Cannabis boasts over 113 cannabinoids, including the well-known tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and 120 terpenes. These compounds induce diverse psychological and physiological effects on the human body.
Moreover, the concentration of these compounds varies across different Cannabis plants, making the final net effect unpredictable. In this article, we outline both positive and negative effects of the plant:
Short-Term Marijuana Effects
Marijuana’s effects are swift, felt almost instantly when smoked as THC and other compounds enter the bloodstream. This quick journey to the brain induces relaxation and euphoria, but adverse effects like anxiety and panic can occur, particularly with higher doses. Ingested in foods or beverages, the onset is delayed (30 minutes to an hour).
Additional effects include altered sensory perception, mood changes, impaired cognition, increased heart rate, and bloodshot eyes. Higher doses may lead to psychotic symptoms, especially in chronic users.
Long-term marijuana use has enduring effects on brain development, especially if initiated in adolescence. Respiratory issues, pregnancy-related risks, and an increased likelihood of testicular cancer are associated. Chronic use may result in cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. Adolescent brain development may suffer, impacting learning and memory.
Psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety show links, with marijuana’s addictive nature posing a risk, especially if started in adolescence. Concurrent addiction to other substances may increase, and the consequences of marijuana’s rising potency, exceeding 15% THC, remain uncertain, particularly on the developing brain.
The influence of marijuana on cognition manifests in distorted senses, altered time perception, impaired motor skills, and lowered inhibitions. Alarmingly, around 1 in 10 users may develop cannabis use disorder, with addiction risks escalating based on factors such as early initiation and heavy usage. Withdrawal symptoms, including irritability, insomnia, and cravings, underscore the addictive potential of THC.
Complications During Surgery
For individuals, especially chronic users, undergoing surgery while using cannabis introduces additional complexities. The effectiveness of anesthesia may fluctuate, and undisclosed cannabis use can lead to complications such as delayed wake-up or increased anesthesia requirements. Chronic medical cannabis side effects include elevated risks of complications, encompassing issues like aspiration pneumonia, heart complications, and respiratory difficulties.
Exploring Effects on Body Systems
Some side effects of cannabis and their impact on different bodily systems include:
Similar to tobacco smoke, cannabis smoke contains toxic chemicals, raising concerns about respiratory complications, chronic coughing, and infections. While there is a theoretical association with lung cancer, conclusive evidence is currently lacking, necessitating further research in this area.
The effects of THC on the bloodstream result in an elevated heart rate, placing additional demand on the heart. Observable cannabinoids effects on the body include bloodshot eyes, which may have potential benefits for glaucoma. However, the long-term consequences on the circulatory system are still being studied.
Central Nervous System
Cannabis exerts its influence on the central nervous system, providing relief from pain and demonstrating anti-inflammatory properties. Despite these benefits, concerns persist regarding potential long-term dangers of weed, including the release of dopamine and the risk of addiction. Cognitive functions such as judgment, memory, and balance may also be compromised.
Ingesting cannabis orally can lead to stinging sensations, and prolonged use may result in digestive issues. The well-known “munchies” effect, characterized by an increased appetite, can be advantageous for certain medical conditions but may present challenges for individuals managing their weight.
Studies indicate that thc oil side effects include suppression of the immune system, potentially making individuals more susceptible to infectious diseases. However, for those with overactive immune systems, such as autoimmune conditions, this suppression might offer therapeutic benefits.
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- Does Weed Help with Pain
- Is Weed Addictive Harvard?
- What Is Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS)?
While there are negative effects of weed, it also has potential health benefits. Understanding its diverse chemical compounds and effects on the body is crucial for making informed decisions about its use.
As we move forward, continuous research will play a pivotal role in shaping medical approaches and societal guidelines regarding cannabis use.