How students use marijuana in their daily lives
52% of Americans over the age of 18 have experienced what it’s like smoking marijuana, whether it’s because they were looking for the opportunity or peer pressured to try it. Many claim that marijuana is a gateway drug and would open doors of curiosity for adolescents to try other drugs. But perhaps it can be the gateway to an enhanced tranquil lifestyle and improved grades.
Chris Reyes, the co-founder and director of business development of NY Medical Marijuana Associates, said that THC travels quickly through the lungs and into the bloodstream, affecting everybody regardless of age. Marijuana is composed of many extracts, the biggest ones being THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).
The blood carries these chemicals into the brain and the other organs, the THC getting to the brain quickly and attaching to cannabinoid receptors. These receptors interact with the psychosis part of the brain, causing the initial effects of euphoria high and ultra-senses. Some see visions, experience alterations in their moods or body movement, have problems with thinking and problem-solving, impaired memory and maybe even hallucinations.
“Everyone is different, and the body reacts differently,” Reyes said. “Will they be able to tell you what was in the marijuana, where it came from? If you ask how much they took, such as the gram amount, they could probably tell you, but won’t be able to tell you the dosage.”
This means that although someone knows the gram amount they’re smoking, depending on the dosage or strain, two people might react differently. One person’s body may be able to handle it while others can’t. Even when it’s the first time someone smokes, one might experience relaxation while another can feel paranoia. When it’s not being prescribed by a licensed doctor, there’s no guessing what someone might feel according to the dosage of marijuana they’re intaking.
According to Cannabis Information & Support, smoking before classes makes it harder for the brain to think, making the user feel lazy and unmotivated. However, according to some students, smoking weed before class gives them a heightened focus during a lecture. Students can sleep or lose focus during any class that doesn’t capture their attention, but some say that if it’s intriguing enough, they’ll fixate on what the professor says.
Reyes said that it’s because some people can handle the amount of THC in their body, and it even acts as a remedy to help with focus. Therefore, an interesting class sharpens their concentration, making the topic of discussion much more fascinating compared to any other class. According to Jose Rojas, a Centenary University student, smoking before class makes him feel more attentive towards the subject, “slowing everything down to a suitable pace,” for his concentration rate.
“I can remember a lot more about what’s being said in class when I’m high compared to being sober because later on it’ll pop into my head,” Rojas said. “If I plan on doing homework I’ll smoke beforehand and concentrate on it, but if I have to study for a test then I won’t.”
Although Rojas feels this way only about one of his classes, he said that in classes such as art, he’s easily bored or tired while he’s under the influence. His tunnel-like vision is only effective in courses that pique his interest, stimulating his brain to concentrate more definitively.
On the opposite spectrum, Daniel Tamayo, a student from SUNY Sullivan, said that when he smokes, it makes him lazy, lowering his work ethic so that he’s less willing to do his work. Just like Rojas though, he also said that depending on the class, he will focus specifically on what the professor says, too. Both can agree that if they didn’t smoke in their everyday life as they currently do, their grades would excel a little more than they do currently. This claim can be parallel to the findings of Health24, claiming that the increased amount of pot smoking resulted in a dropping GPA.
After smoking weed for the first time, depending on the person, smoking can easily become part of your lifestyle. Due to variations — such as how much free time someone has, how often they have possession of marijuana, and where and when people smoke — some might say that it’s part of their everyday routine even though it’s still classified as illegal in New York.
Rojas and Tamayo alike started smoking around the same time, their habits stemming from eighth and ninth grade. Both were influenced by their friends, eager to try something new with their peers. While Rojas felt relaxed the first time he smoked, Tamayo thought that everything was amusing, giving both of them stress relief. Besides this, Rojas believes that overtime he’s lost weight and reined in his anger issues due to smoking. They spend a lot of their money on buying weed and will sometimes concede by putting their habits aside to save some money — after all, we’re all broke college students.
Cannabis has been found to affect people in different ways. Since starting its legalization journey in Colorado, marijuana begins to make its way across the country for all to try, while illegal drug use inevitably still exists. Whether it’s to have a good time, to feel relaxed or to laugh at a couple of jokes, weed may quite possibly lead the user to smoke again, adopting it into their lifestyles.
Julia Batista is a first year journalism major who sends her HUF socks to the dry cleaner. You can reach them at [email protected].