Have Questions?
1-877-882-9275
We Have Answers!

Don't Know What To Do?

Call Now to speak with a Certified Treatment Assesment Counselor who will guide you every step of the way.
This is a free service • 100% Confidential
1-877-882-9275

Treatment Help Request

Contact us now to get immediate help: 1-877-882-9275

Marijuana Health Effects

Negative Health Effects Are Numerous

Although legalization activists and many marijuana users believe smoking pot has no negative effects, scientific research indicates that marijuana use can cause many different health problems.
Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States. When smoked, it begins to effect users almost immediately and can last for one to three hours. When it is eaten in food, such as baked in brownies and cookies, the effects take longer to begin, but usually last longer.

Short-Term Effects

The short-term effects of marijuana include:

  • Distorted perception (sights, sounds, time, touch)
  • Problems with memory and learning
  • Loss of coordination
  • Trouble with thinking and problem-solving
  • Increased heart rate, reduced blood pressure
  • Sometimes marijuana use can also produce anxiety, fear, distrust, or panic.

Effects on the Brain

The active ingredient in marijuana, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, acts on cannabinoid receptors on nerve cells and influences the activity of those cells.

Some brain areas have many cannabinoid receptors, but other areas of the brain have few or none at all. Many cannabinoid receptors are found in the parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thought, concentration, sensory and time perception, and coordinated movement.

When high doses of marijuana are used, usually when eaten in food rather than smoked, users can experience the following symptoms:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Impaired memory
  • Disorientation

Effects on the Heart

Within a few minutes after smoking marijuana, the heart begins beating more rapidly and the blood pressure drops. Marijuana can cause the heart beat to increase by 20 to 50 beats per minute, and can increase even more if other drugs are used at the same time.

Because of the lower blood pressure and higher heart rate, researchers found that users' risk for a heart attack is four times higher within the first hour after smoking marijuana.

Effects on the Lungs

Smoking marijuana, even infrequently, can cause burning and stinging of the mouth and throat, and cause heavy coughing. Scientists have found that regular marijuana smokers can experience the same respiratory problems as tobacco smokers do, including:

  • Daily cough and phlegm production
  • More frequent acute chest illnesses
  • Increased risk of lung infections
  • Obstructed airways

Marijuana contains more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke and because marijuana smokers usually inhale deeper and hold the smoke in their lungs longer than tobacco smokers, their lungs are exposed to those carcinogenic properties longer.

One study found that marijuana smokers were three times more likely to develop cancer of the head or neck than non-smokers. Many researchers believe than smoking marijuana is overall more harmful to the lungs than smoking tobacco.

Other Health Effects

Research indicates that THC impairs the body's immune system from fighting disease, which can cause a wide variety of health problems. One study found that marijuana actually inhibited the disease-preventing actions of key immune cells. Another study found that THC increased the risk of developing bacterial infections and tumors.

Effects of Exposure During Pregnancy

Several studies have found that children born to mothers who used marijuana during pregnancy exhibit some problems with neurological development. According to those studies, prenatal marijuana exposure can cause:

  • Altered responses to visual stimuli
  • Increased tremulousness
  • Problems with sustained attention and memory
  • Poor problem-solving skills

Find Top Treatment Facilities Near You

  • Detoxification
  • Inpatient / Residential
  • Private / Executive
  • Therapeutic Counseling
  • Effective Results
Call Us Today!

1-877-882-9275

Speak with a Certified Treatment Assesment Counselor who can go over all your treatment options and help you find the right treatment program that fits your needs.

drug-rehabs.org

1-877-882-9275

Discuss Treatment Options!

Our Counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to discuss your treatment needs and help you find the right treatment solution.

Call Us Today!

drug-rehabs.org

1-877-882-9275