Marijuana goes by many names. Mary Jane, grass, weed, pot, and by its scientific name, cannabis. Cannabis is known to contain similar narcotic substances of prescription painkillers. Cannabis is a plant that for some, is used to treat different medical ailments, including glaucoma, chronic pain, and inflammation.
However, for many, cannabis is used in a recreational way. The cannabis business is very beneficial for both the consumer and dealer. What many fail to consider, is while there are benefits, there are also many harmful side effects linked to cannabis usage as well.
But What Are The Good and Bad Side Effects of Cannabis Usage?
Medically speaking, cannabis has several good effects. Cannabis can help treat glaucoma, which is a very positive effect. Some studies suggest that an ingredient in cannabis may help Alzheimer's patients experience less inflammation and decrease how quickly their nervous system fails.
Cannabis has, for some time now, been proven to help reduce pain and nausea linked to chemotherapy in cancer patients and has also been proven to help HIV and AIDS patients. Believe it or not, cannabis can not only slow down and hinder the growth of tumors, but it can also prevent metastasis, accounding to a study done by Harvard University.
And many studies have shown a reduction in seizures in people who suffer from epilepsy. These studies have also shown that cannabis can help reduce symptoms of patients who suffer from multiple sclerosis, such as pain, muscle stiffness and spasms and frequent urination.
However, with all the benefits, there are also many harmful side effects as well. For example, cannabis can be linked to lung, heart and breathing problems, as well as problems with pregnancy and addiction. There are also many long term effects of cannabis usage over time.
1.) Effects on Pregnancies
When a pregnant woman smokes cannabis, she is not only exposing herself to its harmful side effects, but her unborn child as well. The child's memory and brain can be affected, as well as stunting brain growth, mental and physical side effects, and other harmful side effects.
When a woman smokes cannabis while pregnant, she is risking her child's health. Babies of mothers who have smoked cannabis while pregnant may experience a high-pitched colicky cry, be born underweight, and have slower or delayed visual responses.
It is crucial for pregnant women to use cannabis with caution throughout her pregnancy and after, as cannabis can be transferred through breast milk as well.
2.) Effects on the Heart
What many people don't know, especially with cannabis being known as a way to relax, is that cannabis use can actually quicken your heart rate. A healthy person's heart beats an average of 70 to 80 times per minute. When you are under the influence of cannabis, your heart rate can double.
This puts a strain on the heart and raises blood pressure. This in turn, can result in heart attack and stroke. Smoking cannabis actually increases your chance of having a stroke.
Both of these are especially true in people who suffer from preexisting heart problems or who have problems with blood circulation and those who are elderly. Use caution when smoking cannabis for this reason!
3.) Effects on the Lungs and Breathing Issues
It's no surprise that cannabis usage has a negative effect on a person's lungs and how they breathe. A persons lungs and throat are harmed by the cannabis smoke, much like it is for those who smoke cigarettes. Because of this, cannabis users are at a higher risk for bronchitis.
Cannabis is also believed to contain cancer causing chemicals. Cannabis smokers are at a greater risk of several other breathing and lung issues, including a long-lasting ‘smokers cough', phlegm accumulation in their throats, lung infections including bronchitis and pneumonia, and difficulty breathing.
Considering you need your lungs to survive, it's time to really consider if it is worth the risk, isn't it?
4.) Addiction to Cannabis
There is a whole list of things that can go wrong when someone is addicted to cannabis. Both health wise and work, relationship, and financial wise. Long term exposure to cannabis can cause one to become addicted by changing the body and brain and tricking it into believing it needs cannabis to survive.
Just as any addiction, it too is hard to just kick the habit. Younger people, normally teenagers and young adults are at the greatest risk of becoming dependent on cannabis. Research has shown that at least 1 in every 9 people who have used cannabis will become addicted to it at some point in their life.
This is a very hard habit to kick, much like any other drug, and it should be considered one of the biggest negative side effects out there. Much like prescription painkillers, a person can grow so dependant on the drug that it gravely effects their everyday lives. For the heavier users, the following signs may develop right after you smoke, or further down the line if you eat or sleep in between.
Red eyes, laughing uncontrollably, confusion and hallucinations, anxiety, irritability, and inability to register what is going on around them, loss of space and time.
The worst part is, is when a person does decide to quit once and for all, they may experience withdrawal symptoms including, but not limited to, irritability, paranoia, headache and body aches, inability to sleep, and nausea. However, in retrospect, those withdrawal symptoms are worth it compared to a life on drugs.
5.) The Long Term Effects on Cannabis Use
Tetra Hydro cannabinol, or THC as it is more commonly known, alters the way the brain of the user works. It makes them feel different. For most, it makes them feel more relaxed or even happy. THC is the main substance in cannabis.
The high from cannabis can last for up to five hours if smoked and up to twelve hours if ingested. It takes around a month for cannabis to no longer be detectable through a urine or blood test, but research has proven that cannabis can be found in your hair for quite some time after.
Long term use of cannabis can be exceptionally harmful for teenagers and young adults, as it can even lead to mental damage, such as memory loss, inability to focus, and lower IQ.
Regular long term use of cannabis can lead to several health problems, including those we mentioned earlier. To add to that list, long term use of cannabis can lead to balance and coordination problems, menstrual cycle issues in women, low sperm counts in men, and a reduced sex drive. However, many, if not all of these effects can disappear if a person stops their extended use of the harmful drug.
Cannabis Usage Review Summary
Whether you chose to smoke cannabis for medical reasons or recreationally, please be aware that though there are many great benefits of the drug, there are also many negative effects as well. While you should always do your research and consult your doctor first, consider your options. Is that high really worth your life?
Can you think of a healthier way to handle whatever reason you smoke cannabis in the first place? Are you ready to handle the side effects? The choice is yours.