Negative Side Effect Of Marijuana
Negative Side Effect Of Marijuana, Marijuana is a combination of shredded leaves, stems and flower buds of the Cannabis sativa plant. Marijuana can be smoked, eaten, vaporized, brewed and even taken topically, but most people smoke it.
The intoxicating chemical in marijuana is tetrahydracannabinol, or THC. According to research from the Potency Monitoring Project, the average THC content of marijuana has soared from less than 1 percent in 1972, to 3 to 4 percent in the 1990s, to nearly 13 percent in 2010.
- Increased heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure.
- Dry mouth.
- Red eyes.
- Increased appetite.
Marijuana reaches the same pleasure centers in the brain that are targeted by heroin, cocaine and alcohol.
Depending on the quantity, quality and method of consumption, marijuana can produce a feeling of euphoria — or high — by stimulating brain cells to release the chemical dopamine. When smoked or otherwise inhaled, the feeling of euphoria is almost immediate. When ingested in food, it takes much longer, even hours, for the drug to signal the brain to release the dopamine, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Other changes in mood can occur, with relaxation frequently being reported. Some users experience heightened sensory perception, with colors appearing more vivid and noises being louder. For some, marijuana can cause an altered perception of time and increased appetite, known as the “munchies.”
The impact can vary by person, how often they have used the drug, the strength of the drug and how often it has been since they have gotten high, among other factors.
“In some cases, reported side effects of THC include elation, anxiety, tachycardia, short-term memory recall issues, sedation, relaxation, pain-relief and many more,” said A.J. Fabrizio, a marijuana chemistry expert at Terra Tech Corp, a California agricultural company focused on local farming and medical cannabis.
Other effects, according to the NIH, include:
- Feelings of panic and fear (paranoia)
- Trouble concentrating
- Decreased ability to perform tasks that require coordination
- Decreased interest in completing tasks
When coming down from the high, users may feel depressed or extremely tired. While marijuana use produces a mellow experience (users are sometimes referred to as “stoners”) for some, it can heighten agitation, anxiety, insomnia and irritability, according to the NIH.
Marijuana has also been linked to mental health problems. Typically, the younger the person is when they begin using marijuana, the more chance they have of developing a mental illness. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, studies show that marijuana use, especially in high amounts, can increase rates of depression, schizophrenia and anxiety. However, it is also difficult to determine if the mental illness appears first and the person uses marijuana to self-medicate, or if marijuana causes the mental illness.
Marijuana also affects the heart and lungs in certain ways. Marijuana increases one’s heart rate, which can lead to palpitations or even a heart attack, especially within the first hour of use. Marijuana can affect the lungs because of the amount of carcinogens in marijuana smoke. In fact, it can contain up to 70 percent more carcinogens than tobacco smoke, and this can irritate the lungs. Marijuana can also increase the risk of lung infections and chest illnesses.
Marijuana also affects one’s social life and career. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana usage has many effects on one’s career goals and achievements. Chronic marijuana use has been associated with higher rates of absences, accidents and job turnover, leading to decreased work performance and increased workers’ compensation claims.
- Short-term memory problems
- Severe anxiety, including fear that one is being watched or followed (paranoia)
- Very strange behavior, seeing, hearing or smelling things that aren’t there, not being able to tell imagination from reality (psychosis)
- Loss of sense of personal identity
- Lowered reaction time
- Increased heart rate (risk of heart attack)
- Increased risk of stroke
- Problems with coordination (impairing safe driving or playing sports)
- Sexual problems (for males)
- Up to seven times more likely to contract sexually transmitted infections
than non-users (for females)
- Decline in IQ (up to 8 points if prolonged use started in adolescent age)
- Poor school performance and higher chance of dropping out
- Impaired thinking and ability to learn and perform complex tasks
- Lower life satisfaction
- Addiction (about 9% of adults and 17% of people who started smoking as teens)
- Potential development of opiate abuse
- Relationship problems, intimate partner violence
- Antisocial behavior including stealing money or lying
- Financial difficulties
- Increased welfare dependence