Marijuana is an intoxicating drug, affecting conscious and unconscious mental processing and all of the senses. The drug is a mixture of dried, shredded leaves, mature flowers, buds, stems, and seeds from the Cannabis sativa plant, which contains more than 60 chemically related compounds called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are responsible for the psychoactive properties associated with marijuana as well as the many biological properties that have captured the interest of medical professionals, such as pain relief and relief for nausea and vomiting. However, due to its illegality in most states and possibility for abuse, the medical use of marijuana is a controversial topic. Marijuana use can sometimes lead to addiction, prompting scientists to question whether it also encourages users to abuse other drugs. In this informative book, readers will gain an understanding of the history of marijuana, its uses and effects, and the growing debate about whether it should be made legal for use.
Full-color photographs and illustrations. Sidebars. Endnotes. Glossary. Further resources. Index.
About the Author(s)
Brigid M. Kane received her undergraduate degree in biology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia, and her master's degree from Temple University in Philadelphia, where her focus was on cellular and developmental biology. She has authored articles for Science and Annals of Internal Medicine and has prepared numerous clinical research manuscripts for peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals, as well as continuing education manuscripts and projects for physicians and other health care professionals.