What Are the Most Common Categories of Drugs?

The effects and qualities of various drugs are taken into consideration when classifying them. In most cases, each one can be placed into one of these four categories: 

  • Depressants are a class of medications that slow down the activity in your brain. Examples include alcohol, alprazolam (Xanax), and barbiturates. 
  • Stimulants are drugs that improve a person’s alertness and energy levels while also elevating their mood. They typically have a high potential for addiction and, over time, can lead to paranoia. Cocaine, methamphetamine, and prescription medicines for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are some examples. 
  • Hallucinogens are a class of psychoactive substance that alters a person’s perception of the world around them by modifying the way in which the nerve cells in their brain communicate with one another. LSD, psilocybin, and MDMA are a few examples of such substances. 
  • Opiates are highly effective painkillers that also produce euphoric feelings in a short amount of time. They have a high potential for addiction, and their effects on the brain can be long-lasting. Examples of these types of drugs include heroin, morphine, and various prescription painkillers. 

So, where exactly does weed, also known as marijuana, fit in with all of these different categories? The solution is not as straightforward as one might initially believe. Its effects can be quite different from one individual to the next. Additionally, the effects of smoking weed can vary depending on the strain and type of cannabis used. 

According to research conducted at the University of Maryland, marijuana can therefore be categorized as either a depressant, a stimulant, or a hallucinogen. However, it is not considered an opiate under any circumstances. 

The Sedative Effects of Marijuana

Depressants have a calming effect on the nervous system and slow down mental processing. These activities, when combined, can help to soothe nerves and relax muscles that are tight. Several medical conditions, such as sleeplessness, anxiousness, or muscle spasms, may respond favorably to treatment with depressants. 

However, depressants may also have adverse effects in the short term, such as the following: 

  • Nausea\confusion 
  • Decreased capacity for motor coordination 
  • A lowering of the blood pressure 
  • Slowed slurred speech
  • Blurred vision 
  • Memory lapses in the short term 
  • Dizziness 

Marijuana use results in both benefits and side effects, including the following: 

  • Relaxation of the muscles brought on by sleepiness 
  • Memory lapses in the short term 
  • Dizziness 

Some depressants, like barbiturates, bring a much greater risk than others, despite the fact that in general, depressants were much less addictive than other forms of drugs. Tolerance to depressants, such as marijuana, can develop over time, which means that increased dosage is required to achieve the same level of effect as before. 

Additionally, there are circumstances in which you can become reliant on marijuana. For instance, if you rely on marijuana to help you fall asleep, you may eventually find that you have trouble dozing off without the substance. 

Additionally, smoking anything, whether it’s tobacco or marijuana, irritates your air passages and can raise your risk of developing respiratory conditions such as bronchitis or a persistent cough. This is true regardless of the substance being smoked. Find out more about the impact that marijuana has on your body. 

Use of Marijuana as a Stimulant

The impacts that depressants have are the opposite of those that stimulants have. They frequently raise both your blood pressure and heart rate which can lead to some people experiencing rapid breathing. Additionally, stimulants can lift your mood, particularly right after you take them. 

Stimulants will make you feel vigilant and energized, as opposed to the sleepiness or relaxation that you may experience when taking a depressant. They can also assist you in increasing your ability to focus for longer periods of time. 

The following are some of the adverse effects that can be caused by stimulants, some of which can even be dangerous: 

  • The elevated temperature throughout the body 
  • Paranoia 
  • A chaotic and erratic heartbeat accompanied by anxiety, seizures, and heart failure. 
  • Because it can result in a variety of adverse effects, including but not limited to: 
  • Elevated moods 
  • Trembling hands and feet Anxiety and paranoia 

Keep in mind that different people react differently to marijuana. After using it, some individuals may become calm and at ease, whereas other people might experience heightened alertness or anxiety instead. 

In comparison to many other stimulants, marijuana use is associated with a lower risk of adverse effects. For instance, methamphetamine and cocaine are both highly addictive drugs that have the potential to leave long-lasting effects on the user’s brain as well as their body. 

Marijuana, when used as a stimulant, poses the same dangers as when it is used as a depressant. The effects of it elevating your mood can eventually cause you to become dependent on it, and smoking it can result in problems with your respiratory system. 

Hallucinogen Effects of Marijuana

The hallucinogenic effects of marijuana are probably the aspect of the drug that is stigmatized the most. Even though hallucinations are a possibility, they are not very common and do not take place in every user. However, the effects of marijuana, such as a warped perception of time, are also components of the hallucination. 

Hallucinogens are substances that change your experience of reality, either by causing changes in your sensory input or by causing you to have hallucinations of an auditory or visual nature. 

It is crucial to bear in mind that hallucinations and paranoia that can be brought on by stimulants are two separate experiences. The difference between hallucinations and paranoia lies in the fact that hallucinations are falsified perceptions of items, occurrences, or sensations, whereas paranoia is a false idea that is typically accompanied by suspicion. 

For instance, a hallucination could cause you to perceive the guy walking in front of you as an animal when you are a human. On the contrary, paranoia can lead you to believe that the individual has been watching you with the intention of doing something harmful to you. 

Hallucinogens can cause a variety of side effects, including but not limited to the following: 

  • Distorted perception of either time or space 
  • Loss of command over one’s motor abilities 
  • The accelerated rate of heartbeat 
  • Vomiting dry mouth 
  • Detachment from both oneself and their surroundings 

Due to the fact that marijuana is capable of producing all of these significant effects, many individuals and organizations consider it to be a hallucinogen. 

Using hallucinogens for an extended period of time can result in communication difficulties, loss of memory, anxiety, and depression. People who take hallucinogens may, in extremely unusual circumstances, develop psychotic symptoms, flashbacks, or a condition known as hallucinogen-persisting perception disorder. 

Marijuana is not a hallucinogen, so it does not produce these effects; however, it can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression in some users, while at the same time relieving these symptoms in others. Keep in mind that you can build up a tolerance to marijuana or become dependent on it, and that smoking it can cause damage to your respiratory system. 

The Bare Essentials 

There is a wide range of physical and psychological consequences that can be caused by cannabis, and these effects can differ from individual to individual. It has the potential to make some people drowsy or relaxed, while inducing an increase in vigilance and energy in others. 

Some people who use it may also find that it is helpful in treating mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. In the case of other people, it may actually bring on anxiety over time. As a consequence of this, marijuana has the potential to act as either a sedative, a stimulant, or a hallucinogen.