Marijuana, more popularly known as cannabis, marihuana and even ganja, is basically a psychoactive drug. Extracted from the plant Cannabis sativa, or Cannabis sativa subsp. Indica, it is used for recreational, religious or spiritual, and medicinal purposes. Still, since early 20th century, the possession, use or sale of psychoactive cannabis products has been made illegal in most parts of the world, including the United States. The reason behind this comprises of the numerous side effects that result from excessive or regular consumption of the drug. In the following lines, we have listed the positive and negative effects of marijuana, just for your knowledge.
Pros & Cons Of Marijuana
- Marijuana has been used to enhance the appetite of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
- Studies have shown that marijuana is beneficial in relieving a person from the uneasy feeling of nausea.
- Doctors have made use of marijuana, successfully, in the treatment of neurogenic pain.
- The people suffering from glaucoma, asthma and spasticity have been found to have benefited from the consumption of marijuana.
- Marijuana can help relieve the chronic pain and suffering of people with incurable diseases like cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, etc.
- Marijuana is regarded to be a 'mind opener' i.e. it can help people broaden their outlook and think creatively.
Distorted perception (sights, sounds, time, touch), problems with memory and learning, lack of proper coordination, trouble with problem-solving, increased heart rate and reduced blood pressure are some of the short-term effects of marijuana.
Effects on the Brain
Marijuana contains an active ingredient, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol or THC that acts on the cannabinoid receptors of the nerve cells and influences the activities of the cells, like pleasure, memory, thought, concentration, sensory, time perception and coordinated movement. High doses of marijuana, when consumed through food, can cause hallucinations, delusions, impaired memory and disorientation.
Effects on the Heart
The heart beat increases rapidly and the blood pressure drops within minutes of smoking marijuana. A person’s heart beat can increase by 20 to 50 beats per minute. A marijuana smoker is three times more at a risk of heart attack.
Effects on the Lungs
Burning and stinging of the mouth and throat and heavy coughing are some effects that are caused by smoking marijuana, even infrequently. Marijuana causes respiratory problems in smokers, such as daily cough and phlegm production, more frequent acute chest illness, increased risk of lung infections and obstructed airways. Marijuana smokers are three times more likely to develop head and neck cancer, as compared to non-smokers.
Effects during Pregnancy
Studies have found that mothers who have used marijuana during pregnancy have given birth to children who are likely to exhibit problems with neurological developments. Prenatal marijuana exposure can cause altered responses to visual stimuli, increased tremulousness, problems with sustained attention and memory and poor problem-solving skills.
Other Health Effects
Researches indicate that the THC found in marijuana impairs the body’s immune system from fighting diseases that result in a wide variety of health problems. It increases the risk of developing bacterial infections and tumors as well.