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                                           Marijuana Facts For Marijuana Drug Testing


Marijuana is the most common form of drug abuse and the most commonly discussed problem among the physicians.  Also known as cannabis, marijuana is obtained by drying the flowers of a hemp plant. It was used by the human race even before its known history. There is evidence that it was used by way of smoking before 3000 BC.  It is interesting to note that in ancient civilizations, this was used in rituals and considered to be sacred. Unfortunately, marijuana now lost all its sacredness and it is now the most dangerous drug that is in use.

marijuanaMarijuana numbs the nervous system and makes it incapable of recognizing pain. Some people in the medical circle are of the opinion that this drug is useful for treating cancer and AIDS patients. It is also said to be good for fighting cancer. But the Food and Drug Administration of the United States and the drug controlling authorities of Europe and most other countries do not permit its use in the medicinal form or for any other purpose.

Marijuana is consumed in several forms. The most widely used form is the smoke. It is mixed with tobacco products and inhaled as smoke. That is the most harmful way for the human body because it combines with the nicotine in the tobacco. Another way is by mixing with food. More concentrated forms of this drug are Hashish and Hash oil.

Now let us see how this deadly substance works. The harmful chemical in this drug is tetrahydrocannabinol or THC for short. When one smokes marijuana, THC passes into the blood stream very fast from the lungs. The blood carries the THC to the brain and other organs of the body. Some parts of the brain are cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoid receptors are parts of the brain which readily accept THC. Most of the cannabinoid receptors are located in parts of the brain which control concentration, pleasure, thoughts, memory and perception of time. THC distorts these faculties of the consumer of marijuana.

What makes it deadly is that it can stay in your body for a long period of time. The number of days differs according to the kind of usage. If you use it regularly, it can last as long as 90 days. This is irrespective of whether it was consumed orally or via smoking. Even occasional smoking will cause it to remain in your system for 10 days. This itself vouches for its harmful effects. The reason why it stays in the body so long is that it is a fat soluble substance. Therefore, it gets stored in the major organs of the body like the fat cells of kidney, liver, and most importantly, brain.

Again, the effect of marijuana is instantaneous. This is because the chemical, TCH, enters the bloodstream through which is it is transferred to all parts at a fast pace. Hence, just 1 minute would suffice for marijuana to take its effect.

What happens when it stays in our body?

Marijuana affects the thinking and coordination and causes temporary loss of memory.  As a result of all these, the ability to learn is also affected. The user will be always below his normal capabilities in thinking, learning, concentration and the likes. If a solution is not found soon and the abuse not stopped, the rest of his life may be wasted. The user will also get addicted to it making matters even worse.

Tests have been developed to find out the drug abuse. The only test which was available until recently was the blood plasma test. Plasma test is for detection of concentration of cannabinoid in the plasma. This test is very expensive and time consuming. But it is still believed to be the most reliable one.

Recently other tests are also developed. Urine tests, hair test, and saliva tests are some among them. Urine test is by far the most inexpensive type of test among them. However, the reliability of urine test for marijuana abuse is widely debated on account of sample adulteration and substitution.

Saliva or oral fluid tests also detect the abuse of marijuana, but it can detect only if one has used it only a few days back. The advantage of this method is that it is very convenient to do oral fluid test and that it can never be adulterated or substituted. In many cases, the result of saliva test is compared with that of blood test to arrive at the final conclusion.

But there is nothing as accurate as hair testing. Hair testing can detect abuse of marijuana going back as far as 90 odd days! Unfortunately, this method is also not free of possibility for adulteration using shampoos, etc.

Now, the final question would be is there a way out?

Fortunately, the answer is in the affirmative. Albeit failing in all attempts to find a drug treatment for marijuana abuse, researchers have come up with a handful of psychological solutions, which when used in tandem with pharmacological treatments, yield promising results. These include behavioral therapy, cognitive therapy, motivational incentives, etc. The whole treatment has three distinct phases, namely, easing withdrawal, washing out the intoxicating effects of the drug, and preventing relapse of the condition. Even when these are done in a systematic manner, results are bound to fluctuate. Hence, the best option is to not start using marijuana, or simply, prevention.

Thus, the bottom line is that escape from any form of addiction is very difficult, especially the likes of marijuana. Though the drug controlling authorities and governments of all countries are taking stupendous effort in checking its abuse, an all-round attempt to eradicate or at least control the drug abuse is the need of the hour. Most of the places where the plants are grown are in remote areas where the law enforcement authorities cannot reach. Therefore, results will start to appear only if the society takes a firm decision not to abuse them in any form. For, if the demand falls down, supply automatically will fall down. Let us all work towards this noble endeavor with joined hands!