Smoking marijuana isn’t as light an issue as some people think. It is more than a casual indulgence in a recreational drug. Marijuana has the ability to change the normal behavior of a person which can lead to harm for the person taking it and even for other people around them.
However, despite its potential for causing serious harm, it has of recent been legalized in some states, and this has sent the message that marijuana is a safe drug to take.
In this article today, I am going to share 6 science-backed reasons why Marijuana isn’t a substance to be taken for a long period.
Dr. David Samadi, a urologic oncologist, had a few things to say about the use of Marijuana from a medical point of view “As a physician, my doctoring knowledge tells me that making marijuana legally available is a bad idea, except perhaps for certain medical conditions,”
Most times, people really see Marijuana as something that is innocuous, a drug that people take to make them feel good about themselves or a drug that would give them a break from their harsh realities.
After all, a lot of people have been smoking marijuana for a long, long time, and it has taken on the harmless appearance of alcohol and cigarettes. However, the harsh truth is that Marijuana is nothing near harmless, at all.
But its popularity has been growing over the last couple of years. In fact, 29 out of the 50 states in the U.S., Marijuana has been legalized but only for medical uses.
So you might be asking ‘what really is marijuana?’
Dr. David Samadi has the perfect answer to this question, “Similar to hemp; marijuana refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the cannabis plant. The plant’s primary mind-altering chemical comes from delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. It can be smoked; vapid (inhaling the vapor); eaten when mixed with foods such as brownies, cookies or candy; or brewed as a tea.”
Marijuana has recently been legalized for fun, and this decision has many doctors scared that it would be used carelessly as a means to just relax the nerves and have fun while ignoring its side effects.
The terrifying aspect of this is that over the years, Marijuana has been modified a lot such that the marijuana that existed in the 1960’s and the 1970’s is totally different from the marijuana that is obtainable today.
There had been an increase in the content of concentration of THC in the cannabis plant increasing its potency. Dr. Samadi warns that the inhalation of the THC concentrated resins gotten from the plant is a sure fire way to get THC – in very high levels, into the body. This, he said, had brought a lot of people into the emergency room.
The increase in the THC levels found in marijuana has added to the risks that smoking marijuana would ordinarily cause. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has noted that the levels of THC found in marijuana has been on a steady incline over the last several years. This means that there are a lot of potential problems.
For a newbie to marijuana, the sudden exposure to such high levels of THC is liable to cause a very negative reaction that might end up causing so much harm to the person.
The increase in the concentration of THC in marijuana is to blame for the increase in emergency room visits relating to marijuana use says The National Institute on Drug Abuse.
There is more bad news. The new wave of ingesting marijuana by eating it has the potential to increase a negative reaction.
That’s because ingested marijuana takes a much longer time to get absorbed into the bloodstream causing the desired effect and so some people might take in larger quantities in a bid to shorten the time and hit their desired pitch, and this can cause an overdose.
Marijuana is not as safe as it used to be before and the increase in potency can also cause an increase in its addictive tendencies.
Therefore making marijuana legal was not the best step to take.
Already there is an existing issue of alcohol and open abuse, adding marijuana to the mix does not sound seem like the smart thing to do.
The instant effects of marijuana usually is a feeling of intoxication that disconnects you from your immediate surroundings and problems.
That high might feel like a much-needed escape, but it comes with a very high price in its long-term effects.
Below are 6 long-term effects of marijuana that you need to know before you take the next puff.
1. Smoking marijuana causes the same lung damage as smoking cigarettes.
The people have been warned against smoking marijuana by the American Lung Association which had this to say about smoking marijuana, “Smoke is harmful to lung health. Whether from burning wood, tobacco or marijuana, toxins and carcinogens are released from the combustion of materials.
Smoke from Marijuana combustion has been shown to contain many of the same toxins, irritants, and carcinogens as tobacco smoke.”
Smoking marijuana causes some symptoms such as a cough, bronchitis, wheezing and phlegm production.
2. The smoking of marijuana has a negative impact on the heart. It can cause an increase in the tendency of a person to develop very serious heart diseases.
Research has shown that an hour after smoking marijuana, there is a much higher than normal risk of suffering a heart attack. This risk is increased even more if the person already has an underlying heart disease.
From studies made, it has been concluded that smoking marijuana can cause an increase in heart rate, changes in blood pressure and a reduction in the blood’s capability to bond to oxygen.
Now, each time a someone smokes marijuana, their heart does double the work and still does not have enough oxygen, an occurrence that can increase the threat of a heart attack.
3. Marijuana affects developing babies.
According To Healthline, the use of marijuana by a pregnant woman can adversely affect the development of the brain of the fetus. When these children are born, they end up having disorders like anxiety, depression, attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and stunted growth.
The marijuana found today with a higher concentration of THC can infiltrate the placenta easily, and so the developing baby also gets to feel the effects of the drug just as the mother does.
4. Another negative side effect of marijuana is that steady long-term use can impair the learning ability of a person and their behavior.
Based on a study done at Columbia University, it was discovered that people who smoked a lot of marijuana, had a low level of dopamine in their striatum, a part of the brain that works with the memory, attention, and impulses.
Other studies have also indicated that addiction to hard substances like cocaine and heroin can affect the amount of dopamine found in the striatum of its users. These low levels of dopamine clearly affect the ability of the users to learn.
5. Smoking Changes The Structure Of The Brain
Researchers from the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at the University of Texas, Dallas have discovered that the constant use of marijuana over a long period, 4 years and above can cause some changes to the structure of the brain. – Live Science
People who had been smoking for the minimum of four years were found to have a smaller amount of gray matter in the orbitofrontal cortex.
The researcher in charge of the study, Francesca Filbert, added that the change does not just manifest in the structure of the brain, it also affects the connectivity in the brain.
6. The constant use of marijuana for a long time can cause nausea and vomiting.
Core users of marijuana may suffer from cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome which would make them have waves of extreme nausea, vomiting, and dehydration.
Smoking pot has a lot of negative effects which are mostly centered on health. The long-term adverse effects are too severe and too high a price to pay for the fleeting short-term high.