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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Marijuana Abuse

Marijuana Abuse

Alternate Names : Cannabis Abuse

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Marijuana is a gray or green mixture of dried flowers and leaves from the Cannabis sativa, or hemp plant. Cannabis is also known as pot, grass, bhang, charas, ganja, weed, and hashish. It contains a chemical known as THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). When this chemical is smoked or eaten, it creates a high.

What is going on in the body?

THC binds to the protein receptors of certain nerve cells. It starts a set of cellular reactions that create the high feeling. It also acts as a sedative, which means it has a calming effect. The individual may have a sense of well-being or euphoria. Perceptions are altered. Marijuana can be a psychologically addictive drug.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

Marijuana abuse is associated with several factors. These include:

  • family influence, such as drug abuse in one or both parents
  • genetic factors, which may make a person more prone to addiction
  • psychiatric disorders
  • social factors, such as exposure to situations that encourage drug abuse


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    Marijuana Abuse: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Ann Reyes, Ph.D.
    Reviewer: Adam Brochert, MD
    Date Reviewed: 06/01/01

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