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Marijuana – also referred to as weed or cannabis – is a greenish-gray mixture of dried flowers from the Cannabis sativa plant. Some people smoke marijuana in hand-rolled cigarettes called joints, in pipes, using water pipes (bongs), or in blunts (weed rolled in cigar wraps). Marijuana can also be brewed and is frequently mixed into foods (edibles) such as brownies, cookies, or candies. But aside from these methods of use, can you snort weed, too?
Marijuana comes from the Cannabis sativa plant, and this part of the plant contains substantial amounts of THC. THC’s chemical structure is similar to the brain’s chemical anandamide. This similarity in structure allows the body to recognize THC and alter communication in the brain. Endogenous cannabinoids like anandamide function as neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) that send signals between nerve cells. They affect areas of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thinking, concentration, movement, coordination, plus sensory and time perception.
Due to this similarity, THC is able to attach to and activate molecules called cannabinoid receptors on neurons in these areas of the brain, disrupting several mental and physical functions. The communication network in the central nervous system that uses cannabinoid receptors is known as the endocannabinoid system. This system plays a critical role in the nervous system’s normal functioning, so interfering with it has profound effects.
As we previously mentioned, there are plenty of ways people use weed, sometimes because of availability, and other times to experience a desired effect. There are also different forms of marijuana, each of which contains varying amounts of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive ingredient of weed, and cannabidiol (CBD).
Depending on how it’s ingested, marijuana’s side effects can vary in strength and longevity. As we previously mentioned, there are several ways people use weed, including inhalation methods, bongs, vaping, dabs, oils, tinctures, edibles, and more. Most of these methods allow the drug to be absorbed into the body differently, which is why the duration and onset of side effects vary.
But can you snort weed? You can’t snort weed in the same way that cocaine is snorted, but weed can be inhaled as sprays. These are liquids that are infused with either THC or CBD, and these either get sprayed under the tongue for fast absorption or can be inhaled through the nose. However, some people may attempt to crush dried marijuana leaves and attempt to snort them. Doing this can have some harmful side effects in addition to the adverse effects of the drug itself.
Snorting marijuana is an unconventional form of use, as it can lead to problems with the nose and nasal passages in addition to the drug’s physical and psychological effects.
Common side effects of snorting weed include:
Snorting weed can also contribute to various nose-related problems, such as nose bleeds, dry nose, perforation, burning sensation, and losing one’s sense of smell. THC alters functioning in the hippocampus and orbitofrontal cortex, as well. These are areas that allow a person to form new memories and shift their attention and focus. As a result, using marijuana, whether it’s snorted or not, can impair thinking and interfere with a person’s ability to learn and perform complicated tasks.
THC also disrupts functioning in the cerebellum and basal ganglia, which regulate balance, posture, coordination, and reaction time. This is why people who use marijuana shouldn’t drive or may experience problems playing sports or engaging in any other physical activity.
Additionally, THC also activates the brain’s reward system through cannabinoid receptors, including regions that govern the response to healthy behaviors like sex and eating. Like most other drugs of abuse, THC stimulates neurons in the reward system to release the chemical dopamine at higher levels than typically activated by natural rewarding stimuli. As a result, this surge of dopamine conditions the brain to repeat the rewarding behavior (marijuana use), accounting for marijuana’s addictive properties.
Although marijuana isn’t as addictive as heroin or cocaine, it does have the potential for abuse and physical dependence. In other words, a long-term user can become dependent on weed to feel good and function normally, experiencing a form of withdrawal when they aren’t high or when they’re running low on supplies. Marijuana is also considered a gateway drug, as it often opens the doorway to other forms of substance abuse, including heavy drinking.
If you or someone you care about is battling drug or alcohol addiction, don’t wait to hit rock bottom to get help. Our drug rehab in Sebring, FL, offers various levels of addiction treatment, including detox and residential care, to help clients with severe substance use disorders regain their health and sobriety. We also offer substance-specific treatment programs to offer specialized care to our clients.
To learn more about our Sebring drug treatment and how we can help you get clean, call Banyan Treatment Centers today at 888-280-4763 or send us your contact information.
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