The use of marijuana for medicinal purposes is on the rise. In fact, 34 of the 50 states in the U.S. have legalized medical marijuana and more are joining the trend. Both THC and CBD (two of the active cannabinoids in marijuana) are said to offer healing benefits for countless conditions from chronic pain and anxiety to diabetes and epilepsy. And while studies show their benefits are real, consuming marijuana can still have negative effects on your body. Not to mention, according to federal law, marijuana is still considered a Stage I narcotic, putting it in the same class as heavy drugs like LSD and heroine.
If your job requires drug testing, traces of marijuana will show up. And driving while high on marijuana is illegal. Using it for medical reasons, while legal with a prescription from a certified doctor, is still a risky game. Here are 3 other ways that this drug may affect your body in a negative way.
1. Alters Your Appetite
One of the most common side-effects associated with the use of marijuana is the “munchies”. This phrase is used to describe an insatiable hunger people feel after smoking weed or consuming THC. THC activates hunger and appetite receptors in the brain. Your body contains natural cannabinoids, which interact with THC, stimulating the area of the brain that tells you to eat.
Most people crave very salty or sweet snacks filled with saturated fat. These often come in the form of processed foods as well. Not only will smoking weed cause you to eat more, but it often causes you to eat all the wrong foods. This can eventually lead to weight gain, which may cause additional health complications.
2. Increased Heart Rate
Any time you put a foreign substance or drug into your body, your immune system reacts. Your brain and other organs become hyper aware of this substance and work hard to react in the appropriate way. This inevitably increases your heart rate for a brief period of time. It’s interesting to note that THC actually reduces your blood pressure significantly, which is what causes feelings of relaxation and euphoria. The body responds by increasing your heart rate by as much as 30-50 beats per minute. Understanding the strain of cannabis you’re consuming is your greatest defense against heart related complications. Certain synthetic cannabinoids including “spice” and “K2” can cause serious cardiovascular issues.
3. Paranoia and Confusion
While most people consume marijuana to help relax and mellow out, you can’t be sure that this is how your body will react. In some people, THC and CBD actually cause feelings of alertness, confusion, and paranoia. This is an interesting phenomenon considering thousands of people turn to medical marijuana to help ease insomnia symptoms and anxiety. The cause of paranoia in some marijuana is all about brain chemistry. THC binds to different receptors in your brain, all responsible for emotional processing. There’s no telling what emotional reaction your brain will have to THC, which is why for some people, extreme worry, panic, and fear are what accompany marijuana use. This can lead to a very unpleasant experience for users and those around them. If you’re predisposed to anxiety, this effect may be heightened even further.
Smoking marijuana isn’t all fun and games. And it’s not all about the medical benefits (although there’s a lot of evidence to support this). There are physical side effects to consider before jumping on the THC train. Be sure to speak to a medical professional before self-diagnosing a condition and using weed as your remedy.
Article Submitted By Community Writer