Is it okay to just try marijuana?
anonymous Asks ...
Hi. I am a 22 year old college graduate. Unlike every other person I know, I have never smoked marijuana or done any drug at all. This is always shocking to people when I tell them. I don’t know why now but I am curious to try marijuana. I am a social drinker but I don’t have any over drinking issues (like a lot of my friends do). Realistically, is there any reason why I should not try this?
Rev. Christopher Smith Says ...
There are long term and cumulative effects of using marijuana. While these types of effects come from repeated use, someone who just wants to "try" marijuana needs to carefully think about their motivation. If they have a good experience, is there the possibility of using it again? If there is then this "simply trying" could really lead to these long term and cumulative effects. While there is not the same degree of addictiveness as some other drugs, it is generally agreed that there can be an addictive nature to use of marijuana. While not having a problem with another substance (alcohol) may mean that it is less likely for you to have the biological and personality base for addictions, there is no guarantee of that.
There are also short term effects of using marijuana, even for a single time. While using it gives the user a temporary high, that is all that it is and after the high it is possible to feel depressed (which is one reason that some people would use again). While high, your senses, reaction time, and coordination are also affected and this can lead to other problems. For some people the high can also be accompanied with anxiety and panic while for others these can be removed for a while. If you are male testosterone levels (and resulting fertility and libido issues) can be effected. Another short term effect of marijuana use is that it can raise the heart rate significantly and there are studies that show that some heart attacks are related to this. This list of effects are related to single use or trial of marijuana. There are also health conditions (such as diabetes) you might have that also create different risk factors when you try it - what would your doctor say about anything that you currently have? Additionally, because marijuana is not regulated, you are not certain about how much THC you will actually be consuming and you do not know if there will be any other contaminants in what you try.
I would also be remiss to not address the premise that has led to the curiosity about trying marijuana. It is highly unlikely that everyone you know has smoked marijuana (or done other drugs). WebMD reports that one in three people have used marijuana. So why is there the difference? Two major factors come into play around this that are similar for other adolescent/young adult behavior (such as drinking, partying, sex). The first is that some people who have not engaged in the behavior will say that they have in order to "appear cool" (or whatever the current phrase would be). The other factor is that adolescents/young adults are more likely to talk about doing the "popular" behavior. As you hear about people who are smoking marijuana, it is easy to think that everyone (those you hear from and those who are being quiet) is smoking marijuana, when in fact this is not the case.
There are real considerations about your curiosity and about the effects of marijuana. As you consider these and make an educated decision, it is possible to be comfortable with not "trying" marijuana and realizing that you are in the company of more people than you think. As you do this, you can find wholeness and peace in your life.