Weed, Pot, Grass, Dope, Hash, Joy Stick – these are just a few of the many street names of marijuana, the plant that everyone has heard of.
This history of the cannabis plant is not recent; in fact, it’s ancient, and has a long history in China, India, Nepal, and the Middle East. Cannabis, aka marijuana, can be found all over the world today. The reasons for its consumption vary; some smoke it recreationally for pleasure, others for social reasons, and still others for medical uses.
Like most plants and medicines in the world, cannabis has both positive and negative aspects. Opinions on its effects and benefits vary greatly. Many government-funded studies have been conducted that point to certain compounds in cannabis that can contribute to pain alleviation.
Further research suggests that cannabis can slow down the growth of cancer cells, control epileptic seizures, and prevent cognitive diseases like Alzheimer.
Those who want to use marijuana for recreational purposes are advised to consider some of the side effects that may result from unprescribed use, especially the long-term effects.
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What are the side effects of marijuana?
Marijuana can cause side effects such as short-term memory problems, severe anxiety and paranoia, loss of a sense of personal identity, psychosis, panic attacks, problems with balance and coordination, red eyes, and dry mouth.
Some of the most common side effects induced by this chemical are:
- Short-term memory problems — Many marijuana users may find it disorienting to be unable to recall simple facts.
- Severe anxiety, followed by paranoia – A user may, all of a sudden, fall into a paranoid state.
- Loss of sense of personal identity — Marijuana carries a psychoactive constituent, so mental fogginess is not surprising.
- A form of psychosis — A user may begin to hallucinate or experience sensory oddities.
- Panic attacks — Large intakes of marijuana can trigger a panic attack. This condition may, in turn, lead to an increased heart rate and even a heart attack.
- Red eyes and dry mouth — Marijuana has a drying effect on the glands, which can cause red eyes and dry mouth.
- Problems with balance and coordination
What are the long-term effects of marijuana?
Long term effects of marijuana may include decreased lung health, problems with mental and emotional health such as depression, memory impairment, and the development of a secondary addiction, such as opiates. The longer that a person uses marijuana, the more likely he or she is to experience not just the short-term side effects, but also long-term consequences.
- Decrease in lung health, as well as mental and emotional health — Marijuana use can cause damage to the respiratory system.
- Depression and mental health issues — Prolonged usage of marijuana can lead to clinical depression and other mental health issues.
- Memory impairment — Continued marijuana consumption may result in the memory impairment and an IQ drop.
- Potential development of opiate abuse — Marijuana is considered a gateway drug, that increases the likelihood of addiction to another substance.
Overall, the physical and mental side effects of marijuana usage should be taken into consideration.