Parent Testimonials Video

What You Need To Know About Hash

Marijuana is one of the highly abused hard drugs; it goes by several street names including weed, grass, pot, herb, boom, ganja, dope, reefer, gangster, chronic and hashish "hash" in short. Basically, marijuana is a mixture of stems, seeds, flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant. Marijuana is very dangerous because it has mind altering effects, in other words, it messes with the brains functionality. Whenever, you use pot you are inhaling over 400 harmful chemicals, scary right? The main active component in marijuana is THC tetrahydrocannabinol. The strength or potency of this drug is determined by the THC amount. Statistics done by the National Institute of Drug Abuse indicate that the THC level in hash keeps rising and so does the brain damage. Most people who smoke pot complain of anxiety attacks and breathing problems.

The length of time in which marijuana stays in the body depends on the amount of THC levels. THC is normally absorbed very rapidly into the tissues and various other organs in the body. An urine test is enough to detect traces of THC a few days after use. For heavy pot users, THC can be detected even weeks after one quits using the drug. Marijuana is smoked like cigarettes, recently, it also appears in blunts which are often emptied of tobacco and then refilled with hash. It is also added in foods (hash cookies or brownies) or in brewed tea.

Does marijuana abuse trigger use of other drugs?
Marijuana is highly addictive and it is estimated that 1 in every 6 people get hooked to hash when they begin using it. Research done by the National Institute on drug abuse indicate that exposure to cannabis has been found to make other opiate drugs more appealing. Marijuana users are often in contact with dealers who peddle other drugs and thus the temptation of abusing other drugs alongside marijuana is very high. The fact that marijuana affects the brain also makes other hard core drugs highly appealing. Hash is widely abused because of its availability and the fact that it can be disguised and out in cigarette blunts or used in food.

Effects of marijuana
Some people simply get high or feel relaxed when they smoke hash. Short term effects of marijuana include: memory problems, los of coordination, anxiety, panic attacks, distorted perception, paranoid thoughts, increased heart rate and motivational syndrome where one lacks the ambition or drive to do things like even going to work. Long term effects include respiratory complications, daily coughs which may be a symptom of chronic bronchitis, chest colds, risks of lung infections and pneumonia. Marijuana also contains some of the chemicals that cause cancer.

This drug also affects learning and social behavior. Hashish affects judgment, memory and perceptions, attention skills are also impaired among heavy users. Further research indicates that students who abuse this drug score poorly in class when compared to non-users. Other traits exhibited in such students include deviant behavior, aggression, rebelliousness, poor relationships and associations with other drug users and delinquents. Pregnant women who use this drug have been found to deliver smaller babies who are more vulnerable to health complications.

Marijuana has different effects on people depending on factors such as: THC levels in the drug, previous drug experience, biology (genes) the method of taking it (smoked or ingested) and whether it was used alongside other drugs or alcohol. Marijuana has a very high addictive potential and causes incontrollable drug cravings. Not everyone gets addicted after taking marijuana; some are just after the feeling of being high. However, when an user starts to seek the drug compulsively they are addicted or dependent on the drug. Most people who use it for a long time develop tolerance; this means that they need larger doses to achieve the same level of highness. This very dangerous since such people become very hooked onto this drug and dissociation becomes very hard.

Withdrawal symptoms and treatment
There are various withdrawal symptoms when one stops using hash, some of them include: anxiety, irritability, cravings, and difficulty in getting sleep. These withdrawal symptoms make it very hard for drug users to quit. Treatment programs offered currently include counseling and use of group support systems. It is advisable for drug addicts to attend rehabilitation programs where the progress can be monitored and where they can interact with other drug addicts for physiological and moral support.

Medicinal value of marijuana
There are states whereby laws have been passed for medical use of marijuana, however, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved the use of marijuana for treatment of diseases. Studies done indicate that the marijuana plant contains substances with medicinal value. There are two pill versions of THC which treat nausea in cancer patients and can be used to boost the appetite of AIDS victims. A new product known as Sativex which is widely used as a mouth spray in the UK and Canada has components of THC. The mixture of THC and cannabidol (a component found in the marijuana plant) has been approved to relieve pain associated with cancer. Despite the fact that it can be used to treat certain diseases, marijuana is normally smoked and the ingredients can differ depending on the plant. In light of this, the health risks outweigh its medicinal value and hash will continue to be a very dangerous and illicit drug.

Marijuana statistics
Research gathered from various drug treatment centers indicate that many of the drug abuse patients are marijuana users, in fact about 61 percent of people under the age of 15 and 55 percent of people aged between 15 and 19. Hashish is thus one of the most commonly abused drugs in the US. Data collected from the NHSDA shows that about 72 million people in America aged between 12 and 15 have tried marijuana. 18.7 million Americans abuse or at least have tried using hashish in the year 2010. Over 30 percent of all Americans have used this drug at least one time in their life. Around 14 percent of drivers who die in car accidents are marijuana users and they often use it with alcohol.