While marijuana has become more accepted and thus mainstream, one shouldn’t believe that the side effects of marijuana have somehow diminished. Marijuana is a mind altering substance, and with so many strains, a consistent expectation in regards to a high isn’t clear. Furthermore, the assumption that dosage is irrelevant due to no individual “ever dying” as a direct consequence of a marijuana OD doesn’t mean it can’t be, in some instances, dangerous.
We here at Leafbuyer advocate safe marijuana use as it can prevent an unpleasant experience. For example, if one suffers from high blood pressure, smoking marijuana may increase the person’s risk of suffering a stroke or a heart attack, despite it not being the primary reason. The point is: if one suffers from a pre-existing condition, it would be wise to search the internet or contact a physician before partaking in smoking marijuana.
Of course, some side effects are mild, such as nausea, but others, such as confusion, can cause a person to become severely anxious. My advice to those who consider themselves novice marijuana consumers is to start off with smaller amounts until you find the right dosage. Remember, this is also dependent on the cannabis strain – so, to say that a half gram of OG Kush is equivalent in terms of side effects to Blue Dynamite isn’t the proper approach. If you don’t know the side effects or you want to discuss the potential side effects of a certain strain, then it would be wise to talk with marijuana professionals at the local dispensary. However, for the moment, I’m going to go over the side effects of marijuana, both short-term, and long-term.
Short-Term Side Effects of Marijuana
Upon ingestion, marijuana takes between a few minutes, to a couple of hours to kick in: smoking causes a user to get high at a faster rate because it’s absorbed through the sacs in the lungs. In contrast, edibles are absorbed through the digestive tract so it will take longer for the THC to reach the brain. Also, edible effects are also dependent on how much food a consumer has eaten and the amount of food in the stomach.
1) Short Term Memory Problems
Yes, marijuana does often affect a user’s cerebral capacity, literally slowing down a person’s thought process. While some users are directly looking for this type of high, those who prefer mental clarity may feel mentally inadequate in a social setting.
2) Severe Anxiety/Panic
Anxiety is a common side effect of marijuana consumption due to its impact on the neurological system. In some instances, a user may feel lost, aloof, scared, or akin to psychosis. The duration of a marijuana attack depends on dosage and a person’s mental state, but it can last for hours, with some anxiety attacks needing medical attention. With marijuana becoming legalized in many states the last few years, total emergency room visits have risen fast. Doctors now have to stock more Ativan in order to mitigate an attack. So, it’s wise to be aware of this serious side effect as it can be debilitating.
3) Strange Behaviors
Strange behavior obviously varies from person-to-person, and it comes to fruition in different forms. Some note that behaviors such as loss of sense of personal identity, hallucinating, talking in 3rd person, crawling on the floor, and speaking gibberish. Most importantly, if you or a friend is experiencing odd behavior, it’s important to try and distinguish marijuana symptoms from other pressing health issues/emergencies. Be vigilant.
4) Increased Stroke/Heart Attack Risk
THC constricts the blood vessels causing an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. Due to this, those with pre-existing conditions have their heart attack and stroke risk raised. Of course, risk depends on the individual, so marijuana directly causing a heart attack is unlikely, but it can be a secondary cause. So, once again, make sure you the status of your health prior to consuming substances that can alter body chemistry.
5) Sexual Issues
Marijuana can cause various sexual issues for both men and women. In a man’s case, excessive pot smoking can lead to low sex drive and sperm count. The reason this happens is due to blood vessel constriction. For women, vaginal dryness can occur and therefore may decrease libido. Nonetheless, vaginal dryness can be prevented with proper hydration.
Long-Term Side Effects of Marijuana
1) Lower IQ
IQ is why there are campaigns against consuming marijuana below 21: the teenage brain is most susceptible to experiencing a cerebral delay during the developmental stage. This is the same approach as drinking. Yes, some parents and educators advocate not hiding alcohol and marijuana from teenagers. From their perspective, it’s better to have them grow up alongside it in order to educate them about the two substances. However, science feels strongly about marijuana consumption causing delayed brain development.
Higher levels of consumption can cause failing grades and attention issues, leaving a student far behind in studies and learning. Furthermore, a teenager who commonly consumes marijuana has, on average, a 9 point decrease in IQ when compared to his peers. Again, that’s why recreational marijuana has a 21 years of age threshold.
2) Relationship Issues
A legal right to smoke also increases one’s level of responsibility, whether it be not driving under the influence, operating machinery, or even, treating one’s partner with respect. At times, consistent marijuana consumption can contribute to a lack of communication. Moreover, consistent consumption can give off the impression of addiction. Similar to drinking, one should know the desires of their partner to prevent the perception of being an addict. Marijuana can also decrease libido and thus lower the quality of sex. And prudent question to ask someone who smokes a large amount is: is this a consequence of my spouse truly enjoying marijuana? Or, is this a sign of addiction which may lead to an elevation to more dangerous substances? This is something that surely should be discussed.
2) Interactions With Medication
In many OD cases, marijuana is one of the drugs in a person’s system, even though it’s not the primary cause of death. Marijuana can alter the purpose of certain pharmaceutical drugs – for example, smoking pot while on antidepressants can weaken the potency of the medication. This can lead to depression symptoms worsening. It’s crucial to research the potential side effects of marijuana and pharmaceutical drugs that you may be consuming. Talking to your doctor or pharmacists would be a good idea as adverse reactions can occur.
This piece was meant to be informative but not in a fashion to deter potential marijuana consumers from buying marijuana. The most important factor to consider is “risk,” which is based on individual characteristics. Just because the heart attack risk is raised with marijuana smoking shouldn’t prevent one from doing, so it’s more about gauging what state of health you’re in. If my blood pressure is a few points high, then it shouldn’t be an issue; however, if I’m pre-hypertension, I may want to reconsider smoking, or, at the least, discuss this potential side effect of marijuana with a physician. As mentioned earlier, we here at Leafbuyer want you to experience a positive marijuana session but we still care about your health. It’s simple really: just be reasonable and responsible as this will prevent a bad trip.
Article By: Jason Newell