MECHANISM OF ACTION OF CANNABIS
Cannabis directly works on the brain through a series of chemical interactions. The primary intoxicating chemical compound found in cannabis is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and this chemical is very similar in chemical structure to naturally occurring cannabinoids in the body, such as anandamide. This similarity allows THC to attach to the brain’s cannabinoid receptors and disrupt the endocannabinoid system’s normal functioning. THC also stimulates the release of larger- than- normal amounts of dopamine (Dopamine is responsible for allowing you to feel pleasure, satisfaction and motivation), which is partly responsible for its pleasurable high.
With this mechanism of action, it is clear that smoking or using cannabis do not necessarily inject the mind with negative actions as perceived by religious and most opinion leaders but rather, it abuses the mind with excess dopamine to over-function, and depending on the atmosphere and mental state of the user, will determine whether the action after the use will be positive or negative. However the long term effect of cannabis use is not clear. These effects can also be known as cognitive effects to the brain.
Cannabis affects memory and learning, executive function, processing speed, perceptual and motor function and also, can bring about complex attention. These effects clearly shows that there is an alteration in the normal functioning of the brain but not specific on whether the changes are negative or positive. But the notable development here is that, the effects are purely scientific which needs medical approach instead of attesting it to spiritual theories.
The cognitive effects mentioned can be positive or negative depending on the atmosphere the victim finds himself and the mood of the person prior to the use. Another important factor is the level of experience of the user. It can get the mind confused or organized depending on these factors, hence cannabis can be termed as a drug and for that matter needs medical consultation to grant its use.
However, some religious groups and opinion leaders have crucified cannabis as a symbol of Satanism, which is the psychological reason behind its immoral effect it have on some users. Religion is a very critical tool in our society which needs to be very constructive in their developments. Religious believe and constitution are the two most powerful tools governing morality. Without churches, mosques and other religious houses, the world would have been a worse place to live in because there wouldn’t be psychological guides to govern ones activities. Due to their crucial position, their attitude towards cannabis has psychologically possessed many users to accept a satanic status hence do negative things. There are so many corrosive chemicals and abusive food substances like spices, salt etc. which have been left to scientific deliberations and cannabis shouldn’t be an exception.
Now let’s assess the case study below and see if cannabis use has a specific position in terms of its effect being positive or negative.
WITHOPE FOUNDATION got in touch with a client who is addicted to cannabis for the pass 7years. According to him he has been battling to quit it for the past two years but hasn’t been successful due to his level of addiction. According to him, he loves Godly activities and does positive things, which is spiced up when he smokes cannabis.
He said and I quote ‘when I smoke Marijuana my emotions run wild and my connection to God is felt stronger, immoral plans I’ve made earlier flies. When I am idle and bored and find nothing useful around me to put my hands on, I smoke weed and right after smoking I am able to organize things I found useless and make something meaningful out of them but the society and my church specifically criticize it a lot so I have tried series of times to quit it but it’s just difficult for me. Sometimes I stay for a week without smoking but it leads me to depression, aggression, decreased appetite and a sense of self lost. I have no friend and lives a very quiet life, again I am unemployed so when I decide to quit using cannabis, I become so lonely thinking about my financial and relationship struggles. I short ideas for projects I’ve started earlier and sometimes it even affect my fashion sense. But immediately I go back to it, it has a sharp therapeutic effect on me and I become totally recreated and realize the essence of appearing presentable. The sense of boredom magically flees and replaced with loads of profitable activities which sometimes my time even becomes limited. I becomes motivated and happy. Sometimes without smoking I think of so many immoral activities but after smoking marijuana I discard all these thoughts and becomes purposeful and positive. But my major concern is that once somebody sees me smoking I become sad and very confused. I immediately develop a sense of self suspicion and becomes reserved among my peers. I start looking down on myself and becomes moody, I begin to hate people who don’t smoke because I feel I am in a different world which is at war with the other side. I do not smoke in ghettos because the environment devalues me psychologically and reduce my self-esteem to the lowers level. I do not even want anybody to meet me or talk to me even if I spend a second in the ghetto but the situation is totally different if I smoke in my own private secured place or among dignitaries I look up to. For this reason the ghettos do not really accept me as one of them but I smoke marijuana just like they. I love to be in places of honor, take honorable actions and live a very decent life and this love grows even deeper when I use cannabis at the right time and environment’.
In this case we can confirm that cannabis has affected the mental orientation of junior but its effect crave for positive and moral actions instead of the suspected negative effects we claim and for this reason terming cannabis satanic must be reviewed? If not then every activity such as over eating, too much salt and sugar consumption, too much fat consumption, straining of the eye to bight screens, caffeine use, etc. should all suffer the same level of criticism by religious leaders and opinion leaders they because all these activities have subsequent abnormalities on the human body.
ANALYSIS OF JUNIORS CASE AND THE SCIENTIFIC MECHANISM OF ACTION OF CANNABIS
From the case study above we can confirm the chemical reaction we spoke about earlier which says, cannabis contains a chemical compound called THC which stimulates the release of larger-than-normal dopamine which expands the brains function from normal. In this case junior’s level of motivation, analysis, taste, feeling etc. increased from normal. Another classical example to back this mechanism of action is that. When a junior high student or an underage person begins to use cannabis, he develops a premature sense of adulthood. He suddenly develops a wild taste for sex, he begins to look for avenues to make money, he start disrespecting his teachers and colleagues thinking he now knows better. this confirms that dopamine release is in excess. Another notification we made from junior’s situation is that the excess release of dopamine can be positive or negative to the body depending on certain factors such as criticisms, the message you are exposed to during smoking and the culture of the environment you are smoking.
On the issue of quitting we could see that, cannabis overload our reasoning and make us meditate on every subject to a deeper understanding. Because of this, ending it’s use brings about short term deficit on the persons reasoning ability which ends up as a total deficit to his activities. And for that matter makes the process difficult to be successful. There are some notable withdrawal symptoms which are best corrected by revisiting the act. These symptoms are, nervousness, anxiety, irritability, depression, anger, aggression, restlessness, insomnia, bad dreams, decreased appetite, headache, fever, sweating, chills, stomach pain, cravings, etc.
With this, withdrawal is the most challenging factor in quitting cannabis use. Someone with significant cannabis dependency may try to smoke it again to get rid of the unpleasant physical and emotional symptoms of withdrawal, which make the whole quitting process very complicated. These symptoms usually peak in intensity around the third day of detoxification from the drug.
OVERVIEW OF THE CASE STUDY
Cannabis use must be strictly prevented from people especially students through educative approach. Using cannabis over-burdens your brain with excess dopamine which is unbearable especially to young people and for this reason puts their brain at a serious risk. The more serious factor here is that when you spice your brain up with cannabis a long time, the brain will finally consider the new level of dopamine production to be normal which means you would have to smoke forever to keep the brains level of action. Without using cannabis, the brain works at a natural speed which is accurate and effective in a natural sense. Avoiding cannabis limits your chances of all health conditions which are associated with the brain.
However with the subjective and objective analysis we have made, it can be confirmed that majority of addictive users cannot quit the act completely, which means our psychological and legal approach to cannabis users must be reviewed to extract positivity from the over released dopamine of victims, so that addictive users can be resourceful to the society. The criminal tags imposed on such people are of a very serious psychological effects which is actually the reason behind their criminal acts.
The approach of cannabis use should be scientific not religious. Cannabis is just a product which can be used hazardously and beneficiary just like other products like salt, sugar, caffeine etc. majority of cannabis users don’t go to church because they are seen as leaders in criminal act which is very false. Church and other religious grounds are very pivotal in our moral constitution. And therefore should be a welcoming place for all.
Again, can we say that non-cannabis users do not flout laws? Of course a big NO, therefore we should reconsider our thoughts about them because our criticisms are the main poison here.
Another notable point we made from Junior’s submission is that, during the days he decided to quit the use of cannabis, he went through series of withdrawal symptoms including depression and boredom. According to him he gave up on life and nearly considered suicidal thoughts because of his joblessness and relationship problems he had at that time. So he decided to go back to cannabis. After smoking once again his thoughts suddenly changed, he became very motivated and regain a very positive thoughts. His innovative skills revived and he was able to create positive things out of nothing. This is purely science if we studied the mechanism of action of cannabis very carefully. Let’s stop religious approach to substance abuse, because it scare them and actually keeps them far from positive and moral places. And this is why they join bad groups to do bad things. Religious groups and other societal groups stigmatize users, which brings another form of depression especially when their efforts to quit are not successful.
One significant thing we have notices is that, most people who gets the chance to move from Africa to live in Europe or America ends up criticizing religion in Africa. This is something that needs to be investigated. The notable reason for this is how Africans confuse science with religion. There is a total difference between science and religion which must be declared. Preach against sinful acts not against cannabis users. If so then apply the same energy to people who abuse another substances like sugar, salt, caffeine, fats, etc. this is the only way to make addictive cannabis users productive. We shouldn’t psychologically charge substance abusers to immoral act but we should rather criticize the act because immoral acts are done by both drug abusers and non- abusers. Abusers are not destroyed, their potentials are still alive.
The most form of depression is when one tries his possible best to quit addiction due to societal pressure but ends up unsuccessful. This can even lead to suicidal thoughts. We must be careful in our approach to substance abuse. Let’s stop religious stigmatization to scientific issues.
In this case we sound a clear warning to everyone who has not tasted any form of cognitive enhancement drug such as cannabis to strictly stay out of it to protect you from social stigma and health complications, keep your natural cognition for a natural and healthy life.
WITHOPE FOUNDATION: A HEALTHY MAN IS A POTENTIAL MAN
WE ARE FOR THE WORLD NOT FOR A GROUP