Effects of Cocaine, Tobacco and Marijuanas

History of cocaine

Historically, cocaine was consumed in the form of coca leaves. For instance, the Inca used to chew them to stimulate their working capacity. Also, they were used in such drinks as Coca-Cola. Moreover, such influential individuals as Freud advised their usage for therapeutic purposes to treat depressive moods and so on. In the 20th century, cocaine use became illegal. The Harrison Narcotic Act of 1914 prohibited the use of this substance, which resulted in illegal trading of the drug. The new form of cocaine is dangerous since it has strong addictive properties and affects an individual’s brain activity.

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Cocaine causes:

  • high heart rate and constriction of blood vessels;
  • hypertension and hyperthermia;
  • seizures and heart failure occur at heavy dosages;
  • intracranial hemorrhage is one of the adverse effects on the brain;
  • even if no hemorrhage occurs, the blood flow to the brain gradually deteriorates.


  • increases alertness and confidence;
  • the individual feels relentless and does not feel sleepy for a very long time;
  • negatively affects the central nervous system;
  • leads to abnormalities of the right prefrontal cortex;
  • results in psychotic reactions and delusions (heavy use);
  • harms DA axons and terminals;
  • affects serotonergic fibers in several brain parts.

The effects of cocaine and amphetamine

Cocaine affects sensitive nerve endings as well as the central nervous system. Such effects appear due to the interaction of the substance with neurotransmitters (dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin). The drug blocks the reverse absorption of norepinephrine and dopamine as well as the reverse capture of serotonin. Amphetamine also strongly stimulates the CNS and causes the release of norepinephrine and dopamine from the granules of the presynaptic nerve endings. As well as cocaine, amphetamine inhibits the reverse neuronal seizure of dopamine and norepinephrine. The main difference in the mechanism of action of the two substances is their metabolism. The metabolism of cocaine proceeds for up to 1.5 hours while that of amphetamine – up to 12 hours (and metabolites disappear within a few days).

The action of cocaine and amphetamine on children

Children in this condition have strong inattentiveness, hyperkinesis, and general subversion. Psychostimulant medications have a sedative and soothing action. When medicating minors, stunted growth might occur as well as amplified blood pressure. The availability of Ritalin causes concerns because of its effect similar to that of cocaine.

History of tobacco

Native Americans initiated the habit of growing tobacco. It was brought to European countries, and people started smoking tobacco in cigars and pipes. The substance became so popular due to the improved methods of smoking it and the progress made in mechanized production. Smoking became very popular due to commercialization and active advertisement; however, the consumption has decreased due to high morbidity and the risk of developing cancer.

The action of tobacco

The substance enters the lungs on tar particles. After that, it comes into the bloodstream and acts on the human brain. Importantly, nicotine activates nicotinic cholinergic receptors. During smoking, the adrenal glands secrete adrenaline and norepinephrine, which increases cardiac activity and blood pressure. In the same manner, caffeine also affects heart rate and blood pressure. Nevertheless, in comparison to nicotine, this substance blocks A1 and A1A receptors.

Effects of tobacco

Caffeinism is induced by the systematic consumption of surplus amounts of caffeine. It means that an individual consumes 1000mg per day or more. In this condition, a person can feel restless, physically disturbed, and cannot fall asleep even when feeling extremely tired. Many people mistakenly think that they have an anxiety disorder; however, these are the high doses of caffeine that lead to a feeling of tension or fear. The substance should be considered a drug of abuse since it causes tolerance in cardiovascular and respiratory systems and can lead to abstinence syndrome.

History of marijuana

As an agricultural commodity, the substance was used to produce hemp. In its turn, it was used to create paper, fabrics, and other commodities. Marijuana was used in China and the Middle East for medical purposes. As a recreational drug, it was used by Mexican migrants, seamen, and so on. Anslinger and various regulatory policies have initiated the prohibition of marijuana. Anslinger launched the first campaign against this substance; however, decades later, marijuana was legalized in many states.

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The action of marijuana

It was difficult to prove that animals find cannabinoids rewarding because of their reaction to the drug. Animals experienced aversive reactions when they received high portions of it. Two typical behavioral paradigms are self-administration and place conditioning. In the first case, the animals were taking low doses of THC. When placebos were delivered to them, the animals would stop pressing the lever. In the second case, animals would return to the same place or would spend more time in the area where they received THC.

Humans use marijuana because of the physiological and psychological conditions it can produce (increases mood, helps to relax, and so on). The reinforcing effects can be concluded to the understanding that the substance increases cannabinoid self-administration. Therefore, CBI receptor activation produces a reward since this receptor is responsible for managing mood.

Question about Strains: The fact that medical marijuana dispensaries have an abundance of THC-containing strains means that the demand for recreational drugs is greater than for the medical ones. THC is an element that produces psychoactive effects, and medical marijuana has more CBD in it. Thus, it can be assumed that either a significant amount of marijuana is used for recreation rather than for medical purposes, or the number of people requiring psychoactive stimulation is growing.

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StudyCorgi. (2020, October 29). Effects of Cocaine, Tobacco and Marijuanas. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/effects-of-cocaine-tobacco-and-marijuanas/

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"Effects of Cocaine, Tobacco and Marijuanas." StudyCorgi, 29 Oct. 2020, studycorgi.com/effects-of-cocaine-tobacco-and-marijuanas/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Effects of Cocaine, Tobacco and Marijuanas." October 29, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/effects-of-cocaine-tobacco-and-marijuanas/.


StudyCorgi. "Effects of Cocaine, Tobacco and Marijuanas." October 29, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/effects-of-cocaine-tobacco-and-marijuanas/.


StudyCorgi. 2020. "Effects of Cocaine, Tobacco and Marijuanas." October 29, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/effects-of-cocaine-tobacco-and-marijuanas/.


StudyCorgi. (2020) 'Effects of Cocaine, Tobacco and Marijuanas'. 29 October.

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