The Effects of Marijuana on Your Body
Here’s what happens to your body when this drug enters your bloodstream.
With the potential for increased recreational use, knowing the effects that marijuana can have on your body is as important as ever. Read on to see how it affects each system in your body.
Much like tobacco smoke, marijuana smoke is made up of a variety of toxic chemicals, including ammonia and hydrogen cyanide, which can irritate your bronchial passages and lungs. If you’re a regular smoker, you’re more likely to wheeze, cough, and produce phlegm. You’re also at an increased risk of bronchitis and lung infections. Marijuana may aggravate existing respiratory illnesses, such as asthma and cystic fibrosis.
Marijuana smoke contains carcinogens, so it may increase your risk of lung cancer too. However, studies on the subject have had mixed results. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), there is no conclusive evidence that marijuana smoke causes lung cancer. More research is needed.
THC moves from your lungs into your bloodstream and throughout your body. Within minutes, your heart rate may increase by 20 to 50 beats per minute. That rapid heartbeat can continue for up to three hours. If you have heart disease, this could raise your risk of heart attack.
One of the telltale signs of recent marijuana use is bloodshot eyes. The eyes look red because marijuana causes blood vessels in the eyes to expand.
THC can also lower pressure in the eyes, which can ease symptoms of glaucoma for a few hours. More research is needed to understand the active ingredients in marijuana and whether it’s a good treatment for glaucoma.
In the long term, marijuana has a possible positive effect on your circulatory system. ResearchTrusted Source isn’t conclusive yet, but marijuana may help stop the growth of blood vessels that feed cancerous tumors. Opportunities exist in both cancer treatment and prevention, but more research is needed.
Central nervous system
The effects of marijuana extend throughout the central nervous system (CNS). Marijuana is thought to ease pain and inflammation and help control spasms and seizures. Still, there are some long-term negative effects on the CNS to consider.
THC triggers your brain to release large amounts of dopamine, a naturally occurring “feel good” chemical. It’s what gives you a pleasant high. It may heighten your sensory perception and your perception of time. In the hippocampus, THC changes the way you process information, so your judgment may be impaired. The hippocampus is responsible for memory, so it may also be difficult to form new memories when you’re high.
Changes also take place in the cerebellum and basal ganglia, brain areas that play roles in movement and balance. Marijuana may alter your balance, coordination, and reflex response. All those changes mean that it’s not safe to drive.
Very large doses of marijuana or high concentrations of THC can cause hallucinations or delusions. According to the NIDA, there may be an association between marijuana use and some mental health disorders like depression and anxiety. More research is needed to understand the connection. You may want to avoid marijuana if you have schizophrenia, as it may make symptoms worse.
When you come down from the high, you may feel tired or a bit depressed. In some people, marijuana can cause anxiety. About 30 percent of marijuana users develop a marijuana use disorder. Addiction is considered rare, but very real. Symptoms of withdrawal may include irritability, insomnia, and loss of appetite.
In people younger than 25 years, whose brains have not yet fully developed, marijuana can have a lasting impact on thinking and memory processes. Using marijuana while pregnant can also affect the brain of your unborn baby. Your child may have trouble with memory, concentration, and problem-solving skills.
Smoking marijuana can cause some stinging or burning in your mouth and throat while you’re inhaling.
Marijuana can cause digestive issues when taken orally. For example, oral THC can cause nausea and vomiting because of the way it’s processed in your liver. It may also damage your liver.
Conversely, marijuana has also been used to ease symptoms of nausea or upset stomach.
An increase in your appetite is common when taking any form of marijuana, leading to what many call “the munchies.” This is considered a benefit for people being treated with chemotherapy for cancer. For others who are looking to lose weight, this effect could be considered a disadvantage.
THC may adversely affect your immune system. StudiesTrusted Source involving animals showed that THC might damage the immune system, making you more vulnerable to illnesses. Further research is needed to fully understand the effects.
People deceive themselves into thinking somethings okay , safe , not harmful to their health, because they want to do it , because it brings them pleasure , as is the case with marijuana . If you let yourself be deceived that what is bad is good [ marijuana ] you can eventually ruin your health as is the case concerning marijuana .
You cannot smoke marijuana , no smoke is good for the lungs . Even in”moderation” smoking marijuana is bad , the negatives outweigh the positives , unlike alcohol !!! .
Alcohol in moderation is excellent for you , as numerous studies have shown over the last 50 yrs or so .
Think about it , how could taking any smoke into your lungs be beneficial ? it’s not .
Pill form is another story . Smoking it takes away your motivation , causes memory problems , increases your chances of a lung disease, slows reflexes etc , etc , etc.
Does smoking it help or cure certain health conditions ? it most certainly does , but what good is it , if at the same time it creates other health problems ? As the saying goes “the cure is worse than the disease” . Your better of with the health problem you had than correcting that one “smoking” marijuana , at the same time creating another more serious health problem . Do you understand ?
A final thought , people think that’s what they have to do , smoke it , that it’s the only option when it’s not . Like guys who work physical in construction . After they had a surgery or having a physical problem back pain etc , they say how much it helps with pain , which it does , as the above diagram shows , but they are oblivious to alternatives like natural methods , [ eating right , herbs] .