Politicsmarijuana Midterms: Why Legal Weed Advocates Think ‘all The Pieces Are Coming Together’ This Year
Unfortunately, Warners story is not uncommon.
While alcohol is more dangerous in terms of acute overdose risk, and also in terms of promoting violence and chronic organ failure, “marijuanaat least as now used in the United Statescreates higher rates of behavioral problems, including dependence, among all its users, said Caulkins.
The research leans towards yes.
Studies have shown that chronic marijuana use affects the same brain structures that are involved with addiction.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse suggests that 30 percent of those who use marijuana may have some degree of marijuana use disorder.
In Warner’s case, he developed both a dependence and an addiction. The first time he seriously decided to quit he gave his stash to his girlfriend to keep it away from him. Later that day, he came home and sweet-talked her into giving it back.
Even though I was serious at the time about getting clean, I relapsed,” he said. “The thing about addiction is that you can wake up and be 100 percent convinced that you wont use again. You could take a lie detector test and youd pass with flying colors, but 12 hours later a trigger may cause you to change your mind and you might get high again.
- Inability to cut down or stop use
- Using more than intended
- Not fulfilling daily responsibilities like going to school or work
- Choosing relationships and activities based on whether you will be able to get high.
It May Affect Your Mental Health
Not everyones experience with marijuana is pleasant. It often can leave you anxious, afraid, or panicked. Using pot may raise your chances for clinical depression or worsen the symptoms of any mental disorders you already have. Scientists arent yet sure exactly why. In high doses, it can make you paranoid or lose touch with reality so you hear or see things that arent there.
The Risk Of Addiction And Testicular Cancer
Listing What 20 Years of Research Has Taught Us About The Chronic Effects of Marijuana, Forbes details some other problems that arise with the long-term consumption of cannabis, including:
- The risk of addiction: This is only for one in 10 users however, for people who start their cannabis use in adolescence, the rate increases to one in six. Withdrawal is also a real problem discontinuing marijuana intake after prolonged use causes disruptions to daily life through depression, insomnia, anxiety, and loss of appetite.
- The possibility of testicular cancer: A 2015 study published by BMC Cancer found that current, chronic and frequent cannabis use is associated with the development of . Doctors were quick to point out that this does not mean that marijuana causes cancer and also noted that testicular cancer is a very rare condition however, an epidemiologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle warned that the relationship between cannabis and the risk of testicular cancer suggests that marijuana carries more risks than immediately evident.
Marijuana has a complicated relationship with sexual libido and function. On the one hand, researchers in the journal of Archives of Sexual Behavior noted that the illegality of marijuana actually facilitated the sexual exploits of study participants, with many people using the thrill of the illegal activity to augment their sexual desires and behaviors.
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It Can Interrupt Your Brain’s Reward System
“Daily cannabis use can disrupt reward circuity, making cannabis use even more desirable to users,”Dr. Aimee Chiligiris, PsyD, a psychologist at Smithers Center at Columbia Doctors Midtown, tells Bustle. “This may interrupt other previous seeking of pleasurable experiences, such as relationships, hobbies, and academics.”
In Some People Weed Could Increase The Risk Of Depression
Scientists can’t say for sure whether marijuana causes depression or depressed people are simply more likely to smoke. But one study from the Netherlands suggests that smoking weed could raise the risk of depression for young people who already have a special serotonin gene that could make them more vulnerable to depression.
Those findings are bolstered by the NASEM report, which found moderate evidence that cannabis use was linked to a small increased risk of depression.
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The Bottom Line On Marijuana
There is some evidence that occasional pot smoking can have harmful effects on the body, although the science is still too new to prove anything.
“We’re learning new things every day,” says Matthew J. Smith, PhD, a research assistant professor at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Before we can really understand the effects of marijuana, further research is needed.”
U.S Department of Health and Human Services: “Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Summary of National Findings.”
Gallup: “For First Time, Americans Favor Legalizing Marijuana.”
CNN: “Marijuana is safer than alcohol.”
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Moir, D. Chemical Research in Toxicology, February 2008.
Pletcher, M.J. JAMA, January 2012.
Jeanette Marie Tetrault, MD, FACP, assistant professor of medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine.
National Institute on Drug Abuse: “Is marijuana addictive?”
Fiellin, L. Journal of Adolescent Health, February 2013.
Mehra, R. Archives of Internal Medicine, July 2006.
Smith, M.J. Schizophrenia Bulletin, December 2013.
Matthew J. Smith, PhD, research assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
National Institute on Drug Abuse: “DrugFacts: Marijuana.”
Li, Mu-Chen. Epidemiologic Reviews, October 2011.
Columbia University: “Go Ask Alice! Eating Marijuana.”
Pletcher, M.J. JAMA, January 2012.
Some Women Have Reported Having More Satisfying Sex When Using Marijuana
A small study of 373 women from of varying races, sexual orientations, and marital statuses found that people who said they used marijuana before sex tended to have a more pleasurable experience than those who did not use the substance.
Specifically, some women reported having more satisfying orgasms and an increase in their sex drive.
Researchers weren’t able to pinpoint why marijuana had this effect, but suggested it could be due to the substance’s ability to reduce stress and anxiety.
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So How Does Marijuana Affect Your Brain
More research is needed to accurately answer this question. There is evidence that cannabis depresses functionality in the developing brains of children and adolescents. Nevertheless, more studies are needed to clarify whether brain impairment also occurs in those who avoid THC before adulthood.
More research is also needed to assess the effects of more potent marijuana strains and new cannabis products such as edibles.
Does marijuana really kill brain cells? It might, and it might not. Either way, youre putting your brain at risk. If youre worried about using too much weed, we can help.Contact Harmony Place in Woodland Hills, California, for more information.
Conditions Marijuana May Help
The list of conditions that medical marijuana is being used to treat is long and growing. Among them are ailments such as:
ADHD: Although marijuana can act as a stimulant in most peoples brains, in those who exhibit symptoms of ADHD, it can help them better direct their focus and accomplish tasks.
Anxiety: While marijuana exacerbates anxiety in some, others find that it helps calm them down. This is particularly true of strains and products that contain high amounts of CBD , which has been shown to quell anxiety with the same effectiveness as benzodiazepines.
Cancer: Marijuana hasnt yet been proven to be a cure for cancer, but it is an excellent treatment for the nausea, vomiting, and weight loss often experienced by those undergoing cancer treatments.
Depression: Many people have also found marijuana to be an effective treatment for depression. This may be because the cannabinoids in marijuana work the same ways as the natural endocannabinoids in the brain many of which stimulate feel good receptors in order to improve mood.
Glaucoma: While marijuana is not a recommended treatment for early stage glaucoma , it does work well in the late stages of the disease to lower eye pressure and control pain.
Pain: THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids in marijuana have anti-inflammatory properties and work well to control pain, whether its pain resulting from cancer, an injury, or a chronic condition such as multiple sclerosis or fibromyalgia.
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What Does Weed Do To The Brain
The Cannabis sativa plant contains hundreds of different chemicals present in varying amounts, depending on the strain and how its grown. The compound that recreational marijuana users care about most is the psychoactive one: delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Generally, the higher the THC content, the more potent and potentially intoxicating the weed.
Because THC is the coveted compound, growers today breed plants to produce a lot of it, says Staci Gruber, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and director of the Marijuana Investigations for Neuroscientific Discovery program at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts. Nowadays, weed is more than 300 percent stronger than the stuff from the mid-1990s.
THC content has gone through the roof while the amounts of CBD and other constituents that might mitigate the negative effects of THC have gone down, she says. The ratio of THC to other compounds went from 14 to 1 to 100 to 1. This ratio matters because it dictates exactly how pot affects the brain and body.
Marijuana works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, which is composed of chemicals and receptors located all throughout the body. There are endocannabinoid receptors in the liver, intestines, fat, vasculature, and every single cell and organ system, says Daniele Piomelli, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for the Study of Cannabis at the University of California, Irvine. But the greatest concentration is in the brain.
Is It Bad To Smoke Weed Every Day
Occasional use of pot isnt really harmful however it affects the mind and body as it gets inside the system.
Regardless the route, it produces its effect on every body organ including the nervous system and the immune system. When smoked, TCH present in pot is absorbed immediately. Smoking weed elevates the heart rate up to 2 times for almost 3 hours and because of this some people get a cardiac arrest right after using pot. Aside from its effect on heart it can also cause prolong bleeding, hypotension and alter the blood sugar levels. Its not known for sure if marijuana has any association with lung cancer however it causes irritation to the lungs. Therefore smoking weed everydaycan lead to persistent cough and some lungs related health issues like lung infections and chest colds. Marijuana also produces the following physical effects:
- Shallow breathing
- Increased appetite
Driving after smoking weed may double your risk of a car accident. Using it for a prolonged time period can bring about withdrawal symptoms when you quit such as decreased appetite, sleeplessness, irritability and cravings.
In men it tends to lower the levels of testosterone when consumed heavily and leads to declined sperm quality and count. As a result you may suffer from fertility and libido related issues.
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Is Marijuana Smoke Dangerous Lung Health And The Risks Of Smoking
While we wish the answer was as clear cut as yes, smoking weed is bad for you or no, smoking weed isn’t bad for you, the truth is a bit more complicated.
First, let’s look at smoking as a consumption method. Whenever you combust plant material whether it’s cannabis, tobacco, or anything else toxins called polyaromatic hydrocarbons form. Polyaromatic hydrocarbons exist in both tobacco and marijuana smoke and exposing yourself to those toxins is one of the biggest and most obvious risks of smoking weed.
Studies With Young Adults
Almost five thousand young adults in a coronary artery risk development study were tracked over 25 years until mid-adulthood. The researchers found that lifelong appeared to have a cumulative effect and was associated with reduced scores on a verbal memory test.
THC appears to have no direct effect on cognitive abilities like processing speed. That was a significant finding that persisted even after adjusting for demographics, other substance use, and mental health issues.
Two longitudinal twin studies found that young twins who used marijuana showed a significant loss of verbal ability equivalent to four IQ points.
The twins also displayed overall deficits in general knowledge. Cognitive deficiencies were observed during the preteen years, late adolescent years, and in early adulthood.
A shorter-term twin study found no significant differences between twins when one twin used marijuana and the other twin did not.
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Shocking Ways Weed Can Affect Your Brain
Most people know that smoking marijuana can make you feel spaced out or trigger the need for some munchies, but it also can have some other, lesser obvious consequences on your mind as well. There are a number of shockingways weed can affect you and your brain, and these changes might not be side effects you have heard before. Although , it’s also important to be aware of the different ways it can impact your brain.
“Cannabis contains chemicals called cannabinoids that act on receptors in the brain that affect pleasure, memory, thinking, concentration, appetite, and coordination,”Dr. Larissa Mooney, Medical Director at CAST Centers, tells Bustle. “There are also naturally-occurring cannabinoids in the brain called endocannabinoids that act on the same receptors. The primary active chemical responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis is THC â tetrahydrocannabadiol.”
Although THC can be responsible for these changes in your body, there are also some cognitive risks as well, and these can include everything from memory loss to risk of psychosis. Here are six shocking ways that weed can have a lasting effect on your brain, according to experts.
It Can Impair Your Ability To Regulate Emotions
Although many people use marijuana to improve their anxiety and depression, it can actually make these issues worse for some people. ” may induce anxious and depressive symptoms, and it can also increase symptoms of underlying mental health concerns,” says Dr. Chiligiris. “Recent research demonstrates that long-term use can also impair structures that help to regulate difficult emotions.”
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Potential Negative Side Effects Of Marijuana Consumption
People consume marijuana in different ways, for different reasons, and have different experiences. Many people smoke weed and encounter no negative side effects whatsoever. Some find tremendous relief from conditions like PTSD or chronic pain. These people would probably say smoking weed is not bad for them, and is in fact, good for them. Maybe even essential.
But others smoke weed and have a different experience. Marijuana can make some people feel anxious, tired, or unmotivated. In extreme cases, they may develop cannabis use disorder. For those people, smoking weed probably isn’t the best choice.
Every consumption method, including smoking, has potential side effects. According to current research, some of the negative effects associated with smoking cannabis include:
- Lung and respiratory system issues
- Cannabis use disorder
- Weakened immune system
There is also research into the links between cannabis consumption and brain function. Much of what this research has found suggests that younger people, particularly those 21 and younger, should avoid marijuana consumption. This is primarily because, in terms of negative impacts on the brain, marijuana appears to be most destructive when the brain is still developing.
The risks associated with smoking weed increase based on the frequency and duration of use. For people who smoke weed moderately, the benefits typically outweigh the risks.
Is It Bad To Smoke Marijuana Every Single Day
Weed, also known as marijuana, is collected from the seeds, stems, flowers and dried leaves of the plant called Cannabis sativa. This plant contains delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol which is a mind-altering chemical. According to SAMHSA, 2014, the most frequently used illicit drug in America is marijuana. Its very popular between young adults. The yearly survey results for students of middle and high school revealed that the use of marijuana has stabilized after many years of excessive use. Nonetheless young people dont regard marijuana as a risky drug and often choose smoking weed everyday.
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Effects Of Marijuana On The Size Shape And Density Of The Brain
The researchers found that the more the marijuana users reported consuming, the greater the abnormalities in the nucleus accumbens and the amygdala on the MRI images. The shape and density of both regions of the brain were also different between marijuana users and non-users.
The study revealed that the brains of those who smoked only one joint a day or those who smoked only once a week were changed.
“This study raises a strong challenge to the idea that casual marijuana use isn’t associated with bad consequences,” said Hans Breiter, M.D. one of the study’s authors. “Some of these people only used marijuana to get high once or twice a week,”
In The Short Term It Can Also Make Your Heart Race
Within a few minutes of inhaling marijuana, your heart rate can increase by between 20 and 50 beats a minute. This can last anywhere from 20 minutes to three hours, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
The NASEM report found insufficient evidence to support or refute the idea that cannabis might increase the overall risk of a heart attack. The same report, however, also found some limited evidence that smoking could be a trigger for a heart attack.
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Why Occasional Marijuana Use Can Cause Problems
“People think a little recreational use shouldn’t cause a problem if someone is doing OK with work or school. Our data directly says this is not the case,” Breiter said in a news release.
Other researchers, not involved in the Massachusetts General study, agreed that finding changes in the brains of casual marijuana users was surprising.
“This study suggests that even light to moderate recreational marijuana use can cause changes in brain anatomy,” said Carl Lupica, Ph.D., of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. “These observations are particularly interesting because previous studies have focused primarily on the brains of heavy marijuana smokers, and have largely ignored the brains of casual users.”
The research was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Counterdrug Technology Assessment Center, and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.