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Among the many questions that are asked about marijuana is whether marijuana is a gateway drug. While it is perfectly true that some people may use marijuana for years, and not even use it chronically, not everyone has the same level of self-control.
Marijuana users who use marijuana in a very relaxed manner, and which perhaps is more important, not too frequently, can probably use marijuana without much damage. The problem is that marijuana use tends to escalate over time, and if one is to avoid this, one has to have a great deal of self-control.
Concentrations of THC have increased
One thing that makes marijuana a possible gateway drug these days is that it has grown a great deal more concentrated, with concentrations of the active element within marijuana being three to five times what they were a few decades ago.
This potency makes it plausible for a marijuana user who has used the drug chronically for a few years, or who is addicted to it, to ‘graduate’ to other more powerful and more dangerous addictions.
Another question that people often ask is whether a person can suffer a fatal overdose on marijuana
So long as one restricts one’s use to marijuana, a fatal overdose will in all probability not occur, nor are there any records of such an overdose ever occurring on marijuana use. However, if one mixes marijuana with other substances, it becomes exceedingly dangerous, and in such cases, fatalities can and do occur.
Even if fatalities do not occur when using marijuana mixed with other substances, or using marijuana along with alcohol, for example, other unpleasant side effects can occur. A person may experience uncontrollable shaking, extreme feelings of anxiety, and, of course, very rarely, a severe psychological reaction. Hallucinations can be quite common when one uses mixed drugs that include marijuana.
Is it dangerous to ingest edibles that contain marijuana?
On the surface, no. But there is the subtle danger of a marijuana overdose when inexperienced users ingest edibles that contain marijuana. Edibles that contain marijuana take a certain amount of time to be digested, and therefore, it takes a longer time for THC to reach and affect the brain when it is absorbed in this way.
Young people using edibles may not realize that this time period has to be accounted for, and may consume larger quantities of the edibles in an effort to reach a high. Finally, when the edibles are digested, this leads to an overdose of the drug.
Such an overdose can usually be treated symptomatically by a healthcare provider. The drug will slowly be flushed from the system while the person’s pulse is monitored for signs of any danger. If a person shows signs of psychotic reaction, the healthcare practitioner may prescribe a mild sedative to calm them down until the drug is flushed from the system.
Does marijuana lead to long-term addictions?
Marijuana contains THC, which is the active element of the drug, and this active element tends to locate itself within the fat cells of the body. Even long after a person has stopped using marijuana, these fat cells tend to slowly leach the drug into the body, which can lead to severe cravings that cause one to return to the drug.
This ‘slow release’ of THC from the fat cells can also lead to long-term effects of marijuana that persist even long after one has stopped using the drug.
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