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Great American Smokeout: Things that smoking weed does to the body

Great American Smokeout: Things that smoking weed does to the body

17 November | 0 Comments | By Rachael

Acknowledging the loss caused by cigarette smoking in the United States, the Great American Smokeout, is held every year to discourage people from developing an addiction to smoking. It is an annual event held on the third Thursday of November by the American Cancer Society to encourage people to stop smoking and quit tobacco. The event is unique as it challenges the smokers to quit smoking for 24 hours and gradually proceed towards getting rid of the addiction completely.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 16.8 percent (40 million) adults in the U.S. were cigarette smokers in 2014. Of these, nearly 76.8 percent (30.7 million) were regular smokers, while 23.2 percent (9.3 million) smoked, occasionally. The CDC further stated that cigarette smoking alone causes more than 480,000 deaths in the U.S. every year.

Even though recent studies have observed a decline in the rate of cigarette smoking in the U.S., owing to efforts such as the Great American Smokeout, people continue to find new ways to consume tobacco. Tobacco contains nicotine which is harmful to both one’s physical and mental health. Additionally, smoking is not just restricted to tobacco but also includes several drugs such as weed.

Weed is nothing but marijuana

By definition, weed is any unwanted plant that grows along with cultivated crops or plants. These plants are often considered a nuisance as their growth depends on the nutrients and supplements supplied to the nurtured plants. While this is the real meaning of weed, the term is colloquially referred to marijuana, one of the most widely abused drugs in the world.

It is a green, brown or gray colored mix of dried, shredded leaves and flowers from the marijuana plant often used for medical purposes. Studies reveal that marijuana has intoxicating drug-like effects on the body which further cause symptoms such as feeling relaxed, sleepy, happy and calm. Some people may also feel nervous or scared after its consumption. The trend of rolling up marijuana and smoking it like a cigarette known as a joint, or like a cigar known as blunt, is prevalent among the youth. Besides, people have developed several other ways to consume marijuana such as dabbing (smoking oils of marijuana) or brewing it like a tea.

Effect of marijuana on the body

Widespread among adolescents and young adults, marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug (22.2 million past-month users) according to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).

Studies have also revealed that marijuana has a devastating effect on the body. In this regard, a study titled, “Association of Marijuana Use with Blunted Nucleus Accumbens Response to Reward Anticipation,” conducted by the University of Michigan Health System suggested that intake of marijuana on a regular basis can dull the emotional response of a person and cause addiction. The study analyzed 108 people in their early 20s (69 men and 39 women) wherein a functional MRI scan of their brain was carried out while they played a game of pressing a button when they saw a target on a computer screen, cross in front of them. They were instructed about the system of rewards and losses. During the activity, the scientists assessed the moment of anticipation. They found that the more the participants used marijuana, the less their reward centers were activated, suggesting a decline in the emotional response.

Besides, the study also found that marijuana damaged blood vessels, increased the risk of testicular cancer, lead to short-term memory loss by destroying the brain cells and hindered one’s creativity.

Treatment for marijuana addiction

As marijuana is legal in many parts of the world, a lot of people think that it is a safe drug. However, that is far from the truth. Many people get addicted to marijuana and gradually develops a dependence on the drug. In such a case, treatment becomes imperative to recover from the addiction. Detox is the first step towards overcoming addiction which helps in getting rid of all the toxins that are accumulated in the body due to prolonged marijuana use.

If you or a loved one is hooked on to marijuana and looking for one of the best detox centers in Texas, the Detox Facilities Texas can help connect you to experts. You can call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-671-4308 or chat online with experts to find the most reliable detox centers in El Paso or detox centers in Houston.