Marijuana, weed, buddha, pot, grass. The drug known as marijuana comes from the cannabis plant and is referred to by a variety of names. It can be smoked, vaped, drunk or eaten. Most individuals use marijuana for pleasure and leisure. However, an increasing number of doctors prescribe it for certain health problems and symptoms.
The chemicals in marijuana can change your mood and affect your body. Some people become addicted to it, and it may not be good for some people’s health. These are the risks you take when using marijuana:
You Can Get “High”
The main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, THC, affects the part of your brain that experiences pleasure from things such as food and sex. This chemical reaction then releases dopamine, which gives you a sense of euphoria and relaxation.
If you vape or smoke weed, the THC could get into your bloodstream quickly enough to produce a high within seconds or minutes. The THC level usually peaks in about 30 minutes, and its effects may wear off in 1-3 hours. If you drink or eat pot, it may take many hours for the psychoactive effects to fully subside. You may not always know how potent your recreational marijuana might be. That also goes for most medical marijuana products.
It May Affect Your Mental Health
Some people have negative experiences when using marijuana as it can cause anxiety, fear, panic, or paranoia. Additionally, there is a chance that it might lead to clinical depression or worsen the current symptoms of any mental disorders. Scientists are unsure why this occurs; however, they do know that high doses can make someone lose touch with reality and see/hear things that don’t exist.
Your Thinking May Get Distorted
The effects of marijuana depend on several factors such as the potency of the pot, how it was ingested, and your previous experience with marijuana.
You May Get Hooked
One in ten marijuana users will get hooked. That means you can’t quit using it even if it damages your relationships, job, health, or money. The danger is greatest when you first begin using marijuana and consume more of it. For instance, the chances of addiction are 1 in 6 if you use marijuana while in your teens. It may be as high as 1 in 2 among those who use it every day.
You may also develop physically dependent on marijuana. When you don’t use it, your body might go into withdrawal, making you irritable, restless, unable to sleep, and uninterested in eating. Learn more about how to identify signs of marijuana addiction.
It May Impair Your Brain
Marijuana makes it more difficult to concentrate, learn, and recall information. This appears to be a one-time effect that lasts for 24 hours or longer after you quit smoking.
However, frequent use of marijuana, especially in your youth years, might have long-term consequences. Marijuana may physically alter the brains of some adolescents as shown by imaging studies; they had fewer connections in regions of the brain linked to attention, learning, and memory and lower IQ scores in certain individuals.
Your Lungs May Hurt
If you use marijuana smoke regularly, you could experience the same breathing difficulties as cigarette smokers. This might include a cough with colored mucus. In addition, your lungs will be more vulnerable to infections because THC appears to weaken some users’ immune systems.
It May Ease Your Pain and Other Symptoms
Even though a majority of states have legalize medical marijuana in some way, the federal government’s ban on the drug has made it difficult to study its effects.
You May Feel Hungrier
The ability of marijuana to stimulate hunger- often referred to as “the munchies”- might help those with AIDS, cancer, or other illnesses gain weight, though researchers are undecided on whether this is a beneficial idea.
It May Harm Your Heart
After consuming marijuana, your heart races and works harder than it typically would. A healthy person’s resting heart rate is 50 to 70 beats per minute, but after smoking pot, that number can increase to 70 to 120 beats or more per minute for 3 hours. The added strain from the increased heartbeat plus tar and other chemicals in pot may raise your chance of having a heart attack or stroke. The danger is even bigger if you’re older or if you already have heart problems.
It Intensifies Alcohol’s Dangers
Out of all drinkers, more than 1 in 10 report having used marijuana within the last year. If consumed together, alcohol and marjuana causes twice as many problems with drunk driving or other legal, professional, or personal issues when compared to drinking alcohol by itself.
Your Newborn Might Be Underweight
According to researchers, mothers who smoke pot while pregnant are more likely to give birth to underweight or premature babies. However, not enough is known about the long-term effects this could have on infants, such as if they will struggle in school or turn to drugs later in life.
How сannabis effects the body
Cannabis is the dried and powdered or shredded leaves, stems, flowers, or seeds from the cannabis plant. Cannabis includes nearly all parts of the plant, including leaves, stalks, blooms, and seeds. Cannabis can have both beneficial and unfavorable side effects depending on how it is used.
Cannabis has several short-term effects, which means they only endure for a brief time. Other long-term side effects may not appear right away.
There is not yet a lot of research on the effects of secondhand cannabis smoke, but it is possible that exposure to secondhand smoke may cause some of the same short- and long-term effects in people as smoking directly. More research is needed to examine the specific health risks associated withsecondhand cannabis smoke.
Often, a person will smoke cannabis to feel its effects. However, a person could also:
- vape it
- cook it into food
- use it as part of an oil
- brew it with teas
- use other topical or oral cannabis products
The following article goes through some of the body’s benefits and drawbacks associated with marijuana use.
How cannabis affects physical health
Some of the most common effects on physical health from cannabis use include:
- a higher likelihood of developing bronchitis, when a person smokes it
- more phlegm, when a person smokes it
- lung irritation from irritants including some carcinogens, such as accidentally burning the mouth or throat when smoking
- a weakened immune system due to the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the main psychoactive chemical in cannabis
- pain relief
- reduction in vomiting and nausea
- faster heart rate by 20–50 beats per minute
- red eyes from the increase in blood flow
- relief from the symptoms of glaucoma, for short periods
- aggravation of existing lung conditions, such as asthma, when a person smokes it
- potential interference with tumor growth
- interference with fetal development during pregnancy
- interference with brain development among teenagers
When people use it medically, cannabis is often useful for the following:
- reducing pain associated with certain medical conditions
- reducing inflammation
- helping with glaucoma
- reducing nausea in people undergoing chemotherapy
How cannabis affects psychological health
Some of the most common effects a person may experience include:
- increased appetite and thirst
- increased or decreased depression symptoms, depending on the user
- increased or decreased anxiety symptoms, depending on the user
- impaired judgment, making it harder for people to think clearly
- problems with memory
- the release of dopamine, which causes the feeling of being high
- symptoms of withdrawal after long-term use
- delayed reactions to stimuli
- temporary paranoia and hallucinations
- addiction, in some cases
Cannabis has many potential psychological effects, and it is worth noting that this is not a comprehensive list.
How cannabis affects younger people
Although cannabis has the potential to be safe for use by adults, it can cause children and teenagers harmful effects. For example, if a mother uses cannabis while pregnant, her baby may have issues with memory and concentration as they grow older. Additionally, if a breastfeeding mother also uses cannabis, she would be exposing her baby its possible harms. To avoid any risk of exposure or harm, women should abstain from using cannabis while either pregnant or breastfeeding.
Cannabis use in children and teenagers may have an adverse effect on the brain development of older kids and teens. This can result in memory loss, concentration difficulties, and poor problem-solving skills. Cannabis use among persons under the age of 25 has been linked to memory and learning deficits.
Long-term effects of cannabis
The long-term effects of using cannabis depend on several factors, including a person’s age and frequency of use.
Long-term effects depend on several factors, including:
- how a person uses cannabis
- how often they use it
- the age of the person using it
- how much a person uses at any given time
Some of the potential long-term effects include the following:
- memory loss
- concentration and memory issues from exposure while in the womb
- lung irritation
- possibly lung cancer, although research does not fully support this
- development of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, which causes nausea and vomiting
Cannabis has many potential short- and long-term effects on the body. Although many proponents believe that cannabis is a modern day cure-all, others believe that its negative effects outweigh its potential medicinal benefits.
People have used cannabis recreationally for many years. As of 2019, 34 states in the United States have some form of legal cannabis. A few states have also legalized its recreational use.
In states where recreational use is still not legal, people should consider other approaches and speak to their healthcare provider about what is best for them.