5 Deadly Health Effects of Marijuana

Marijuana is the most widely abused illicit drug in the world, and while many of the proponents of marijuana legalization will have you believe the drug’s effects are harmless, research into the long-term health effects of marijuana proves differently.

Did you know that weed actually CAN kill you??!

[showmyads]Everybody relax. I mean inderictly, but I do mean it. Let’s discuss some of the harmful and potentially deadly effects of long-term marijuana use and how it can negatively impact your health…

…In the long-term.

These days you hear plenty about medicinal marijuana being used to treat conditions such as chronic pain, but lost in the shuffle of these discussions are the health risks that marijuana presents.

Research shows that people who regularly consume as little as one joint per day could be doing damage to a number of different systems in the body.  I know I smoked a lot more than that, for a long time. Below is a look at some of these systems and the potentially deadly health effects of marijuana abuse and addiction:

Weakened Immune System

marijuana healthMarijuana is commonly prescribed to people battling conditions such as AIDS for the management of pain. But studies also show that smoking marijuana regularly may weaken the immune system and damage your natural defense system against bacteria, fungi and microorganisms.

With a weakened immune system the likelihood of pulmonary diseases such as pneumonia increases, and these conditions can prove deadly in both ill and completely healthy people alike. You want a strong immune system, with a weakened immune system your risk of everything goes up.

Heart Attacks

Marijuana use is strongly linked to many of the risk factors which may lead to heart attacks and disease. 

When marijuana is smoked or ingested it has a twofold effect on the user’s circulatory system. 

First, it increases the heart rate making the heart work harder. Second, it lowers blood pressure making it difficult for the heart to deliver blood to the various organs in the body. 

It is possible for this combination to be a deadly one, and increases the risk for heart attacks by close to fifty percent.

Respiratory Infections and Diseases

Much like smoking tobacco cigarettes, smoking marijuana drastically increases the risk for a number of respiratory illnesses and disease.  Again, marijuana smokers consuming as little as one joint per day show a much higher risk for bronchial infections such as chronic bronchitis, and diseases such as emphysema and COPD.  Over time, these diseases can decrease lung function and eventually prove fatal.

Cancer

According to recent studies, long term marijuana use can and will cause cancer of the lungs and bronchial passages, and may in fact be even more dangerous than smoking cigarettes.  In several different case studies, the early “markers” for lung cancer were prevalent in marijuana users, and appeared at 5 times the rate compared to non-users.

Mental Health and Brain Function

Marijuana in the short term causes the loss of perception, judgment, memory difficulties and learning problems.  It can also significantly impact your ability to drive safely and is the contributing factor to hundreds of automobile accidents each year. 

Big deal…

[showmyads]However in the long term, marijuana has been known to cause hallucinations, psychosis, anxiety, depression and panic attacks, and have led to increased suicidal thoughts and attempts, compared to people that do not smoke marijuana.

Let’s not talk about alcohol.

This is just a sampling of the many problematic effects of marijuana.

Probably important to remember that weed is a drug, and although the short-term effects associated with its use may not be as severe as other illicit street drugs, the long term effects can be deadly and irreversible.

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27 Responses to “5 Deadly Health Effects of Marijuana”

  1. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!

    Cheers
    Christian,

  2. study says:

    found your site on del.icio.us today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later. The marijuana addiction interests me.

  3. If only I had a greenback for every time I came here.. Superb article!

  4. commonsense says:

    sources? like to know where you got this info from…few things u guys forgot to think about, just saying. but id like to read where you guys got the sources from.

  5. Countermonkey says:

    True.. It is important to remember MJ is a drug. It was put here by god for us to use, but so were many poisonous plants and animals! Doesnt mean we need to use them all does it?

  6. Margaret says:

    Fantastic Article Sebastian! I know not many people enjoy expressing the negative side of marijuana abuse, although there is a unstoppable need for such a thing. For that I say well done and thank you!

  7. kolinski says:

    I wonder just what Marvin will change with that!

  8. hereismyinsurance says:

    Deanna rocks?!?

  9. Weedman says:

    ^^ What the hell does that mean?? ^^

    Who’s Deanna and who is Marvin?

    Is it just me, or are there some very unusual comments written here? The last two seem pretty suspect to me!! Why do ppl do that?

  10. I am very glad you took the time and said this?!

    Yours Truly,
    Jerald

  11. Cris says:

    Really…marijuana kills people, where are the statistics, studies, and research that show this? If marijuana is so dangerous why is it that not a single person in the past 10,000 years of recorded history has a died from marijuana use alone… Yet over 1,000,000 people die every year around the world from smoking tobacco…

    Here is a fun fact for you guys:
    Myth: Marijuana is More Damaging to the Lungs Than Tobacco. Marijuana smokers are at a high risk of developing lung cancer, bronchitis, and emphysema.

    Fact: Moderate smoking of marijuana appears to pose minimal danger to the lungs. Like tobacco smoke, marijuana smoke contains a number of irritants and carcinogens. But marijuana users typically smoke much less often than tobacco smokers, and over time, inhale much less smoke. As a result, the risk of serious lung damage should be lower in marijuana smokers. There have been no reports of lung cancer related solely to marijuana, and in a large study presented to the American Thoracic Society in 2006, even heavy users of smoked marijuana were found not to have any increased risk of lung cancer. Unlike heavy tobacco smokers, heavy marijuana smokers exhibit no obstruction of the lung’s small airway. That indicates that people will not develop emphysema from smoking marijuana.

    Oh and look I have sources…

    *Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. “Legalization: Panacea or Pandora’s Box.” New York. (1995): 36.

    * Turner, Carlton E. The Marijuana Controversy. Rockville: American Council for Drug Education, 1981.

    * Nahas, Gabriel G. and Nicholas A. Pace. Letter. “Marijuana as Chemotherapy Aid Poses Hazards.” New York Times 4 December 1993: A20.

    * Inaba, Darryl S. and William E. Cohen. Uppers, Downers, All-Arounders: Physical and Mental Effects of Psychoactive Drugs. 2nd ed. Ashland: CNS Productions, 1995. 174.

    Cris

  12. Seb says:

    If marijuana is so dangerous why is it that not a single person in the past 10,000 years of recorded history has a died from marijuana use alone…

    I’m afraid that is the myth..

    People have died from smoking marijuana, I even know of some personally. And just because it isn’t directly, it still happens because of the drug, just like nicotine. The truth is that it can create serious issues within your lungs/heart/immune system.

    Marijuana also has the most people claiming that it has no dangers. I used to even be one myself.

    Moderate smoking of marijuana appears to pose minimal danger to the lungs.

    I don’t know if you have noticed, but weed smokers tend to ‘hold it in’ which is extremely damaging to the lungs. No person smokes cigarettes like that and furthermore, nobody even breathes air like that! It’s not normal, and seeing marijuana does contain many harmful chemicals, I find it distressing that so many weed smokers are convinced that smoking of marijuana appears to pose minimal danger to the lungs.

    I used to agree with you, but I now realize it was simply Wishful thinking.

  13. Cris says:

    I respect your opinion Seb, but I’m afraid that you have been brain washed by the multi billion dollar drug war that has been failing for over 25 years. If you are so sure that Marijuana kills people show me one study that says so.

    Researchers from the University of British Columbia presented a study at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference showing that smoking marijuana does not increase the risk of developing lung cancer or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) among people who do not smoke tobacco, and may indeed confer a mildly protective effect. Beginning in 2001, multiple research teams began to report results showing that smoking cannabis does not, by itself, increase the risk of lung cancer, and this result is now well-established.

    So, if the U. S. government is so certain that Marijuana kills people then, they would be parading the statistics around just like they do with tobacco…right?

    -Cris

  14. Seb says:

    I’m afraid that you have been brain washed by the multi billion dollar drug war that has been failing for over 25 years.

    Don’t pay attention to it.

    So, if the U. S. government is so certain that Marijuana kills people then, they would be parading the statistics around just like they do with tobacco…right?

    Yeah, the US government is strange. They don’t make any sense to me and I don’t live in America. Each Country has it’s own Gov and point of view. None affecting my opinions.

    We all know statistics can prove or disprove anything, right?

    To be honest I believe these studies are the same – and you simply have to make up your own mind about things like this. This study (like many) is clearly trying to make a point. For example:

    research teams began to report results showing that smoking cannabis does not, by itself, increase the risk of lung cancer

    Great. A circular argument, and neither of us will change their point of view. When does it end?

    It doesn’t. And once you lose interest, there will certainly be another activist to take your place. Many love to smoke weed, smoke it every day and actively seek information that supports their point of view, and that’s cool.

    But I have nothing to prove.

    I have seen marijuana ruin lives, sabotage ambition, induce mental illness, and strip people of their confidence. I’m talking about millions of people here, certainly not just in Your American Bubble.

    The rest of the world is quite big, you know.

    I’ve seen people commit suicide because they could no longer interact socially with people around them, or do simple things like gain employment. If they had not smoked weed daily for decades I believe their life would still be their own.

    All I stand for.

    Many people come to me seeking help from marijuana addiction, and for me to explain to them that “weed is all good” would do nobody any help, would it? I stand up for what I believe in – not because of Government, media or any other propaganda.

    Your argument is the majority. Not in the amount of people that hold this point of view, just the loudest people that talk the most. Mainstream youth rebellion against the man.

    Things change.

    There is a reason most people quit weed almost completely by 25-30 years old. If it was so harmless, why does everyone “grow up” and stop smoking the stuff?

    Why is the person arguing so passionately for marijuana always seem so young or unemployed?

    Think about that.

    I do respect your view, but I can say with confidence that marijuana has been a big part of my life, and I understand it more than many people. I am also 99% sure that you do smoke weed, and I would bet good money you have smoked it for less than 10 years.

    Am I right?

    • ButchCassidy says:

      Here is how i know this is a scam.

      1. None of your “studies” or “research” is sourced.

      2. Your selling a book. -people who really want to help you quit give you condensed informational pamphlets for free-

      3. You seem to be under the impression that that the U.S. Gov is covering up the truth about weed because there not “parading the statistics.” Im sorry, But nobody who is smart enough to write a book is dumb enough to actually believe that. Because if there were statistics out there that proved that marijuana and cigarettes are equally dangerous and fatal, Every nation that adheres to the UN’s Narcotic Schedule would be parading the evidence. and so far, that number would be ZERO, ZILCH, NADA.

      4. You seem to be under the impression that the U.S. Gov, the morons who STARTED THE WAR ON DRUGS and seem to fight it on behalf of the entire world would cover up negative weed statistics. -no i didnt just say the same thing twice, reread it-

      5. Marijuana is EXPENSIVE -i go through 3 grams every day and it costs (US)$60-$120 PER DAY- and anybody who smokes enough to care about its legality is probably spending AT LEAST (US)$100 per week to keep up their habit, which means they have to have a source of income, most of those people are probably working, other than snotty rich teenagers who get that kind of money as an allowance…. and i think you know that because you seem to be an incredibly intelligent person.

      Here is the real truth.

      Marijuana should only be smoked by those who know its risks and benefits

      The FDA has found no annual deaths from marijuana in comparison to many of its other APPROVED drugs -you can look this up at procon.org-

      Marijuana is safer than alcohol OTC medication and Rx drugs, because it has never been publicly reported to have caused:

      1.liver disease
      2.heart disease
      3.lung cancer
      4.melanoma
      5.lymphoma
      6.brain cancer
      7.liver cancer
      8.cardiac cancer
      9.breast cancer
      10.testicular cancer
      11.pulmonary failure
      12.renal failure
      13.cardio-resperatory failure
      14.blindness
      15.an overdose
      16.diabetic shock
      17.erectile dysfunction
      18.premature ejaculation
      19.an erection lasting longer than 4 hours -seriously thats a potential side affect of viagra and cialus-
      20.physical addiction -like with most opiates/pain killers, where your body shuts down-
      21.depression
      22.anxiety -not paranoia-
      23.seizures
      24.nausea
      25.hypothermia
      26.hypotension
      27.prolonged paranoid psychosis
      28.nasal bleeding
      29.rectal bleeding
      30.psychotic rage and or anger -often times reported to be the primary side affects of Vivance and Aderall, the primary consumers of which are people under age 21-

      The 3 most common side affects of marijuana are hungry, happy, sleepy
      its a better SSRI than an SSRI and its not even an SSRI, and iv found that if you smoke it in a cigarillo’s tobacco wrapping it works better than taking ambien to sleep, and it doesnt make you feel like a lead brick. well… not entirely..

      • Seb says:

        1. Not really, no.

        2. Condensed informational pamphlets for free – do not solve the problem.

        3. Lots of statistics can be found, for both sides. See point one.

        4. The words “government” and “America” only ever come up in the comments section of this site.

        5. Many people have a lot of money or would see that differently. I myself smoked marijuana for 13 years straight, every day. Money was never an issue because I was pretty involved in the whole thing.

        I appreciate your comment and your point of view on this matter, as well as all the extra resources and information you have brought to my attention. It’s good that we all have different opinions don’t you think? It’d be a pretty boring world otherwise, wouldn’t it? :)

        The 3 most common side affects of marijuana are hungry, happy, sleepy

        Agreed, however for some people the 3 most common long-term side effects include: Depression, addiction and desperation. As well as a complete lack of awareness, motivation and direction. Not many people: True. But I’m the guy those few people will come to see. We are not a scam, I can assure you, and my name is attached to this. We are just a very specific website for a small group of people with a unique problem, and many people understand that in the background – so it’s cool. Thanks again for the comment!

    • Taynara says:

      Honey, you need to get into a program. You are doing the first step now, rehniacg out for help, look in the phone book for N,A.Or maybe you have a health dept. where you live. They can get you help.You may have to go awau to a rehab. for 30 days since you have been smoking for 7yrs.I just wish I could be right there with you because here you are rehniacg out for help and I feel so helpless. Just please pick up the phone, make some calls. If you want it bad enough you will find it. Please take care and God bless!!!!

  15. Cris says:

    Very good post Seb it was well written and yes I took the time to read the entire post more than once. However, there are a few things that are just not making sense to me. No, it’s not because I’m high.

    Of course marijuana is not for everyone. I don’t go around telling people they should consume marijuana. Marijuana is a Drug that can be abused just like Prescription Drugs Alcohol and Cigarettes. I think that people need to be educated and allowed to consume marijuana responsibly so they don’t end up committing suicide or driving under the influence. And like in every society around the world there are always going to be those few who will abuse Drugs whether its marijuana or not and they have to face the consequences of the choices they’ve made.

    It’s most likely that people stop smoking at around 25-30 is because around this age in America people start having kids. These marijuana consumers are most likely don’t want to use marijuana around there kids. I know I sure as hell wouldn’t, just like I would never get wasted around kids. These Grown Ups are just being responsible.
    “Why is the person arguing for marijuana always seem so young or unemployed?”

    Always seem to me young and unemployed, really?
    Bill Gates
    Barak Obama
    Bruce Lee
    Stephen King
    Ray Charles
    John Lennon
    Harrison Ford
    Bill Clinton
    Conan O’Brian
    John F Kennedy
    Mark Zuckerberg
    Carlos Santana
    Joan of Arc
    Steve Jobs
    Mahatma Gandhi
    Martin Luther King, Jr.
    These are some pretty successful people and the list goes on…

    Seb, you are entitled to your own opinion you can write about personal accounts that you have had with people and continue to state that marijuana create serious issues within your lungs/heart/immune system and ruins lives …exc. That is perfectly fine.
    But to make posts saying that marijuana causes Cancer, Heart Attacks, Respiratory diseases, and a weakened immune system and state that they are facts with out scientific evidence/sources is not right. I mean if some one told you that drinking 1 glass of rain water every day will cause you to live forever, wouldn’t you want to see some hard scientific evidence before you started collecting all that water?

    - Cris

  16. Seb says:

    I enjoy an artful discussion. I like your list of people that have smoked weed, I believe weed helps you find solutions, yes. But you don’t act on them unless you stop smoking. I doubt any still do it daily. I agree that most people will try weed and use it responsibly.

    It’s also true that others will continue to smoke and develop a serious addiction that can lead to all the things I have mentioned. This is what I am here for, and this is why I write the things I do.

    I often offend smokers, however I honestly don’t worry about is anymore. I know how to help the ones that need it and ask for it. If that pisses off a few regular smokers, so be it. I help more people than I piss off.

    “I mean if some one told you that drinking 1 glass of rain water every day will cause you to live forever, wouldn’t you want to see some hard scientific evidence before you started collecting all that water?”

    Nope. I would simply use my prior knowledge and waste no time collecting evidence. Sometimes, the results of a certain action is clear as day and painfully obvious.

    For example in this case, I already have enough prior knowledge and personal experience to be sure that: “Nobody lives forever”. I’d just move on. Feel pretty silly researching magical theories like that!

    Here’s another one:

    Sucking smoke into your lungs and holding it there for as long as you can, for years on end? I mean it’s pretty clearly bad for you! Isn’t it? Seriously now: forget research, facts, figures and stats, they have been wrong many times before.

    Just stop and think about it for a second.
    Pretty obviously an unhealthy thing to do?

    Please don’t get me wrong, I still understand your point, really. And enjoy what you have brought to the table. But it would take a lot to undo what I have seen with my own eyes regarding marijuana addiction. Thanks again!

  17. Dylan says:

    I read moer of cris’s and seb’s posts then i have read the actual blog… great blog by the way and nice arguments between the two.

    Dylan

  18. Brent says:

    Ok first off alcohol has 20 fold more negative effects on the human body and brain so let’s realize that it’s legal and marijuana is the only drug out there that actually has medical benifits for people. Second off your fuckin retarted if you think weed is bad for you. Guess what dumb ass everything is bad for you and I mean everything!!! Think about it you probably over eat you probably drink and do shit on the daily that effects you health wise. Hey whoever thinks weed is bad probably goes home has a cocktail or two or three and thinks that’s just great well think this you are a certified fuckin tard. I hope that you really think about what you are and what you do because I’m pretty sure the last time that I checked no one is perfect so unless god him self shat you out don’t fuckin judge and remember god put marijuana on earth not beer not liquor not diet pills. I know that most of you are probably going to read this and say I’m wrong I’m probably fucked right now and that you are right well good. Look up everything that has to do with alcohol and get back to me when you have some ground to stand on. I in the mean time will be pouring a vodka on the rocks and probably drinking and driving later because that will get me in less trouble if I get caught..

  19. Joe says:

    I’m sorry to say this, but every single person that believes this propaganda is very ignorant towards the subject of Marijuana in general. I’ve been vaporizing weed which gives the same effect as smoking, without the harmful effects of the smoke at least 5 times a week for approximately 6 months now. Since I started the habit nobody I know has noticed a change in my behaviour, except for my teachers, who have claimed that my attention in class has gone up drastically and so have my marks, possibly due to the fact that I have ADHD and many people with it are treated with marijuana, but regardless marijuana has helped me. Also, for all those claiming that all this evidence was found proving marijuana’s harmful effects are simply wrong, the reason I make this claim is because up until approximately the early 2000s the manner of which the scientist conducted the experiments were never told, and when it was released, it showed that the scientist suffocated the monkeys with marijuana smoke therefore killing braincells due to lack of oxygen, so it wasn’t the marijuana causing the damage, it was the scientists. So for all you people talking about how “dangerous” Marijuana is, please educate yourselves on the matter before coming to such absurd conclusions. Last thing, for those claiming Marijuana is addictive, well you may be right about the fact that it can possibly be psychologically addictive but so can ANYTHING you enjoy, as for it being physically addictive is a complete lie, because the main active ingredient in Marijuana (THC) stores in your fat and over a couple of weeks it slowly releases into your blood stream getting your body used to having no THC at all without physical withdrawal.

    -Joe

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