Information about marijuana is often confusing, contradictory and can mislead us. So we decided to compile all the data and clearly describe what are the short and long term benefits and risks of smoking cannabis. Anyone who comes into contact with cannabis should read this article! Marijuana and health, how do they affect each other?
The positive effects of marijuana on health
Despite the many negative opinions about marijuana that appear in the media, the truth is that cannabis has a tremendously positive impact on our health. These include a wide range of issues, some of which are minor, such as improving taste, but others which play incredibly important roles, such as supporting treatment for cancer patients. Here is a list of short and long term health benefits of marijuana use.
Short-term health benefits of marijuana
1 Relaxation There is nothing better than relaxing on the couch after a tiring day at work. One of the most well-known and immediate effects of marijuana is relaxation, reducing stress levels. The moment we inhale marijuana smoke, dozens of anti-stress compounds immediately enter the bloodstream and brain. Within minutes of lighting up, we can let out a sigh of relief and start smiling again.
2. creativity This is the reason why so many famous artists have smoked joints. Marijuana can make us more creative. When you smoke weed, activity in a certain part of the brain increases. This region is called the frontal lobe. In fact, within 30 minutes of lighting up, this area is fully activated. This is the same brain region that is responsible for critical thinking and creativity.
Marijuana also increases the ability to connect abstract thoughts. This ability is considered a prerequisite for creative thinking. The barriers and patterns that we have been weaving in our head for a lot no longer matter, so we can fully enjoy our creative abilities.
3. reduce pain Pain is a warning signal sent by our cells to the brain. The more pain we feel, the more cells are at risk. Sometimes, however, pain becomes a bothersome problem for many diseases, such as cancer. The natural chemicals found in marijuana can disrupt these signals. THC and CBD interact with immune cells, giving them instructions on how they should respond. This allows us to go about the rest of our day with peace of mind and proceed with our treatment without pain. Cannabis as a natural painkiller works no matter what form you take it in, so it will even work for the elderly or children.
4. drowsiness Indica-dominant strains will make us sleepy quickly, and our sleep will be restful and deep. Cannabinoids, mainly THC, cause this state. It also extends the time of deep sleep, which occurs during the third and fourth sleep cycle. It is during this time that our body undergoes its most intense moment of regeneration, and the immune system is revitalized and works most efficiently.
5. peace and bliss It may seem strange, but the effects of marijuana and the effects of exercise are really similar. After a workout, mood-boosting chemicals such as dopamine, anandamide, and serotonin are released in the brain. These compounds make us feel amazing and are what make exercise considered a cure for depression.
When smoking marijuana, the same chemicals are released. That's right: getting high can be compared to the turbocharged feeling that long-distance runners get. This herb helps you feel blissful, calm and happy.
6. appetite Great food is one of the best simple pleasures in life. We think it deserves to be appreciated. Marijuana conquers this feeling several times over and makes us love the experience that comes from eating.
When we smoke we focus better on the world around us. This applies to food as well. Under normal circumstances, we grab a sandwich reflexively and even unconsciously consume it. After marijuana, every bite is able to give us shivers of pleasure because the herb forces the body to release hormones that make our food smell and taste better.
The long-term health benefits of marijuana
1. protection from microdamage THC and CBD are some of the most powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are essential for reducing the environmental damage done to our cells. Every time we breathe air full of car exhaust, accidentally touch a strong cleaning product, or eat foods with dangerous pesticides, it leads to micro-damage to our cells. These defects are called oxidative damage.
Cannabis helps mitigate oxidative damage.
Cannabis may be the key to preventive medicine. Marijuana contains important chemicals that can help cells function better. It does this by facilitating communication between cells. THC and CBD act as moderators, signaling cells to send other communication molecules. By playing the role of moderator, marijuana helps the systems in the body work more regularly.
This regularity reduces the risk of developing stress-related conditions. Moderate, small doses of marijuana can even reduce the risk of cancer and degenerative diseases. Stress causes havoc in our bodies. Cannabinoids are like project managers that are needed to clear the clutter.
2. weight loss and proper BMI Marijuana makes us feel hungry, but it also helps us digest what we eat faster. THC mobilizes our metabolism and stimulates cells in the digestive tract to secrete hormones that help break down carbohydrates. So on the one hand, we take in more food and therefore more valuable (or less in the case of candy bars and pizza) nutrients, but on the other, we get rid of them faster. This is one reason why smokers tend to have lower BMIs and maintain a healthy weight.
3. reduced risk of diabetes and obesity While cannabis is not necessarily a weight loss tool, it does help prevent weight gain. Think of cannabis as a weight stabilizer. The active cannabinoids in the herb support the body and help it regulate metabolism.
Recent studies have shown that cannabis users have lower insulin levels. Insulin is key to helping the body break down sugars. If insulin levels are too high, we are at risk of developing diabetes.
4 Anti-Aging Effects As mentioned earlier, THC and CBD are powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants protect us from DNA damage. DNA damage is the reason we age. As we age, toxins known as free radicals damage cells and DNA. Over time, the defects caused by free radicals lead to signs of aging such as wrinkles on the skin, memory loss, and the development of degenerative diseases. The powerful antioxidants in marijuana reduce this damage, so they slow down the appearance of the first effects of increasing age.
5 Increased quality of life When we are stressed, sad, tired or irritable, apathetic, bored and can't get rid of other unpleasant feelings for days - at such a time it is worth giving marijuana a chance. This is because it does not work only for people who are seriously ill, but it works just as well when we just need a moment of relaxation.
Many studies show that cannabis helps people cope with physical pain, traumatic events and everyday stress. It is important to realize that cancer, depression, anxiety, and degenerative disorders can be effectively treated with non-psychoactive cannabinoids.
6 Therapy for debilitating diseases Thanks to marijuana research, we know that our bodies need certain chemicals to maintain proper cell growth. Sometimes our body has trouble producing and regulating these substances. Cannabis can help by supplying the body with these chemicals from the outside. This is why this plant is so helpful for us as a natural medicine.
Studies show that diseases related to cancer, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, arthritis, Crohn's disease, post-traumatic stress disorder and epilepsy can be linked to abnormalities in the endocannabinoid system.
The endocannabinoid system is the largest cellular receptor system in the body. Scientists are still discovering the nuances of how this system works. Compounds like THC and CBD bind to receptors in this system, giving cells new guidance. Marijuana's ability to correct imbalances in the endocannabinoid system is what makes the plant so important to our species.
The negative effects of marijuana on health
Nothing in life is perfect. As with all good things, consuming marijuana comes with some costs. As a responsible consumer, you decide for yourself whether the benefits are worth the damage. Fortunately, many of the negative effects caused by marijuana can be kept to a minimum because the way you take it affects you. So we'll list the side effects that can occur when smoking marijuana, and then list some tips on how to guard against them.
Short-term side effects of marijuana
1 - Paranoia Many of us have experienced it - panic attacks and severe anxiety occur when we smoke too much. However, the fear disappears fairly quickly if we give up the joints for a while.
2. disorientation Don't forget: THC is psychoactive! It can make us feel as if we are not living in reality, or that we are viewing ourselves from afar. This feeling can be very uncomfortable and paranoid for some. Whereas for others, it is the whole essence of smoking marijuana. The truth is that this experience is completely different for everyone. If taking the herb doesn't make us feel better, then don't use it.
3. heart palpitations
Within three hours of smoking marijuana, the heart rate can increase in some users, which can lead to a heart attack. This organ is most vulnerable to the herb within the first hour of lighting up. But don't panic - the increased heart rate is similar to that of exercising, having sex, or climbing stairs. For comparison - the likelihood of having a heart attack while using cocaine is 25 times higher than average.
REMEMBER: If you suffer from cardiovascular disease and you feel like your heart is beating a little too fast after smoking marijuana, don't panic. Try not to get negative and try to relax. If you experience severe pain, call an emergency medicine specialist.
Short-term side effects from the way you take marijuana
1. mucus Heat, plant particles and bits of leftover pesticides or fertilizers affect our health. When smoking marijuana, we introduce the still hot smoke into our lungs, so it physically damages the membranes lining our respiratory system for at least two seconds. All that heat is irritating to the tissues in our throat and lungs, making them irritated and consequently they can start secreting mucus, which in turn causes an uncomfortable cough.
Allergies Some people may experience an allergic reaction when smoking marijuana. Plants that were not properly rinsed of fertilizers and pesticides can increase our chances of having an allergic reaction. Some people may also be allergic to the smoke that comes from burning the blotters you roll your joints from (remember you can buy blotters made from different kinds of paper of varying quality). While it seems obvious, it's easy to forget that any inks or colors on paper can cause allergic reactions. The risk of this happening can be minimized by changing your smoking method.
3. headache A headache can also occur due to "irritation" in the body. When you smoke, there are irritating chemicals (available in paper, fertilizers, pesticides, etc.) that can damage cells and cause side effects, so it is important to choose marijuana from a reliable source, which is really only possible in countries where quality control is legal.
Long-term side effects of marijuana
Black discharge in the lungs Although marijuana does not generate the huge amount of tar like cigarettes do, it does deliver a certain amount of it to the lungs. Mainly, these are microscopic particles from the plant material that bind together and settle on the lungs, forming a tar-like resin.
2. Weaker REM sleep Marijuana users can get deeper sleep, but the REM phase is disrupted. It is characterized by feeling almost conscious, and our eyeballs move quickly. The REM phase is also the time when we are most likely to have vivid dreams and nightmares. Scientists really don't know why this sleep cycle is beneficial to our health. But one major theory is that it allows the brain to rest, specifically the parts that secrete serotonin and histamine.
3 Potential High Risks for Teens Let's look at it this way: young brains are still developing. What helps brain development the most? A healthy diet, emotional support from friends and family, and physical activity. Can marijuana help brain development? Perhaps only if the teen has a disorder of the endocannabinoid system.
More research needs to be done to show exactly how cannabis affects young people who are still developing. The question is does putting extra cannabinoids into a brain that doesn't need it impede the healthy development of that organ?
A very controversial risk: psychosis
The relationship between marijuana and psychosis is a hotly debated topic these days. On the one hand, some studies show that symptoms of mental illness are increased in people who are more prone to psychotic behavior. Other studies show that marijuana can help alleviate psychotic episodes in schizophrenia. Some researchers have also suggested that cases of marijuana use among people prone to schizophrenia are so numerous because these individuals have tried to self-medicate with the herb.
Until more research is done, it is difficult to determine exactly how cannabis affects adults with psychotic disorders.
How to reduce the negative side effects of using marijuana, smoking the herb?
1. choose safer smoking tools
Many of the risks associated with smoking cannabis can be reduced by using a safer smoking tool. While joints are amazing, they are also the worst form of consuming marijuana(smoking the herb). If you want to mitigate the negative effects of marijuana on your health, follow these tips:
- Puff, joint, blunt.
They are OK:
- bubbles, bongos, all water-based devices.
- convection vaporizers or vaporizers
2. maintain a balance
Develop your own smoking routine and look for strains that are perfect for you. Smoking cannabis with very high amounts of THC can cause us to turn paranoid, while a huge amount of CBD can have a muddling effect. Finding strains with a well-balanced ratio between these two cannabinoids can be difficult, but it's worth your time.
The compounds found in cannabis plants work synergistically. They work in harmony with the body to regulate individual biochemistry. In healthy consumers, the overwhelming predominance of one cannabinoid over another can cause some of these previously mentioned unwanted short-term side effects.
3 Take breaks from smoking If we are regular users of marijuana, we want to smoke more and more after a while to feel good and have a similar state with that at the beginning of intake. In order not to fall into this trap, it is a good idea to take a break from smoking for a few weeks so that you can reduce your tolerance to the effects of the herb. When we smoke regularly, we start to become immune to both the positive and negative effects of marijuana, our body simply gets used to it. In doing so, we dilute our endocannabinoid system, which can interfere with its subsequent functioning.
Taking a break from smoking can be helpful for several other reasons. Studies have shown that taking small doses of cannabis at moderate intervals can be extremely healthy for us.
Here are some recommendations and observations from researchers:
1) Smoking one joint a day for 20 years has no effect on lung health. 2. smoking a maximum of 4 joints per week can increase our IQ. Smoking more than that decreases your IQ. 3) Only infrequent use of small amounts of marijuana has a preventive effect and can protect you from serious diseases.
4) Practice deep breathing Most marijuana-induced lung damage can be eliminated by deep breathing. Like any muscle, our lungs also need exercise. If we sit all day and avoid exercise, we probably can't remove all the smoke from our lungs when we smoke. The smoke settles on their upper organ, and with it, toxins and carbon dioxide. If we are not physically active, then spend 20 minutes a day doing conscious, deep breathing. Also, don't hold the smoke in your lungs for long, it doesn't increase the effects of marijuana, and it can have negative effects.
5. maintain a healthy, rational approach
If we want to be happy, healthy people, we should learn to look at the world from a different perspective. As with any habit, it is important to approach cannabis in a good mood and be free from the prejudices that are repeated over and over again. Let's gain knowledge about it, read the pros and cons, and review scientific studies. If we are not sure about the validity of cannabis use, then let's just not do it.
IMPORTANT: Marijuana influences our mentality, supports the treatment of physical and mental illnesses, but it must be taken carefully. It cannot be used to constantly run away from the world and your problems. Cannabis can be a great support that will make us feel better more than once, but it is certainly not a "miracle drug" that will do everything for us. To marijuana, as to all stimulants, let us approach with head, and certainly will not happen to us harm.