14 surprising benefits and risks of using marijuana, from weight loss to worsened anxiety

  • Short-term results of marijuana embrace crimson eyes, paranoia, euphoria, and an elevated urge for food.
  • Long-term results of weed embrace impaired improvement, reminiscence loss, and respiratory points.
  • Smoking weed can also enhance an individual’s threat of schizophrenia, bipolar dysfunction, and melancholy.

Marijuana will be an unpredictable drug with results that vary based on a variety of factors together with your mind’s distinctive chemistry, the kind of marijuana used, how a lot you devour, and your technique of consumption.

For instance, should you smoke marijuana, you may feel its effects seconds after you inhale, which generally lasts for another one to four hours. Edibles, nevertheless, can take about an hour to kick in with effects lasting up to 24 hours.
Note: Marijuana is illegitimate on the federal degree, however individual states have various legal guidelines. Please concentrate on state legal guidelines earlier than utilizing the drug.
Studies on marijuana’s results usually present conflicting outcomes, and its standing within the United States as a federally unlawful schedule one drug makes it tough for researchers to conduct large, comprehensive studies.

With that mentioned, here is what we all know to date concerning the short-term and long-term results of marijuana:

Short time period results of marijuana

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Marijuana incorporates chemical substances referred to as cannabinoids that interact with endocannabinoid receptors in your mind and physique. These receptors affect many various features together with pleasure, reminiscence, pondering, motion, and time notion. That’s why utilizing THC, probably the most distinguished cannabinoid in marijuana, can result in the next results:


1. Causes crimson eyes

Marijuana typically lowers blood pressure inflicting blood vessels to dilate, which will increase blood circulation. “As a consequence, blood vessels within the eyes develop, resulting in crimson or ‘bloodshot’ eyes,” says Lawrence Weinstein, MD, the Chief Medical Officer at American Addiction Centers.

2. Relieves ache

Studies counsel marijuana moderately reduces pain, significantly nerve pain, muscle spasms, and most cancers. Researchers imagine that is due to THC binding to a number of receptors throughout the nervous system and blocking the feeling of ache.

3. Stimulates urge for food

Appetite stimulation is one among marijuana’s most well-known effects. It is linked to THC binding to receptors which launch the hormone, ghrelin, that stimulates urge for food, says Weinstein.

4. Induces euphoria

Studies present THC increases dopamine within the mind, the neurotransmitter chargeable for euphoria. This induces emotions of bliss generally known as “feeling excessive.”

5. Increases anxiousness/paranoia

While THC may cause emotions of euphoria, consuming an excessive amount of THC may cause an reverse response like anxiousness or paranoia.

“Dose is the essential issue. A bit of will be useful, however an excessive amount of is problematic,” says Jordan Tishler, MD, President of the Association of Cannabis Specialists.

Important: There are not any federal dosing pointers concerning marijuana or THC. Therefore, speak to your healthcare supplier about what dose could be finest for you.

6. Impairs judgment

Marijuana is associated with an impaired skill to strategize, problem-solve, and make good selections. However, the extent of this impact is dependent on several variables together with marijuana efficiency and former publicity to the drug.

For instance, one study found persistent marijuana customers carried out poorly in comparison with non-users on checks measuring their skill to make strategic selections.

7. Increases coronary heart fee

After consuming marijuana, your heart rate increases to accommodate decrease blood strain and provide oxygen to the physique and mind, says Weinstein. For this purpose, Weinstein advises individuals with cardiovascular circumstances, like a historical past of coronary heart assault or stroke, to chorus from utilizing.

Long time period results of marijuana

Marijuana’s long run results will fluctuate from individual to individual, particularly relying on how ceaselessly you employ the drug. Most of the next results have solely been documented in persistent customers, that are people who use marijuana each day for an prolonged time period.

8. May enhance melancholy and anxiousness

The majority of studies have linked marijuana use to an elevated threat of psychiatric problems together with melancholy, anxiousness, and schizophrenia – significantly in individuals pre-dispositioned to the circumstances.

But, examine outcomes are conflicting: A big 2016 study discovered no affiliation between marijuana use and temper and anxiousness problems. Yet, a different data sample of US adults indicated utilizing marijuana greater than as soon as a month was related to an elevated threat of social anxiousness.

For some individuals, using marijuana can exacerbate psychological well being points,” Weinstein says, emphasizing that is seemingly based mostly on particular person elements.
Therefore, you probably have a household historical past of psychological well being circumstances or are already recognized, it is best to keep away from marijuana till you seek the advice of together with your physician.

9. Harms cardiovascular well being

Studies have linked marijuana use to an elevated threat of:

  • Heart assault
  • Stroke
  • Atrial fibrillation (an irregular, fast coronary heart fee)

However, extra research are wanted to know hashish’s well being implications, says the American Heart Association.

10. Causes reminiscence loss

A big long-term 2016 study discovered an affiliation between common marijuana use and decrease scores on checks of verbal reminiscence and processing pace.

11. May injury lungs

Some research suggests smoking marijuana can result in signs like persistent cough, mucus manufacturing, and wheezing.

However, a 2012 study discovered persistent marijuana customers who smoked one joint a day for 10 years scored properly on checks measuring lung power and capability.

Medical time period: Lung power refers back to the quantity of air pressured out of lungs in the course of the first second of an exhale. Lung capability refers back to the quantity of air expelled till the lungs are empty.
However, researchers famous a decline in lung power after the ten 12 months mark, however lung capability continued to extend with higher lifetime publicity to marijuana.

Note: The use of vape pens or “dabbing” may also cause respiratory problems, like vaping-induced acute lung injury, but more research is needed.

12. Helps with weight reduction

While hashish can stimulate urge for food, a number of research present an affiliation between long-term cannabis use and a reduced body mass index (BMI), even in customers who eat extra energy than non-users.

The average American diet is characterized by high intakes of sugar and starchy foods, which researchers theorize may cause an imbalance within the physique’s endocannabinoid system. Cannabis is believed to “reverse” this imbalance, inflicting the physique to burn and retailer energy extra effectively.

13. Impairs improvement

Marijuana’s results on mind improvement are unclear and likely vary based on:

  • Age if you begin utilizing
  • How a lot you employ
  • What sort of marijuana you employ
  • Genetics

Most studies counsel common marijuana use in youngsters is related to diminished quantity in sure areas of the mind which might result in diminished mind perform. However, others notice no structural differences between the brains of marijuana customers versus nonusers.

14. Increases threat of habit

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The Center for Disease Control (CDC) suggests one in 10 marijuana customers will grow to be addicted. That quantity will increase to 1 in six in individuals who start utilizing earlier than age 18.

Like different addictive medicine, THC is related to dopamine launch which “teaches” the brain to continue using it.

Insider’s takeaway

The results of marijuana will fluctuate based mostly on the person. Common short-term results of marijuana embrace euphoria, crimson eyes, paranoia, and elevated urge for food, whereas within the long-term it might influence your lung, coronary heart, and mind well being.
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