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The Health Effects of Marijuana

Marijuana Health

If you're looking for a few good reasons to quit smoking marijuana, perhaps you should consider the health risks associated with your habit.

Activists and advocates of marijuana legalization regularly insist that smoking pot has no adverse health effects, but recent research seems to strongly disprove this theory.

According to recent studies, regular marijuana usage can be just as damaging as regular tobacco use, and may in fact cause several additional problems not seen in people who use tobacco alone.

Health Effects of Marijuana

Marijuana is the most commonly used and most widely available illegal drug in the world. Whether the drug is smoked or ingested, it begins to affect users almost immediately and these effects can last up to three hours after use.

Short-Term Effects

Many people who smoke marijuana regularly do so for the euphoric feeling it produces, but these short-term effects can be dangerous to say the least. Like alcohol, marijuana usage can impair your judgment and cause all of the following short-term effects:

Marijuana and the Effects on the Brain

The active ingredient in marijuana, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC, acts on certain nerve receptors in the brain-receptors that influence pleasure and pain, memory, concentration, coordination and sensory perception-and may cause serious problems in each of these areas. When high doses of marijuana are either smoked or ingested, all of the following symptoms can occur:

Due to the brain altering effects of marijuana, many people who abruptly cease using the drug often report symptoms of depression and anxiety.

The Heart

Marijuana use can cause an increased heart rate, in some cases up to 50 beats a minute faster than the normal rate. Combined with lowered blood pressure, which is simultaneously caused by marijuana, this can be a recipe for disaster. It is estimated that a person who regularly uses marijuana is 4 times more likely to experience a heart attack than a non-user.

The Lungs

Marijuana can be just as dangerous to the lungs as tobacco, and because of the way the drug is often smoked, may in fact be more dangerous. People who smoke marijuana usually inhale deeper than typical cigarette smokers, and tend to hold the smoke in longer causing increased damage to the lungs.

Marijuana And Your Lungs

The effects to the lungs include all of the following:

As you can see, marijuana usage is not nearly as safe as some will have you believe. Pot can affect almost every system in the body, causing both short and long-term effects. If you're looking for a reason to quit, do it for your health if nothing else.

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