There are many common side effects of marijuana use that you should watch out for. If you’ve been using this drug, it is crucial that you are aware of the consequences of taking it.
By understanding the effects of marijuana on your life, you will be able to make better decisions about your drug use, and hopefully, quit altogether. Let’s take a look at what could happen if you abuse marijuana.
Common Side Effects of Marijuana Addiction
Cannabis also named marijuana, comes from the Cannabis Sativa or Cannabis Indica plant. It contains a substance called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the primary psychoactive part of marijuana that creates mental and physical effects on the user.
Cannabis is legal in some countries. Many studies claim that marijuana has medicinal benefits. Some people, however, use marijuana recreationally and suffer from addiction to the drug. It is where marijuana use becomes a problem.
Marijuana Abuse and Addiction
Since there are nations where marijuana is already legal, it has been available to more people. Individuals use it as either medicinally or recreationally.
Addiction to marijuana is a result of abusing the use of the drug. Many who suffer from addiction experience symptoms of withdrawal when they stop using marijuana.
Other than symptoms, there are also common side effects of marijuana addiction. Regular use of marijuana radically affects the brain and body. Signs of addiction will gradually show in a person’s behaviour.
Signs of marijuana addiction include a reduction of cognitive and physical abilities, employment or academic struggles, financial concerns, social changes, and legal troubles.
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Short-term and Long-term Side Effects
There are damaging effects of marijuana addiction. Adverse effects may show during intoxication, after using marijuana, and a long term effect. There are several adverse effects such as hallucinations, an increase in heart rate, and deterioration of attention or judgment.
You may also experience impaired balance, lack of coordination, the inability of the brain to register short-term memory, anxiety or paranoia, and even psychosis.
There are also long term effects that people who repeatedly use marijuana for years experience. Examples for long term effects are the potential deterioration of the IQ, an increase in risks of developing chronic bronchitis, and impairments of learning and memory.
Also, users may suffer from an increase in the risk of abusing other drugs and suffering from severe withdrawal symptoms upon stopping drug use. Possible risk of schizophrenia in people with a genetic vulnerability is also one of the long term effects.
Related article: Long-Term Effects of Marijuana
Common Side Effects of Marijuana on the Organs
The organs that are most vulnerable to the effects of marijuana abuse are the lungs, heart, and brain. Research says that it is not uncommon for people with addiction to cannabis to experience heart attacks. The reason for having heart attacks during marijuana use is that the heart rate increases while it reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen.
During intoxication, many residues of the substance remain in the lungs and result in lung problems. The person who smokes marijuana can get a chronic cough, chest colds, and regular respiratory infections. It will also affect their breathing and exhibits chest and back pain.
The abuse of marijuana also affects the brain. Marijuana use has several effects on mental health and physical health. The brain becomes disoriented because of the presence of THC. Studies reported that THC over activates brain cell receptors that create the feeling of being high.
Effects on the Brain
Short term effects on the brain usually happen during cannabis intoxication. A person who is high from marijuana experiences impairment of the senses and perceptions.
Getting high from marijuana intake makes a person hallucinate as well. They feel and see things that are not really present or real. Marijuana abuse leads to more complicated effects like being delusional and difficulty in thinking clearly.
The longer a person uses and abuses weed, the more likely he or she will acquire long-term effects. Researchers also prove that using marijuana during the adolescent years affects brain development and causes a lower IQ as users to begin to approach their adulthood. Those who quit using marijuana when they reach adulthood can no longer recover the affected mental abilities.
Studies are still ongoing to know how long the common side effects of marijuana last and whether the changes in a person’s health will be permanent and irreparable. Studies about the effects of secondhand marijuana smoke are also ongoing.
Marijuana’s Side Effects on the User’s Life
Marijuana addiction affects a person’s life in many ways. There are reports that most of those who regularly use marijuana suffer from the following:
- Poor Physical Health – It is when a person develops a physical illness. Poor physical health is among the common side effects of marijuana abuse.
- Poor Mental Health – When a person becomes mentally ill because of the effects of marijuana he or she will need care and support. The individual may not be able to take care of himself because of mental health problems.
- More Relationship Problems – A person may isolate himself from his family and friends. It is because once addicted, marijuana use becomes the priority of the user.
- Lower Life Satisfaction – When one’s life is under the control of drug addiction, he or she won’t be able to enjoy the other aspects of life. The only focus is on getting high and acquiring more drugs. It will cause how one perceives happiness and life satisfaction to change. Misery and depression are going to be the main problems when one is addicted to drugs.
Overdose in marijuana may cause symptoms that are life-threatening. It is possible to die from marijuana overdose There are no reports yet of deaths because of marijuana alone. However, overdose in cannabis can make a person experience severe discomforts and not being able to breathe well. Many who experience this seek treatment in the emergency room.
People who know little about marijuana edibles are likely to overdose because they don’t know it takes longer to feel the marijuana effects. They don’t realize that the marijuana effects are slower when the drug is eaten rather than when smoking it. Toddlers and babies too can get ill from mistakenly consuming marijuana or marijuana edibles left unattended in the house.
Researchers and medical experts are still studying if marijuana intake during pregnancy can affect the baby. Studies are still ongoing as to the relationship of marijuana use to miscarriage. But some reports state that using marijuana during pregnancy can elevate the risks of low birth rate and may affect the future development of the baby.
A person who is experiencing the common side effects of marijuana may be experiencing issues with their family and friends. Aside from possible isolation, they might also have some changes in their behaviour. They become a challenge to deal with because of their mental disorientation.
Related article: Important Facts You Need to Know About Marijuana Addiction
How Marijuana Addiction can Affect Your Life
Marijuana is also known as weed. It comes from the cannabis plant. Many people smoke or vape it and can also consume it as an ingredient in a food, oils, or brewed teas. Most people use marijuana for recreation or pleasure, and doctors prescribe it for specific medical conditions and symptoms.
Marijuana has compounds that can affect the brain and body. It can harm people’s health and can be addictive. Heavy marijuana use can also affect a person’s learning abilities and social skills negatively. Studies show that a person that uses marijuana every day has a reduced intellectual level. Here is a list of how marijuana addiction affects your life.
You Get “High”
Getting high is why people try marijuana. It is out of curiosity about what it feels like to be high. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is marijuana’s main psychoactive ingredient that stimulates the part of the brain that is responsible for pleasure. It is the area that craves for things like food and sex. It releases a chemical called dopamine that gives a euphoric and relaxing feeling.
The THC can get into your bloodstream quickly enough for you to get high in seconds or minutes by vaping or smoking weed. But if you drink or eat it, it may take several hours for you to experience the high. Marijuana’s effects may vary for each person. Not all people may enjoy or feel the relaxing effect of the drug. Marijuana can worsen symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks if the user has them.
Can Affect Mental Health
Regular use of marijuana can increase your risk of developing a psychotic illness such as schizophrenia. It is where you have hallucinations and delusions. Daily use of marijuana can cause impaired memory.
The risk of developing a psychotic illness is higher if you use weed for a long time. If you smoke it regularly and start using marijuana at a young age, then your chances of suffering from mental problems are higher.
Marijuana increases the deterioration of the mind people who have schizophrenia and can make psychotic symptoms worse. Marijuana use has an impact on anxiety, depression, psychotic episodes, and people with suicidal ideations.
Can Affect Scholastic Performance
Evidence has shown that students who smoke marijuana have poorer educational outcomes than their non-smoking peers. Because of poor performance and low grades, the student becomes less likely to finish school. Also, students may have impaired skills related to memory, attention, and learning.
The result of the research of daily marijuana use by students also showed that there is a problem in the ability to organize, register, and use information. Students may have difficulty recalling words from a list even after a week of quitting marijuana. Heavy marijuana use can also be the cause of criminal behaviour and lower life satisfaction.
Can Affect Work Performance
Heavy marijuana users in the workplace tend to have an increased number of absences, tardiness, accidents, and job turnover. Employees who tested positive for marijuana use are more prone to industrial accidents and injuries as well. The use of the drug had adverse effects on their career status, social life, cognitive abilities, physical and mental health.
Related article: Why Do Young Adults Use Marijuana?
Can Be Harmful to Your Respiratory System
Just like the smoke from cigarettes, the smoke from marijuana is also from a variety of chemicals like hydrogen cyanide and ammonia. It can irritate the lungs and bronchial passages. People who use marijuana regularly are more likely to have bronchitis, where the linings of the lungs get inflamed and irritated.
You could have the same breathing problems with someone who smokes cigarettes which means ongoing cough with coloured mucus. Your lungs can easily develop infections because tetrahydrocannabinol weakens the immune system. Marijuana can worsen your existing respiratory illnesses like cystic fibrosis and asthma.
Can Harm Unborn Baby
Marijuana use during pregnancy can affect the baby’s brain development and can increase the risk of the baby being born with low birth weight or premature. It also affects the long-term neurological development of the child. Children whose mothers consume marijuana during pregnancy have poor academic performance and behavioural challenges.
Can Increase Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke
Marijuana smoke contains many toxins, carcinogens, and irritants found in cigarette smoke that can contribute to heart disease and cancer. People with heart disease develop chest pain more quickly if they have been smoking marijuana. It is because the effect of cannabis on the cardiovascular system makes the heart pump harder.
The immediate use of marijuana has a link to higher risks of atrial fibrillation or ischemic stroke. The studies found out that using marijuana increases the long-term death rate among heart attack survivors. Marijuana smoke can cause airway inflammation, chest tightness, and wheezing.
Can Affect Driving
It is dangerous to use marijuana before driving. It is because the effect of marijuana includes sleepiness, impaired coordination, and altered perception. It can affect your driving and may lead to an accident, injuries, and even death.
People who use marijuana before driving may experience lane weaving, slower reactions, and difficulty reacting to sounds and signals on the road. If you drive under the influence of marijuana, you are more likely to be involved in an accident. That is why it is illegal to drive after using marijuana just like drunk driving.
Can Affect Behavioral Health
When marijuana takes over a person’s life, they may do things they never expected to do. A person under the influence of marijuana may neglect their family and friends in favour of using the drug. Some people may lie and get extremely defensive about their drug use when someone brings it up. Addiction can have a different effect on every individual.
Behavioural changes that are common to an individual with marijuana addiction is the tendency to lie to family and friends, and changing friend groups. They are also at risk of getting into legal trouble, becoming secretive and suspicious, and having debt or spending money unreasonably.
Marijuana addiction is hard to escape. Once you get used to it, your body will crave it. It has adverse effects on your health and your life. If you are planning to try marijuana for fun, think about the long-term effect of it on your life. It can change your life significantly, and not in a good way.
Why You Should Stop Smoking Marijuana
Marijuana advocates often argue about the drug’s health benefits. That it’s safe and doesn’t cause damage because it’s a plant. It is a naturally occurring substance and a gift from nature. Marijuana has some health benefits, and it’s organic. However, it doesn’t automatically mean that using it has no risks.
There are also natural substances that can harm the body, and marijuana can also have adverse effects, especially if you abuse it. Let’s get to know some reasons why you should stop smoking marijuana.
Smoke from Marijuana is Carcinogenic
There are different ways to consume marijuana. But the most common way to use it is by smoking. Whether you use a bong or a joint, the smoke from the burnt marijuana leaves that cause you to feel high can also increase your risk of developing cancer.
Marijuana smoke contains carcinogens. Carcinogens are chemicals that cause cancer. Indeed, smoking weed is no different from smoking tobacco except for the former’s capacity to make you feel high and that it is illegal in most places.
Related article: Why Quitting Marijuana is Best for You?
Smoking Weed Can Cause Lung Complications
Regular marijuana users are more at risk of developing lung complications. According to a study, the lung damage caused by smoking marijuana is almost equivalent to the harm associated with smoking five cigarettes a day.
Respiratory complications, such as bronchitis, asthma, and lung cancer, are possible to develop in marijuana smokers. If you regularly smoke weed and feel breathing difficulties, you should seek medical help and stop smoking this drug.
Marijuana Depletes Mineral Reserves in the Body
Our body naturally reacts to the dietary mineral known as magnesium. It’s a tranquillizer or an element that helps us to feel more relaxed and prevents us from getting easily anxious to stimuli.
Regular use of marijuana drains up the amount of magnesium stored in the body, which can, in turn, cause the user to feel more anxious after the sensation of euphoria from smoking the drug. That’s why many users get hooked to using marijuana to maintain the high that they always feel when using it.
Smoking Weed is Addictive
Many marijuana users and advocates also make the issue of addiction as their point of argument. They will tell you that marijuana is not as addictive as other substances like cocaine. But pot can place users to the risk of developing marijuana use disorder.
Marijuana use disorder starts to develop when a user becomes physically dependent on the drug. Such a condition can cause a user to have problematic use of marijuana. What this means is that even if it already damages his or her health. Quitting the drug will be difficult because of the withdrawal symptoms that can be very uncomfortable.
Smoking Marijuana is an Expensive Habit
If you want to stop smoking marijuana, look at it from a financial perspective. Nowadays, weed can cost you around $100 to $350 per ounce, depending on its quality and the place where it grows.
Aside from the price of marijuana, you can also consider the long-term costs that can result from poor performance at work or the complications it may bring to your health over the years. If you’re practical enough, you should quit marijuana now and start saving your money for something more worthwhile instead.
Marijuana Can Cause Lethargy
Yes, marijuana makes you calm. But calmness can also lead to lethargy or loss of interest in life over time. The frequent use of the drug isn’t stimulating. It will cause them to feel lazy and have poor performance on mental and physical tasks. If you want to achieve your goals in life, you should stop smoking pot and work on being productive instead.
Pot Can Slow Down Your Development
According to research, marijuana users who start smoking heavily and regularly during their teenage years will have low IQ levels as they reach adulthood. It’s because of the psychoactive component in marijuana known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It can slow down the growth and development of the brain.
The maturity of the brain won’t be complete until your mid-20s. Therefore, smoking marijuana in your teenage years can make you less smart than your peers who don’t consume weed in their teens.
Smoking Weed Can Change Your Personality
Frequent use of marijuana can deplete the essential nutrients in your body, causing you to feel tense and irritable when you don’t take the drug. Smoking pot regularly alters your brain and may lead you to experience anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations, especially if you smoke weed with a high concentration of THC.
The anxiety that you’ll feel when smoking marijuana can be the result of paranoid thinking of getting caught by the police. But it can also be purely the psychological effects of the drug on your brain.
Moreover, the lethargy, unclear thinking, and the loss of interest in many things in life often reflect the significant change in the user’s behaviour due to the regular use of marijuana. Indeed, smoking pot can alter your personality, and mostly the changes are negative.
Marijuana Can Make You Reclusive
The euphoric sensation that you feel when smoking marijuana can make you more of an introvert. That’s why you see many pot smokers tend to while away the time, sitting alone inside their houses not able to do anything.
Yes, it can be that you started smoking weed with your friends for fun. But as using marijuana becomes your daily habit, you’ll tend to consume it without company anymore. The nature of your marijuana habit will make you more reclusive. Chances are high that you’ll neglect many of your social relationships.
Marijuana Prohibition in Most Places
Another reason why you should quit using marijuana is that it might still be illegal in your country. The legal consequences of being caught using or having marijuana in your possession can be severe. It can land you some jail time, cause you to pay hefty fines, and ruin your reputation.
So, aside from the risks mentioned above, you should also consider the legal consequences of using marijuana. Marijuana may have some health benefits, but using it also comes with risks. This drug can have adverse effects on your health and personal life.
Withdrawal Symptoms of Marijuana Addiction
There is always a debate about whether using marijuana is good or bad for a person. It may be that there are a lot of positive effects on a person, mostly to those who use it as a medicinal remedy. But others say otherwise, particularly to those who were addicted to marijuana. They say there are more negative effects than positive ones.
If you have an addiction to marijuana and you want to quit, it is best to prepare. In this section, we’ll look at the withdrawal symptoms that you should anticipate during marijuana withdrawal.
Recently marijuana use has been legalized in many countries. There are experts recommending it as medication for certain illnesses. For years, it has already been easy for anyone to acquire it and use it for recreation. Many got addicted to it because of abusing marijuana.
Side Effects of Marijuana Addiction
Some experts say that using cannabis has a lot of beneficial medicinal advantages. But there are also adverse effects that are very risky for a person using the drug. There are several side effects that are harmful to a person such as developing depression or anxiety, difficulties in concentration, distorted perception, learning problems, slow in understanding and memory loss.
Withdrawal from marijuana isn’t an easy process. Once a person decides to stop using marijuana after heavily using it, their mind and body may have a tremendous reaction from it. Such a phase is called withdrawal. Withdrawal is a natural part of the body’s adjustment from washing out cannabis from the user’s system. It is the first phase in getting out of the addiction from marijuana.
Symptoms of Marijuana Addiction Withdrawal
Addiction is a mental disorder. It means that using marijuana can chemically change the brain to make it think that it is necessary for survival. This alteration in a person’s mind makes him or she crave marijuana. A person with marijuana addiction tends to increase their intake every time they use the drug.
Symptoms of withdrawal usually start one to three days after stopping. There are several symptoms of withdrawal from marijuana addiction. Such symptoms are the following:
- Loss in appetite
- Losing weight
- Extreme sweating
- Stomach pain or abdominal pain
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Tiredness during the day
Symptoms may occur depending on how the addiction of marijuana stopped, whether it was abrupt or gradual. It may also differ on the amount of the substance present in a person’s body accumulated during their intake of cannabis. Another reason is how devoted the person in stopping marijuana use.
These symptoms can make the process of withdrawal more challenging because the person suffering from these tends to go back to using marijuana. It is to ease the discomfort that they are going through. That is why it is advisable to seek help from a facility that can help during the withdrawal stage for proper assistance, guidance and support.
Related article: Top Benefits of Quitting Marijuana
There are available services for people suffering from withdrawal symptoms of marijuana addiction. These services may include:
Participating in a group that encourages a kind of environment that promotes abstinence. Engaging in a great support circle of friends and family can help you recognize positivity in your life. They will remind you that you can overcome the challenges you are facing regarding your addiction to marijuana.
A few different kinds of psychotherapy are effective in treating addiction to marijuana. An example is motivational enhancement therapy. This therapy is necessary for patients who lack the motivation to quit using cannabis. It decreases uncertainty associated with the recovery and instills confidence in the individual to commit to making a difference.
There may not be any approved medications for treating marijuana withdrawal. However, there are some meds like antidepressants that the doctor can prescribe. It is to treat severe mental health problems caused by aggregated discomforts and pains from withdrawal. Also, there are already some sleep aid medicines to treat insomnia that you may experience during marijuana withdrawal.
Cognitive- Behavioral Therapy
CBT is a type of psychotherapy that examines the connections among behaviours, thoughts, and feelings and how they can relate to marijuana abuse. During this kind of therapy, the person with the addiction will have the chance to learn how to have positive coping skills and strategies to combat their addiction.
It is a kind of treatment that uses rewards as an incentive in abstaining from using marijuana. As mentioned, some centres and facilities provide services for recovering addicts. These centres provide treatments as well as proper guidance on how to overcome marijuana addiction.
Dealing with Cravings
When recovering from a marijuana addiction, it is inevitable that you will feel cravings for the drug. There are ways, treatments, and techniques to stop the cravings and cut back from this drug forever.
Stopping the use of marijuana can be such a big problem for users who have been dependent on using it for some time. There are times when the urge to use marijuana can be so strong for those who are trying to stop smoking weed.
The use of marijuana or cannabis has been one of the heated topics in every debate. It is generally true that there are some diseases and illnesses that can use cannabis as part of the treatment. But with every significant effect also comes a side effect. Cannabis may cure illnesses, but its use should not be used to a maximum extent.
Cravings come at a very inconvenient time and are very persistent when it comes to disrupting your thoughts. Others would say that the only time you can stop your weed or marijuana craving is to roll and smoke some weed. With the right tips and techniques in mind, you can be more equipped to handle your cravings.
Dedicate and Commit Yourself to Recovery
It is important to remember that marijuana withdrawal can draw strong feelings of desire in using the drug. Cravings come more often when there are also others who use marijuana. Peer pressure, when it comes to drug use, can significantly affect a person who is trying to quit.
Recovering addicts must remember that although quitting marijuana is hard, it is not impossible. A strong dedication to saying “no” is vital. It is essential to remind the marijuana users that they will have guidance and support during the withdrawal process.
Engage in physical activities
Engaging in physical activity is a great help when a patient feels the urge to smoke cannabis. Exercise can restrain marijuana use and cravings. It stimulates the brain. It can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression which are main symptoms of withdrawal. Experts in the field of drug rehabilitation suggest that exercise can mitigate drug-withdrawal symptoms.
Seek medical help before it’s too late
Seeking medical advice is also not a bad thing to do. One can always ask about finding appropriate medical supervision or the best rehabilitation centre. These professionals can help the recovering addict deal with marijuana cravings and replace them with a newfound desire for other activities that are healthier.
It is vital to know the common side effects of marijuana on the user. There are so many negative consequences to deal with once you start using this drug.
If you’ve only started using, then observe yourself if you’re already experiencing the effects of cannabis use. It is never too late to stop. Help is always available for those who want to kick the bad habit of drug use. Call Inspire Change Addiction Rehab in Vancouver for addiction treatment programs.