Over the past several years, the marijuana debate has focused primarily on legalizing medical and recreational marijuana. The medical benefits of marijuana have taken center-stage in this debate, obscuring discussions of the near- and long-term effects of marijuana on a recreational marijuana user’s body. When those effects are raised in any debate, they are often obscured by arguments that emphasize the medical advantages of THC, which is the active compound in marijuana. As every recreational marijuana user knows, marijuana continues to have real effects on a user’s body. As marijuana strains are becoming stronger, those effects will likely be more noticeable.
Effects of Marijuana
The most obvious effects are those that recreational marijuana users strive for. These include a sense of euphoria and relaxation and distorted perception. Some users also report negative effects such as anxiety, paranoia and panic attacks. Many recreational and medicinal marijuana users also remark on impairment of their memory following frequent marijuana use. A recent study has confirmed that this memory effect is genuine, and that it can impair a person’s memory well after regular marijuana use has stopped. The magnitude of this impairment is uncertain, but it is significant enough to be noticed.
Individuals who are experiencing psychological disorders may react differently, and possibly negatively, to marijuana. Schizophrenia disorders can be made worse by regular marijuana use. Contrary to the assumption that marijuana can help people escape the effects of depression and similar disorders, it can actually make those disorders worse.
Other Marijuana Effects
Recreational marijuana users are also well-aware of the “munchies”, which are the hunger sensations that accompany the latter stages of a marijuana high. THC stimulates the portion of user’s brain that controls appetite. A regular marijuana user risks weight gain due to overstimulation of that part of his brain.
Marijuana smoke is often inhaled more deeply and is held for a longer period of time in a user’s lungs. Marijuana smokers may not be smoking their drug with the same frequency as tobacco smokers, but marijuana smoke can cause lung irritation and respiratory problems just as well. Some researchers have also connected marijuana smoke with lung cancer.
The senses of relaxation and reduced muscular control that are achieved with marijuana use will make driving under the influence of marijuana dangerous to both the marijuana user and to other drivers and pedestrians. Chronic marijuana users who are unable to control themselves while smoking marijuana are exposing themselves to the possibility of severe physical injuries if they try to drive when they are high.
Marijuana has a definite role as a medicinal treatment for certain diseases and health conditions. When it is used recreationally, marijuana has very real effects on a user’s physical and mental health.
Please call the Last Resort Recovery Center near Austin, Texas, at 512-360-3600 for more information about those effects and for answers to any questions you might have about marijuana use.
We offer private and confidential consultations for men who are concerned about how marijuana and other drugs are affecting their health and well-being.