the United Kingdom. Marijuana comes from a plant which is called hemp plant. People generally intake these drugs via smoking. They intake this drug through hand-rolled cigarettes which are known as joint. Some of the people intake this through pipes or blunts also. More than 400 chemicals are present in marijuana which is the cause of intoxication. This drug contains mind alerting chemical called THC (delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol) which is mainly responsible behind the intoxication.

1.1 Some background information on the problem:

High consumption of marijuana is the cause of various mental sicknesses like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, etc. People consuming marijuana regularly suffer from permanent memory loss (Hall, 2015). People get panic attacks very often by consuming this illicit drug. Excessive use of marijuana can permanently damage the central nervous system (Whitfield-Gabrieli et al., 2018). The normal working condition of the nerves gets destroyed by the overuse of these substances as they can absorb the synaptic fluids and impose a great threat to the white matter and the grey matter inside the brain by destroying the cells. The chemical THC and other harmful components which are generally found in this drug pass through the lung and mixed with bloodstream (Committee on Substance Abuse, 2015). This bloodstream carries this substance throughout the body and brain as well leading to significantly affecting mental health.

1.2 Purpose or significance of the study:

Although Marijuana smoking is illegal in United Kingdom still some persons use it to get pleasure and this drug is the cheapest of all other existing drugs like cocaine, alcohol, etc. With the help of this research, we will be able to find out the ratio or percentage of the people who are generally addicted with this illicit drug use as well as behavioral and mental problems that may arise due to excessive consumption of marijuana. As per research, limited use of marijuana cannot deeply affect the human system but there are some gaps in the extensive research (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, 2017). Apart from the mental sickness like depression, anxiety etc., this substance can also affect the brain development of a person. So, the purpose of the research report is to find out how marijuana smoking affects the mental health of people.

1.3 Research questions:

This research focuses on the questionnaires mentioned below related to marijuana consumption.

  1. Does marijuana addiction impose psychopharmacological effects?
  2. Does marijuana addiction damage nervous system?
  3. Is there a correlation between marijuana addiction and memory loss?
  4. Is the motivation level of a person affected by marijuana addiction?
  5. Is there a correlation between marijuana addiction and a person’s emotion?

2. Literature Review:

2.1 Introduction:

Marijuana is mainly extracted from a plant leaves, that’s why most of the people think that it has less risk than any other drugs (Wilkinson et al., 2016). According to the survey report of WHO most of the marijuana addicted people of UK are affected with various psychotic disorders like depression, anxiety, sleeping disorder, schizophrenia, etc. 

2.2 Marijuana’s psychopharmacological effects:

Marijuana consists of more than 60 cannabinoid chemical compounds, among which THC is the most active chemical leading to any kind of psychological disorders. In this plant Stem, leaves, seeds all consists of this THC component (Ammerman et al., 2015). As per pharmacologists, the amount of THC in marijuana remains around 150 mg now-a-days compared to 6-26mg in earlier days.

2.3 Effects on nervous system:

The chemical compound called THC has a huge impact on the central nervous system of the human body. The motor neuron function is greatly affected by this compound. Body flexibility, visual and spatial processes which are controlled by these motor neurons, is damaged by this compound (Lucas, 2017).

2.4 Effects on memory:

The research says marijuana has a reverse effect on one’s memory impairment. Some people say that substance abuse is the reason behind a short term memory loss and some say this substance abuse is the reason behind the verbal memory impairment (Sagar et al., 2015).

2.5 Effects on motivation:

According to the research, people who consume an excessive amount of marijuana usually feel less motivated most of the time. A marijuana addicted person generally feels low, less confident about his or her state. Just for this lack of motivation people will automatically come under the loop of depression (Hill et al., 2017).

2.6 Effects on Human emotion:

We have already discussed above that marijuana hugely affects the nervous system of the human body. Mostly in those cases, the frontal lobe of the human brain are deeply affected. This part controls the various human emotions (Nguyen et al., 2019).

2.7 Social involvement, engagement, and integration of Students:

Research says graduate and undergraduate students are mostly affected by this substance abuse. In cultural functions, parties etc. students gather and smoke marijuana for pleasure. Later it becomes a habit gradually and ultimately leads to addiction of smoking marijuana (Strong, Juon and Ensminger, 2016).

3. Research Methodology:

3.1 Introduction:

A research methodology is a process with the help of which we can collect data and analyze it with an appropriate manner on the given topic. With the help of this framework, we can target particular people to accomplish the survey. This is a systematic method of research and analysis with which we can choose the audiences of our own and need to choose some data processing tools and variables also to meet the research aims and objectives. 

3.2 Research Philosophy and approach:

The research philosophy deals with both the positive and negative side of the research. The approach of this research is to collect data from different populations and subsequent quantitative analysis and interpretations based on the research questionnaires to gain an idea about the side effects of marijuana smoking on mental health condition.

3.3 Research design:

With the help of the descriptive research design and surveying, we can get an idea and it becomes easier to meet the accuracy level as the population sample size and target audience were considered in an independent unbiased manner. A list of questionnaires was prepared and modified as per requirement of the research and participant’s identity was kept anonymous. With these constructive research design and unbiased population more precise results can be obtained.

3.4 Data collection:

For accomplishing this research people different populations were targeted. Around 500 people were selected as sample ranging in age between 18 to 65. Some of them are my friends, neighbors and some are anonymous or not familiar with me. Both verbal and electronic medium communications like email, social media like Facebook etc. were used for data collection. Among 500 people around 200 people preferred not to answer or not to discuss regarding this subject (Wycoff, Metrik and Trull, 2018). So, responses from the remaining around 300 people are the main backbone of this research.

3.5 Sampling approach:

The total number of people used as a sample for this research project is 300. The number of marijuana addicted persons were 100 and they were separated in different categories based on their age and based on the adverse mental health effects of marijuana smoking (Bruins et al., 2016).

3.6 Data Analysis:

As per the responses from the selected population, data analysis was performed and is presented subsequently in later part of this report in the form of table. This analysis helps in finding the adverse effects of marijuana smoking on mental health conditions and resulting problems as well as the percentage of people affected by different types of mental health problems due to marijuana smoking (Murray, 2016). This analysis will also be helpful to spread a social awareness and as well as to evaluate the existing laws or impose some certain laws so that people quit marijuana smoking gradually for a healthy, longer, wonderful life (Bloomfield et al. 2016).

4. Findings and Results:

4.1 Gender:

Total participants 300
Marijuana addicted 100
Age group 18-30 30-40 40-50 50-65
No. of persons 55 25 12 8
Gender male female male female male female male female
No. of Persons 38 17 17 8 8 4 7 1
percentage 69.09 30.90 68 32 66.66 33.34 87.5 12.5

According to the survey mostly men are associated with this substance abuse. Though there are lots of females who are associated with this illegal and destructive activity.

4.2 Age

Total participants 300
Marijuana addicted 100
Age group 18-30 30-40 40-50 50-65
No. of Persons 55 25 12 8

According to the analysis, we can understand most of the marijuana addicted persons belong to the 18 to 30 age group. With the help of this research, we can see the marijuana addiction of the persons gradually decreases with the increment of age.

4.3 Psychopharmacological effects:

Total participants 300
Marijuana addicted 100
Age group 18-30 30-40 40-50 50-65
No. of persons 55 25 12 8
No. of Psychopharmacological effects sufferer 12 8 4 0
percentage 21.82 32.00 33.33 0

According to the survey analysis, the percentage of the people (33.33%, 4 persons out of 12) who are greatly affected psychopharmacologically belong to 40-50 group. This research shows that marijuana damages the psychopharmacological system slowly.

4.4 Affecting the Nervous system:

Total participants 300
Marijuana addicted 100
Age group 18-30 30-40 40-50 50-65
No. of persons 55 25 12 8
No of persons having problems in Nervous system 25 10 5 2
percentage 45.45 40 41.67 25

According to the survey we can see maximum number of people in the different age group are greatly affected with nervous system disorder. So, it can affect both young and old persons simultaneously.

4.5 Affecting Memory:

total participants 300
marijuana affected 100
Age group 18-30 30-40 40-50 50-65
No. of Persons 55 25 12 8
No. of Persons suffering from Memory loss 20 3 10 4
percentage 36.36 12 83.33 50

According to the analysis we can see people of any age may suffer short time memory loss or permanent memory loss due to excessive marijuana smoking.

4.6 Affecting Motivation:

Total participants 300
Marijuana affected 100
Age group 18-30 30-40 40-50 50-65
No. of Persons 55 25 12 8
No. of persons with less motivation 30 14 5 4
percentage 54.54 56 41.67 50

According to the analysis, we can see around 50% people of each age group are suffering from lack of motivation problem and depression.

4.7 Affecting emotion:

total participants 300
marijuana affected 100
Age group 18-30 30-40 40-50 50-65
No. of Persons 55 25 12 8
No of persons suffering from emotional problems 28 14 5 4
percentage 50.90 56 41.67 50

According to the analysis, we can see emotional sensations are greatly affected by marijuana consumption irrespective of the person’s age.

4.8 Other issues:

In the above analysis, most of the people suffering from multiple problems like nervous system disorder, depression, lack of motivation, memory loss, etc. marijuana affected their mental health very deeply. Apart from that, they are also suffering from some physiological disorders like tracheal infection, lung infection, etc (Borodovsky et al., 2016).

5. Conclusions:

By detailed study and subsequent analysis and interpretations, it is clear that smoking marijuana imposes a great threat on the mental health of people irrespective of age and gender.  It has been also observed that mostly young people are affected by this substance abuse. It is well known that, between the ages of 18 to 22 some hormonal changes and brain development process take place. This substance gets mixed with bloodstream and affect brain development and our hormonal changes also. This can destroy our physical, mental and emotional growth. This substance slowly destroys the entire nervous system leading to different types of mental problems.

6. Evaluation of Research Methods:

6.1 The success of Research Methods:

The research successfully points out marijuana smoking poses an adverse threat to mental conditions irrespective of gender and age of persons (Bridgeman and Abazia, 2017).  The active participation of people of different age group and gender resulted in an unbiased result because of different sample population. It is also alarming that young generation is addicted to marijuana smoking to a greater extent leading to suffering from different types of mental issues and they are the backbone, the future of a country. This research will be helpful o spread a mass awareness among the people so that no one gets addicted to marijuana smoking and not to spoil their mental health as well as their lives (Babson, Sottile and Morabito, 2017).

6.2 Limitations of Research Methods:

Although the research is mostly successful to point out to several mental health problems due to marijuana smoking but the limitation of the present study has several aspects to consider (Buckner et al., 2016). A major concern is on the reliability of self-reported data along with around 200 persons preferred not to discuss regarding this out of 500 persons. Besides that, it may be possible that some persons did not provide all the mental health related problems because of fear or they may be unable to understand some of the other problems they are facing because of smoking marijuana. Another limitation was regarding the population demography and size as the study was restricted to 500 people belonging to United Kingdom (van de Giessen, 2017).

7. References:

Ammerman, S., Ryan, S., Adelman, W.P. and Committee on Substance Abuse, 2015. The impact of marijuana policies on youth: clinical, research, and legal update. Pediatrics135(3), pp.e769-e785.

Babson, K.A., Sottile, J. and Morabito, D., 2017. Cannabis, cannabinoids, and sleep: a review of the literature. Current psychiatry reports19(4), p.23.

Bloomfield, M.A., Ashok, A.H., Volkow, N.D. and Howes, O.D., 2016. The effects of Δ 9-tetrahydrocannabinol on the dopamine system. Nature539(7629), p.369.

Borodovsky, J.T., Crosier, B.S., Lee, D.C., Sargent, J.D. and Budney, A.J., 2016. Smoking, vaping, eating: Is legalization impacting the way people use cannabis?. International Journal of Drug Policy36, pp.141-147.

Bridgeman, M.B. and Abazia, D.T., 2017. Medicinal cannabis: history, pharmacology, and implications for the acute care setting. Pharmacy and Therapeutics42(3), p.180.

Bruins, J., Pijnenborg, M.G., Bartels-Velthuis, A.A., Visser, E., van den Heuvel, E.R., Bruggeman, R. and Jörg, F., 2016. Cannabis use in people with severe mental illness: The association with physical and mental health–a cohort study. A Pharmacotherapy Monitoring and Outcome Survey study. Journal of Psychopharmacology30(4), pp.354-362.

Buckner, J.D., Jeffries, E.R., Terlecki, M.A. and Ecker, A.H., 2016. Distress tolerance among students referred for treatment following violation of campus cannabis use policy: Relations to use, problems, and motivation. Behavior modification40(5), pp.663-677.

Committee on Substance Abuse, 2015. The impact of marijuana policies on youth: clinical, research, and legal update. Pediatrics135(3), pp.584-587.

Hall, W., 2015. What has research over the past two decades revealed about the adverse health effects of recreational cannabis use?. Addiction110(1), pp.19-35.

Hill, K.P., Palastro, M.D., Johnson, B. and Ditre, J.W., 2017. Cannabis and pain: a clinical review. Cannabis and cannabinoid research2(1), pp.96-104.

Lucas, P., 2017. Rationale for cannabis-based interventions in the opioid overdose crisis. Harm reduction journal14(1), p.58.

Murray, R.M., Quigley, H., Quattrone, D., Englund, A. and Di Forti, M., 2016. Traditional marijuana, high‐potency cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids: increasing risk for psychosis. World Psychiatry15(3), pp.195-204.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2017. The health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids: The current state of evidence and recommendations for research. National Academies Press.

Nguyen, T.Q., Ebnesajjad, C., Stuart, E.A., Kennedy, R.D. and Johnson, R.M., 2019. Does marijuana use at ages 16–18 predict initiation of daily cigarette smoking in late adolescence and early adulthood? A propensity score analysis of add Health data. Prevention Science20(2), pp.246-256.

Sagar, K.A., Dahlgren, M.K., Gönenç, A., Racine, M.T., Dreman, M.W. and Gruber, S.A., 2015. The impact of initiation: Early onset marijuana smokers demonstrate altered Stroop performance and brain activation. Developmental cognitive neuroscience16, pp.84-92.

Strong, C., Juon, H.S. and Ensminger, M.E., 2016. Effect of adolescent cigarette smoking on adulthood substance use and abuse: The mediating role of educational attainment. Substance use & misuse51(2), pp.141-154.

van de Giessen, E., Weinstein, J.J., Cassidy, C.M., Haney, M., Dong, Z., Ghazzaoui, R., Ojeil, N., Kegeles, L.S., Xu, X., Vadhan, N.P. and Volkow, N.D., 2017. Deficits in striatal dopamine release in cannabis dependence. Molecular psychiatry22(1), p.68.

Whitfield-Gabrieli, S., Fischer, A.S., Henricks, A.M., Khokhar, J.Y., Roth, R.M., Brunette, M.F. and Green, A.I., 2018. Understanding marijuana’s effects on functional connectivity of the default mode network in patients with schizophrenia and co-occurring cannabis use disorder: A pilot investigation. Schizophrenia research194, pp.70-77.

Wilkinson, S.T., van Schalkwyk, G.I., Davidson, L. and D’Souza, D.C., 2016. The formation of marijuana risk perception in a population of substance abusing patients. Psychiatric quarterly87(1), pp.177-187.

Wycoff, A.M., Metrik, J. and Trull, T.J., 2018. Affect and cannabis use in daily life: A review and recommendations for future research. Drug and alcohol dependence.

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