Side Effects Of Weed

side effects of weed

Cannabis has both short-term and long-term side effects.

Cannabis’ euphoric effects vary based on the strain, quality, quantity, and consumption method. Its effects occur by stimulating brain cells that release the chemical, dopamine.

Cannabis has immediate effects when it is smoked or inhaled. When ingested as cannabis infused edibles, the drug may even take hours to stimulate the brain to release dopamine 

Cannabis effects on the mind

A study involving over 3,000 American cannabis consumers over 25 years revealed that people who used cannabis daily for five years developed a poorer memory than those who smoked less.

Another study conducted by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine reported that regular cannabis consumption can lead to mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and even schizophrenia.

Anxiety due to cannabis

Cannabis causing anxiety and mood disorder

Cannabis causing anxiety and mood disorder. src. 

The impact of cannabis varies by person. It also depends on how they have used the drug, the dosage of the drug, how often they have used it, etc. Cannabis use can cause other changes. For example, some users report heightened sensory perception such as louder sounds and colors appearing more vivid. Some users also report increased appetite, which is popularly referred to as “the munchies”.   

Cannabis effects on the body

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), cannabis significantly impairs motor coordination and reaction time. Cannabis can increase the heart rate for up to three hours. A study revealed that people who use cannabis are 26 percent more likely to suffer from a stroke at least once in their lives than those who don’t use cannabis.

Smoking cannabis can lead to respiratory problems in the same way as experienced by tobacco smokers. These issues include increased daily cough, acute chest illnesses, and increased phlegm production. It also causes a greater chance of lung infections.

People often connect cannabis smoking with an increased risk of lung cancer. But a 2013 study revealed that even heavy cannabis users might not be at greater risk for lung cancer. 

Recommended maximum dosage of cannabis

A 2017 review shows that there is no one universal dosage of cannabis that everyone should take. Different people respond to different dosages of the drug differently. Most human studies suggest dosage anywhere between 20 and 1,500 milligrams (mg) per day.

The amount of CBD (Cannabidiol) you should consume depends on various factors. These include your body weight, body chemistry, the condition for which you are consuming cannabis, and CBD concentration in pills, capsules, drops, or gummies.

Thus, there are many factors that go into deciding how much cannabis you should consume. Before you try the drug, it is important to consult with your doctor about the appropriate dosage and any potential risks. Stick to your doctor’s recommendation, especially if you are taking a prescription medication.

If your physician provides no recommendation, you are advised to start with a smaller dosage and gradually increase it. This could start with 20 to 40 mg (milligrams) per day. After a week, increase this quantity by five mg and continue until you reach an optimal level.  

Is cannabis addictive

The National Institute of Drug Abuse reports that 30 percent of cannabis users may develop some form of cannabis use disorder. Around 10 and 30 percent of people who smoke the drug eventually develop a dependency and only nine percent actually develop addiction.

In 2015, about four million individuals met the diagnostic criteria for a cannabis use disorder. On the other hand, as per the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 15.1 million adults over the age of 18 in the United States met the criteria for alcohol use disorder. 

Final words

Undoubtedly, cannabis has some short-term and long-term side effects; the drug can be beneficial to many individuals, especially those who are suffering from health conditions, such as severe lack of appetite, intense vomiting, chronic pain, and many more. Similar to a lot of over-the-counter medications or supplements, cannabis users can become addicted to the drug. Addiction involves a number of factors, and the unclear statistics on the drug make the topic even more complicated.