What Happens to Your Body When You Smoke Weed, Says Science
With medical marijuana legal in states like California, Colorado, Illinois and a growing list, adoption of the drug is becoming more and more commonplace—as is consumption. We consulted doctors and medical resources to discover what happens if you smoke marijuana every day. (Note: do not use marijuana without consulting a medical professional first.) Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Have "Long" COVID and May Not Even Know It.
First, The Positive Effects
Marijuana has been shown to be an effective treatment for a variety of health issues. Read on to discover how it can be used best.
It Can Relieve Your Pain
Marijuana is often used as a source of pain relief, as you can get a medical card for it to treat issues like cancer or inflammation. "German researchers found that marijuana-based remedies increased the number of people who reported a 50% or more reduction in pain relief," says WebMD. "In a small study of 47 patients with Parkinson's disease, Israeli researchers found a 27% improvement in pain with marijuana use."
It Can Lead to Less Anxiety
"I found Marijuana at the age of 19," says Peter Pryor, M.D. "It has always been a bit of a godsend for me because it helps me daily with anxiety and many other benefits." (Read on to discover how marijuana can also increase anxiety for some.)
It Can Regulate Blood Sugar
Insulin is which regulates the amount of glucose in the blood. Insulin resistance is linked to a greater risk of diabetes. However, according to Mary Clifton, M.D, marijuana offers "less insulin resistance."
It Can Lower Your Cholesterol
Millions of Americans live with high cholesterol, which can increase the risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke. However, according to Dr. Clifton, "people who use cannabinoid formulations regularly are found to have lower overall cholesterol."
It Can Lower Your BMI (If You Don't Snack)
Despite the common feeling of having "the munchies" after using marijuana, cannabis users tend to weigh less and are less likely to be obese. They have a "lower BMI," says Dr. Clifton. According to the CDC, BMI (aka body mass index) "is a screening tool used to identify individuals who are underweight, overweight, or obese."
Now, The Negative Effects
"Your mileage may vary," as the expression goes, but using marijuana every day may have negative effects, also. Here are a few noted by the doctors.
You Can Develop Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD)
"This means that these users develop such an ironclad tolerance to marijuana that they have to consume increasing amounts to feel the same euphoric sensations," says Dr. Sal Raichbach. "This leads to decreased reactivity to dopamine, which suggests a possible correlation to the dampening of the reward system of the brain and an increase in negative emotion and addiction severity."
It Could Increase Your Cardiovascular Risk
"Marijuana has been shown to cause a fast heartbeat and elevated blood pressure, which can be dangerous for people with heart disease," says Dr. Sanul Corrielus. "It may also aggravate other pre-existing heart conditions in long-term users and those who are older—placing them at greater risk of a cardiovascular event," says Dr. Norris.
It Can Tamper Your Coordination and Response Issues
"Coordination and response time are adversely affected and short term memory is often impaired," says Dr. Jason Levine. "Coordination issues in conjunction with an altered experience of time are likely to blame for impaired driving and an increase in car accidents."
It Can Lead to Respiratory Issues
"While smoking cannabis daily has less of an impact than smoking cigarettes," says Dr. Carey Clark, "some people who smoke cannabis can end up with issues like chronic cough and excess mucus or phlegm production." "The most deadly aspect is that it increases your risk of lung cancer 7% per year," says Osita Onugha, MD. "However," says Dr. Lili Barsky, "these symptoms can improve with cessation."
It Can Cause Memory Issues
"Long-term marijuana use can decrease an individual's performance on memory-related tasks and cause a decrease in motivation and interest in everyday activities," says Dr. Chris Norris. "The effect of cannabis temporarily prevents the brain from developing new memories and learning new things, which is a form of short-term memory."
It Can Affect Your Developing Brain
"The brain continues to develop through adolescence and into adulthood, and those areas of the brain that control executive functioning, processing, judgment, and decision making are the last to develop," says Dr. Randall Dwenger. "Marijuana use can impair this brain development and have a long-lasting impact on the individual's future."
It Can Increase Your Anxiety
"A 2017 national survey of more than 9,000 Americans found that 81 percent believed marijuana had one or more health benefits. Nearly half of these respondents listed "anxiety, stress, and depression relief" as one of these potential benefits," reports Healthline. "But there also seems to be just as many people who say marijuana makes their anxiety worse." And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.