How Can I Recognize the Signs of Marijuana Toxicity?

Marijuana exposure is everywhere. Billboards advertise dispensaries. The smell is in their air while waiting at random stop lights, listening to music at concerts, and walking trails at parks. The news and media debate the benefits and health risks. What’s more, some teens pressure other teens to use marijuana. However, just like with prescription medications, misusing marijuana can lead to adverse effects. Learning to recognize the signs of marijuana toxicity and discussing the importance of abstinence with 12 South Recovery can spread positive awareness.

What Exactly Is Marijuana?

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), marijuana is a psychoactive drug that can alter an individual’s mind and essentially change an individual’s mood. The substance is produced by a leaf-like plant called cannabis. A cannabis plant may consist of a dry, shredded, mix of green and brown leaves, stems, flowers, and seeds. Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (otherwise known as THC) is the main ingredient. THC is responsible for the psychoactive effects one may feel. The substance has approximately 480 constituents or more. Marijuana can be cultivated in both indoor and outdoor settings.

Two of the main types of marijuana are known to be sativa and indica. Sativa gives a more energetic and uplifting psychoactive effect. Indica can be more relaxing. Some people prefer a more hybrid approach, but every strain has its unique yet negative side effects.

Unfortunately, those who choose to use marijuana are at significant risk for health problems. Using this substance can have a serious impact on a person’s overall life.

How Is Marijuana Used?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), marijuana can be used in many different ways. The delivery methods are unique to those who use the substance for recreational or medical purposes. A person may use marijuana in the following ways :

  • Smoke marijuana like a cigarette
  • Inhale the plant through a blunt such as a cigar
  • Take in marijuana through a bong such as a water pipe
  • Vape the substance through a vaporizing device
  • Dab the drug through a concentrated THC wax
  • Infuse the oils or leaves in edibles such as cookies, brownies, or cakes to be eaten

Effects of Marijuana

As stated in the aforementioned DEA publication, marijuana can have negative effects on an individual’s mind. THC connects to particular cannabinoid receptors in one’s brain. Because of this, marijuana can affect the way a person perceives information. Marijuana intoxication can also cause coordination issues. The drug can also impair an individual’s ability to learn and process information.

Contrary to popular belief, prolonged use of the substance can even lead to a strong physical dependence. An individual may experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when discontinuing to use of marijuana. Avoidance of withdrawal symptoms often leads to dependence on this substance.

Warning Signs Leading To Marijuana Toxicity

According to the aforementioned CDC study, it is possible for someone who uses marijuana to have a serious reaction. When a person uses too much of the substance, they may experience symptoms that are similar to the typical effects but more intense. A few signs of marijuana toxicity may include:

  • Intense anxiety
  • Extreme paranoia
  • Tachycardia
  • Hallucinations
  • Severe nausea or vomiting
  • Confusion

These intense effects can potentially lead to unintentional injury. An individual may be at risk for an auto accident, poisoning, or a fall. It is more likely that an individual will experience toxicity when consuming too many edibles. This can happen because it may take approximately two hours or so to feel the effects of the drug.

Young children who accidentally ingest high concentrations of marijuana may require hospitalization. Symptoms can be more severe due to their smaller size and lighter weight. In critical cases, marijuana may unknowingly be laced with other drugs, often resulting in intense impairment or potential overdose.

Preventing Marijuana Toxicity and Staying Sober

The best way to prevent an overdose of marijuana is to stay abstinent from using it. Choosing to spend time with others who have a similar mindset and set of goals can keep cravings at bay. Learning to recognize the signs of marijuana toxicity can potentially save a life. As well, taking time to partake in sober activities can be very uplifting to one’s mood.

Deciding to receive professional treatment through a facility such as 12 South Recovery can help treat addiction and co-occurring mental health conditions. This may be a wise choice for those who want to live a high-quality life free of substance abuse. Mental healthcare specialists can provide different therapies and teach individuals new skills to achieve a stable mood without substances. Relapse prevention can help those with an addiction and/or mental health condition to adhere to positive behaviors more easily.

Another way to find support is to reach out to friends and family. Additional ways to stay on track include journaling symptoms and practicing self-care strategies at home. There is hope for individuals to achieve a stable mood and live a quality life without using substances that come with significant risks and downsides.

The effects of overusing marijuana, especially with other drugs, can be severe. Learning the warning signs leading up to marijuana toxicity can spread awareness and potentially save a life. Committing to treatment through 12 South Recovery can provide individuals with the strategies needed to successfully abstain from marijuana. We serve adults, young adults, and working professionals and offer gender-specific housing to provide comfort. Our programs are designed to get to the root of the problem. We address trauma and help people successfully tackle the emotional, behavioral, and mental issues that drive addiction. Our staff members combine therapy, counseling, and medical support to create a personalized and effective program. If you need professional support, call 12 South Recovery at (888) 830-8374.

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