According to research, more than 20 million Americans use marijuana every month. This has made marijuana one of the most popular drugs in the country. Even though marijuana remains illegal at the federal level in the U.S., so many states have decided to make cannabis legal for adult use. This is what has been referred to as recreational cannabis. Even though most states limit the legalization efforts solely to medical marijuana, cannabis for adult use has steadily picked up the steam and spread widely all over the country.
As research about the health benefits of marijuana continues, most people have turned to marijuana use for different health conditions since the results are promising. This is part of the reasons why marijuana has gained so much popularity today. However, our main focus in this article will be on recreational marijuana, whose purpose is solely self-enjoyment. Keep it here as we answer all the questions you have regarding recreational marijuana in our subsequent sections!
Recreational Cannabis: A Quick Overview
Recreational cannabis, commonly known as adult-use cannabis, is legal marijuana. This one is sold in licensed dispensaries but only accessible to adults aged 21 years and older. Recreational marijuana can be in different forms, including edibles, concentrates (tinctures, wax, vape cartridges, hash, and shatter), smokables, flowers, or topicals.
In 2012, Washington and Colorado were the first states in the U.S. to make cannabis legal for adult use. After that, more and more states have followed suit. Territories and states having legal recreational markets similarly operate legal, medical marijuana programs which cater to patients with the needed conditions.
How Does Marijuana Work on the Brain?
Whenever you smoke or eat cannabis, some chemicals are released into the body, known as cannabinoids. One of the main cannabinoids, in this case, will be THC. What happens is that cannabinoids move from the lungs or your stomach into the blood. After that, they will travel all the way to your brain and the other parts of the body. THC will act on certain receptors found in the brain. This is what causes the ‘high’ that some people experience.
Is Medical Marijuana Used for Recreational Purposes?
The sole reason for using medical marijuana is to alleviate symptoms of certain health conditions like pain as opposed to getting high. Even though you might be needed to use it daily, there could be long-term negative health effects, and use might appear compulsive. Using medical marijuana as per the prescribed protocols can be classified as unproblematic marijuana use as opposed to addiction or misuse.
Marijuana Use for Recreational Purposes Can Become Problematic
There have been so many myths revolving around marijuana use. Regardless of what you might have heard, marijuana cannot be grouped or termed as a harmless drug. In fact, marijuana could be a trigger for mental illnesses. It is possible for certain individuals to use marijuana occasionally without having substance use issues. However, such users must be convinced that recreational cannabis use could turn out to be unpredictable and problematic as well.
As per the CDC, around 3 in 10 marijuana users develop an addiction. The number rises to 1 in every 6 people who begin using marijuana before getting to the age of 18. It is very unfortunate that people have the belief that they can comfortably use addictive substances without developing an addiction. This could be true for people using the substances in a recreational way.
All the same, it is always good to bear in mind that addiction strikes unexpectedly. One study estimated that approximately 3 in 10 people who use marijuana have marijuana use disorder. There will be no one who would like to imagine that they could develop cannabis use disorders. They are therefore often surprised when their drug usage becomes an addiction.
The same applies when one uses marijuana and experienced side effects from marijuana. These include mood changes, how one sees and hears things, as well as ideas about other people and oneself. If you or someone who is close to you crosses from the use of recreational marijuana to cannabis use disorder, you are supposed to seek help as soon as you can. When you get help on time, you will increase the chances of the treatment being long-lasting and effective as well.
Where is Recreational Cannabis Legal?
Opponents claim that marijuana could pose public health as well as safety risks. For this reason, they strongly condemn its legalization. However, proponents have stated that marijuana isn’t as dangerous as compared to alcohol. They have cited the therapeutic benefits that it offers, including pain and stress relief.
Advocates have seen it as a way to make money among states and a good social justice initiative. Laws governing the use of marijuana have affected people from minority communities which contributes to mass incarceration. States that have legalized marijuana have looked for ways to address the repercussions of marijuana prohibition. Below is a list of the states where recreational cannabis is legal:
- New York
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- Washington, D.C.
Recreational cannabis usage involves using cannabis for individual enjoyment as opposed to addressing a health issue. This cannabis use could be contrasted with medical marijuana usage. Here, you use marijuana under prescription from medical experts to manage the symptoms of certain medical conditions.
Even though recreational marijuana users have often believed that it does not lead to negative effects health-wise, it’s good to realize that inhaling smoke is harmful. The use of marijuana has also been associated with cognitive issues, cancer, and respiratory issues, among other health problems. It is also very likely that recreational cannabis use could turn out to be a cannabis use disorder.