Marijuana is a drug that goes by many names. It is also commonly called weed, pot, dope, flowers, cannabis, and a log list of other nicknames. It is the dried flowers of the cannabis plant and contains the mind-altering compound known as THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. This is the compound that most people associate with a weed high. When marijuana is smoked, the THC will pass through the lungs before it enters the bloodstream. Once it has made it to the bloodstream, it is carried all throughout your body before it finally reaches the brain. The effects of marijuana will happen within minutes of smoking it and you will experience a pleasurable, numbing, and euphoric high. Marijuana can also be consumed. The effects do take longer to occur, roughly 30 minutes to an hour, but will also last much longer and be more intense.
The Health Risks of Using Marijuana
Using marijuana actually will directly affect your brain. Specifically, it will affect your memory, learning, attention, coordination, and decision-making. When it is used long-term, it can even affect your brain’s development. It can affect how the brain builds connections that are necessary for memory and learning. The effects can last a long time and even be permanent. Using marijuana also affects the heart causing it to beat faster. In turn, this can lead to an increased risk for heart disease and stroke. Marijuana includes many other cannabinoids other than just THC. It delivers many harmful substances through your body.
The Health Consequences of Smoking Marijuana
Marijuana can also do a number on your lungs. The way it is smoked will determine the severity, but marijuana that is smoked in any form can damage the lung tissues and result in scarring and damage to the small blood vessels. Marijuana often also contains many of the same irritants, toxins, and carcinogens as tobacco. Marijuana can also hurt your mental health. Frequent or daily use in high doses can lead to disorientation, unpleasant feelings or thoughts, anxiety, and even paranoia. It can even be as serious as developing temporary psychosis and other long-lasting mental disorders. It has also been linked to increased anxiety and depression.
Learn About Marijuana Addiction
Among the health risks also includes the likelihood of addiction. So many people believe that marijuana is not an addictive substance, but this could not be further from the truth. NIH reports that around 4 million people in 2015 alone met the criteria for a marijuana abuse disorder. Some of the common signs that addiction to marijuana has happened include unsuccessful efforts to stop using, continuing to use marijuana even when experiencing negative consequences, giving up on activities and responsibilities with friends or family to use, and drug-seeking behaviors. Marijuana is not the same as it was a few decades ago. The amount of THC in marijuana has increased exponentially. This means, the higher the THC content, the stronger it will have an effect on you. Unfortunately, this also means greater health risks than it once had.
Start Healing For Marijuana Dependence at Evoke Wellness at Miramar
Regardless of what you may have heard in the past, marijuana is not a harmless drug. However, it does come with a long list of health risks—getting help for a marijuana addiction as soon as possible increases your likelihood of successful sobriety in the future. Addiction to marijuana should be treated just like any other drug because it is just as serious and life-altering. You will likely need a medical detox followed by intensive treatment so you can treat both the physical symptoms and the mental symptoms associated with marijuana addiction. However, the health risks do not outweigh the reward of a weed high. If you want to get help, Evoke Wellness at Miramar is here to help you through it.