Save a Life: How Does Marijuana Adversely Affect Your Body
At least one out of every three persons in the United States has experimented with pot at some time in their lives, and some have gone on to become habitual users.
Once in a while, recreational use of marijuana may affect you slightly or not, but if sustained use over a longer period of time, it can have several severe adverse consequences on your body. Here are some of the side effects of smoking marijuana:
It can Compromise Your Immune System
Some studies have shown that regular use of marijuana can compromise your immune system and thereby increase your risk of various diseases. Caution is advised for those who are suffering from any conditions or taking any medications, which affect the immune system.
It can Increase Your Risk of a Heart Attack
Studies by the NIDA have shown that marijuana can increase your heartbeat by up to 50 heartbeats per minute and that these may last for up to three hours. This can increase the risk of a heart attack and prove fatal for heart patients.
It can Increase Your Link of Lung Cancer
Marijuana is rich in carcinogens or in simple English, cancer-causing agents. When marijuana smoke enters your lungs, it can increase your risk of lung cancer according to some studies. These same studies also show that marijuana smoke can also increase the risk of lung infections and bronchitis. The effects are more pronounced in smokers whose lungs are already compromised.
It can Contribute to Obesity
It has been observed that recreational use of marijuana promotes appetite and restricts the production of hormones that tell your brain that your body has had enough food. The end result is that you feel hungry, do not realize when to stop and end up eating more food; thereby leading to obesity.
It can Lead to Depression
Marijuana, like other drugs, helps to release chemicals which contribute to the “feel good” effect that people call “getting high”. However, once this effect wears off, your body may react by over-producing other hormones in order to combat this feeling. This can lead to depression and anxiety according to MayoClinic. Prolonged use of marijuana can make this effect permanent.
It Lowers Your IQ
Several studies have proved that marijuana adversely affects your brain and thus, it results in decrease of your IQ. The continual use of marijuana can contribute to steady declines in IQ points with age. This decline is usually irreversible.
It can Affect Your Stamina
The National Institute of Drug Abuse also explains that marijuana can reduce your lungs’ capacity to transport oxygen to various parts of your body, in turn affecting your stamina.
It can Affect Your Memory and Attention Spans
According to the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (Australia), marijuana can affect memory and lead to mood swings in the short term and lead to schizophrenia, paranoia and other mental disorders in the long term. In serious cases, this may even lead to depression and even more serious consequences such as suicidal tendencies.
Regular Use can Seriously Compromise Your Fertility
The Foundation for a Drug-Free World states that marijuana can deform male sperm and affect the female menstrual cycle. Both factors can contribute to sterility in both men and women.
It can Cause Your Blood Pressure to Drop to Dangerous Levels
According to health portal MayoClinic, marijuana can cause your blood pressure to drop to dangerous levels. It can prove fatal for people suffering from blood pressure disorders and heart conditions, especially in those who are already taking medication to reduce their blood pressure.
It can Affect Your Blood Sugar Levels
According to MayoClinic, marijuana can affect blood sugar levels, making it risky for those who are already suffering from diabetes or other blood sugar disorders or those who are taking any form of medication which can affect blood sugar levels in any way.
It may Increase Your Risk of Seizures
A report by the students of NYU School of Medicine advises caution in the case of those who are taking anti-seizure drugs or those who have a risk of seizures, as marijuana use can significantly increase the risk of seizures.It Increases the Risk of Driving Accidents
According to the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (Australia), marijuana seriously impairs your motor skills, coordination and your concentration, reducing your ability to focus and affecting your reaction times. All these factors combine to help increase your risk of driving accidents, especially when you mix marijuana with alcohol.
If you observe any of the above symptoms in someone close to you, you should seriously seek medical help from a professional. Do not take any of these symptoms lightly, as they can have serious consequences for you and for your loved ones. Find out about drug abuse resources close to you and turn to them when necessary.
Eilidh Edgar is an academician who has done majors in health sciences. Besides providing coursework help to students, she runs a health blog to provide millennials with the awareness of drugs and other things that can have adverse affect on their body.