Does marijuana, or cannabis, affect the Soul and Spirit? Anything that humans become addicted to is harmful to the Soul. It takes the place of nurturing the Soul through Spiritual meditation. Spiritual meditation is a natural or nurtured form of Soul growth; addiction is forced and unnatural. A person who ingests addictive drugs is realizing a state of affectation or pretention of joy not truly felt within their inner being. It shall cause a heightened sense of temporary pleasure but not a lasting feeling of complete joy or happiness.
As with any drug, a small amount goes a long way. If an individual chooses to ingest marijuana every other week or so as an enhancement to an individual’s lifestyle, it may not cause any harm. It may be considered an addiction though if ingested more than that. An addiction in any form presents a problem to the user and their close relationships.
If an individual has a certain dis-ease that it may help, the risk is their choice. There is no doubt that users of medical marijuana have good reasons for using it to assist them in their pursuit of good health. Using it for recreational purposes though is another thought. It has its benefits when used for neurological medication or when nothing else works for existing therapies. It is no worse than alcohol which, when misused, causes an addiction and is harmful to an individual.
Teens who want to smoke marijuana are very susceptible to brain cell loss because their brains have not fully matured or developed; therefore, marijuana’s effect on the brain is very detrimental to young people. Teens may be able to have matured psychological and emotional feelings but intelligent reasoning is not completely possible due to the maturing of the forefront of the brain where reasoning energy is located. The brain is the first part of the body that develops in the fetus and takes twenty (20) years to grow to a full state of mature knowing. The reasoning power or forefront of the brain does not occur in animals and is what distinguishes humans from animals.
The use of marijuana has increased among young people since 2007. The drug also has detrimental implications on sexual behavior because of the maturing of the brain. Teens need to be taught about sex but not participate in sex as teenagers. Sex may also become an addiction.
In the population as a whole, among young and older individuals, marijuana raises the heart rate by 20-100% shortly after smoking the drug. This rate can last up to three (3) hours. Depending on an individual’s age, this may promote a health problem. Among older individuals, long-term problems with respiratory and immune systems may occur. The immune system fights off infections. If that system is compromised, it becomes easier to impair the health of the individual; therefore, it is more difficult to fight off dis-ease.
Research has shown that the chemical structure (THC) of marijuana is similar to a chemical that is already in the brain called anandamide. This similarity in the chemical structure allows the body to recognize the chemical structure of marijuana and alter brain communication; that is, it forces the brain to communicate abnormally within the body due to the addition of more, or similar, chemicals. When the drug is smoked, THC rapidly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream which carries the chemical from the brain to other organs throughout the body. Marijuana, however, is absorbed more slowly when ingested in food or drink rather than through smoking.
Marijuana overly activates the endocannabinoid system which plays an important role in normal brain development and function. This causes the “high” that is experienced, and it disrupts learning and memory which may last a long time or may be permanent. The experience and difference between adults and teens, insofar as IQ changes which may occur, is significant. The use of marijuana can also cause depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and personality disturbances. Attention, memory, and problem solving are crucial to a teenager while they are studying and preparing to be adults.
Interestingly, these days, there is more concern over addiction to sugar than the effects of marijuana. The name marijuana is derived from the name Mary Jane. The English named marijuana Mary Jane because that name was popular at the time the use of marijuana was predominant in that country. When the drug started to be used by the Spanish, the translation for Mary Jane was marijuana.
One side effect of marijuana is the craving for sugar. It appears, therefore, that Americans are more concerned with Milky Ways than Mary Janes. SUGAR IS KILLING US AND POT JUST MAKES US WANT MORE SUGAR!!
For the individual, both teens and adults, who may become addicted, unless the choice is for users of medical marijuana for reasons of health, the decision for ingesting the drug needs to be heavily weighed.
The next post shall take us back to meditation by discussing “Meditation for Healing”, Part I.