Let’s talk about Mary Jane, the good ol’ weed! You can enjoy it in various ways: smoking, vaping, sipping, or munching on it. People love to use it for fun, and these days, some doctors are even prescribing it for certain health issues. But before you light up that joint or munch on a pot brownie, let’s explore the effects of weed when you smoke it.
The Euphoric High
What does pot do to you? You see, the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), triggers the brain’s pleasure center, resulting in a euphoric, relaxed sensation. Whether smoked or vaped, THC can quickly enter the bloodstream, delivering an almost instantaneous high.
The peak THC level typically occurs within 30 minutes, with the effects wearing off in 1-3 hours. On the other hand, consuming marijuana through edibles or drinks may lead to a delayed onset, making it challenging to predict the duration and intensity of the high.
Effects on Mental Health
Not everyone’s experience with marijuana is pleasant. The experience of what happens when your high can be different for each individual.
For some, it can induce feelings of anxiety, fear, panic, or paranoia. Prolonged use of marijuana may elevate the risk of clinical depression or exacerbate existing mental health disorders.
While scientists are still investigating the precise mechanisms, high doses of marijuana can lead to paranoia or hallucinations, distorting one’s perception of reality.
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Distorted Thinking and Impaired Judgment
Mary Jane can be quite the mind bender. It messes with your senses, time, and motor skills. You might start thinking colors are more vibrant and sounds are cranked up to eleven.
Plus, it warps your sense of time, so be ready for the minutes to stretch into hours. Users may also experience impaired motor skills and decreased inhibitions, which can lead to some questionable choices, like risky business in the bedroom or doing crazy stuff you’d never do otherwise. However, the extent of its impact can vary based on factors such as potency, method of consumption, and prior usage.
Risk of Addiction
Marijuana addiction, known as cannabis use disorder, affects approximately 1 in 10 users. The likelihood of developing this disorder increases when use commences at a younger age and with heavier consumption.
Signs of what can weed do to you may include intense cravings, unsuccessful attempts to quit, excessive time spent using, neglect of family and friends, persistent use despite adverse consequences, driving under the influence, escalating consumption for the same high, and issues with learning, attention, or memory.
Physical dependence can also develop, resulting in withdrawal symptoms like irritability, restlessness, sleep disturbances, and loss of appetite when marijuana is not used.
Implications for Surgery
If you are a marijuana user facing surgery, it is imperative to inform your healthcare provider about your usage. Regardless of whether it is recreational or medicinal, marijuana can affect the effectiveness of anesthesia.
Chronic users, those who consume marijuana at least once a week, may require higher doses of anesthesia. The good folks at the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine even came up with a checklist and has issued guidelines for patients to share detailed information with their doctors before surgery, including frequency and type of marijuana use.
Impact on Cognitive Function
Marijuana use can impair cognitive functions, leading to difficulties in concentration, learning, and memory retention. While these effects are often short-term and may last up to 24 hours after smoking, heavy use during adolescence could have more lasting consequences.
Imaging studies have indicated changes in the brains of some adolescents who use marijuana, such as decreased connectivity in areas linked to alertness and lower IQ scores in certain individuals.
Now, there’s a silver lining here. Medical marijuana is legal in a majority of states, and several states have legalized recreational use. While federal regulations have limited research on its effects, there is evidence to suggest that medical marijuana may alleviate symptoms and conditions such as chronic pain, muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis, sleep problems in fibromyalgia, anxiety, appetite loss in AIDS patients, nausea from chemotherapy, and seizures in epilepsy.
Read Also: What Does a Medical Marijuanas Card Do?
One of the well-known effects of marijuana is the increased appetite often referred to as “the munchies.” This phenomenon has potential benefits, particularly for individuals with conditions like AIDS, cancer, or other illnesses that result in weight loss.
Researchers are still figuring out if this is a good or bad thing. But if you’ve got issues with weight loss due to illness, the munchies might come to the rescue.
Hold on to your heart, because Mary Jane makes it work harder. Normally, your ticker goes for about 50 to 70 beats a minute. But when you’re on Mary Jane, it can jump to 70, 120, or even more for a solid three hours.
That extra stress, combined with the tar and other chemicals in Mary Jane, can up your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Older individuals and those with preexisting heart conditions face even greater risks.
Effects on Pregnancy
Expectant mothers who use marijuana face a higher risk of giving birth to underweight or premature babies. However, the long-term consequences for these infants remain unclear, with further research needed to determine potential links to school performance, drug use or other life challenges.
Is Getting High Bad for You?
In a nutshell, getting high from marijuana can have both positive and negative effects, and whether it’s “bad” for you depends on various factors. The euphoric sensation induced by THC can be pleasurable for many, but it may also lead to anxiety, fear, panic, or even paranoia in some individuals.
Long-term use, especially if initiated in the teenage years, can have more lasting effects on cognitive function and brain structure, potentially leading to difficulties in concentration, learning, and memory.
On the flip side, when employed for medicinal purposes under expert supervision, marijuana can offer therapeutic benefits for specific health conditions. The key lies in making informed choices that suit your individual circumstances and requirements.