Health Effects of Recreational and Medical Use of Marijuana

health effects of recreational and medical use of marijuana
  • 21 Oct 2016
  • Chiranth Nataraj
  • News

Marijuana is a drug. It’s a drug that alters the mind. It comes from the cannabis plant. When the plant is smoked or ingested, the chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabionol (THC) produces psychoactive effects.

Users will smoke marijuana by grinding up the cannabis plant and roll it into cigarettes, also known as joints. They may also place the crushed plants into pipes or water pipes, which are called bongs. Vaporizers are also used, and are becoming most preferred because it doesn’t produce smoke.

Those who ingest marijuana make brownies, candy, cookies, and drink tea made from the plant. There are also THC-rish resins, which are extracts that people are now using.

Over the last several years, the concentrate of THC has increased. As the plant becomes more potent, people who smoke or ingest it becomes much more affected by it.

Marijuana Effects
The effects of marijuana make people feel extremely relaxed. It can also alter their senses and distort time. People experience trouble with concentration, judgment and coordination. Some people suffer from paranoia and anxiety. Temporary hallucinations and worsening symptoms of schizophrenia are additional effects from marijuana use. The physical effects include an increased heart rate, slurred speech, dry mouth, and red, bloodshot eyes.

Ingesting marijuana in food lasts much longer – about 12 hours. The effects of smoking the plant last about 4 hours.

Over time, marijuana can irritate the lungs. Many people end up with breathing problems. They can suffer from chronic cough, mucus build up, bronchitis, and conditions such as asthma. At the time of this writing, a link to lung cancer has not been confirmed.

Heavy use of marijuana can lead to many problems that are yet to be discovered. Due to the mind-altering effects of the drug, there are studies that have shown marijuana use in early adulthood can permanently change the brain and its functioning. In some reports, mental illness has been identified as one of the effects of marijuana, including suicidal ideation. These effects are a great concern for teens who abuse marijuana.

Marijuana is the most popular drug in the United States. It’s common among young people, although the use among them has steadied. The problem is that the adolescents do not believe marijuana is risky, and the use of marijuana as medicine may have something to do with this perception.

In one study, people who started smoking marijuana in their teens had a higher risk of cannabis use disorder, which is diagnosed as a reduced IQ. The most troubling effect is that the users’ mental abilities did not return even after quitting marijuana use.

Medicinal Use of Marijuana
The use of marijuana for medicine is a great debate in this country. Cancer patients have been using it to relieve nausea and vomiting. People who suffer from conditions such as AIDS may use it to stimulate their appetite. Multiple sclerosis sufferers can use it to calm muscle spasticity. While it helps people who are suffering, the concern is the long-term effects.

The long-term effects are the reason the federal government hasn’t approved marijuana for medicinal uses. The only way this will change is if large studies are conducted that show the benefits outweigh the risks. At this time, the risks greatly outweigh the benefits.

Despite the federal government’s opposition of medical use of marijuana, states have the freedom to decide on its use. Some states have recently passed laws allowing people to use marijuana for medicine. As these states experience the decriminalization of marijuana use, other states may follow suit. At this time, no one knows what the effects will be for the medical use of marijuana.

Recreational and medicinal use of marijuana can lead to dependence – physical and mental. This can affect the life and welfare of users. Marijuana addicts can find it difficult to work, go to school, and care for their families. For those who do work while under the influence of marijuana are at risk of becoming injured when working with machines or driving vehicles. Pregnant women using marijuana threaten the healthy development of their fetus, especially their brain development.

Studies reveal marijuana use can lead to other drug use – also known as a gateway drug. Most users will go on to use ‘harder drugs.’ This could include cocaine, heroin, and more. The effects of those drugs can be even more detrimental to users’ health.