Marijuana has been around for thousands of years, but it only became popular in the US during the Mexican Revolution of the 1910s-20s. During this time, thousands of refugees fled to the US, and with them came cannabis.
There was a huge pushback at the time, which highlighted the “effects” of smoking weed and caused the drug to be outlawed. In the several decades since, people have questioned whether marijuana is as dangerous as they’ve been led to believe. Many have even asserted that cannabis is safer than tobacco or alcohol, but is that true?
We’ll discuss some of the effects of smoking weed in this article.
1. Getting High
Among the most famous effects of smoking weed is the ‘high’ it results in. Marijuana intoxication can present in many different ways, with some people being happier, more talkative, and relaxed.
Other people react in almost the opposite way. They can become paranoid, confused, generally more introverted. Part of this is owing to the delusions and hallucinations that marijuana can cause.
Overdosing might also be part of it. Though it’s basically impossible for a human to die from too much marijuana, they can suffer adverse side effects. In fact, millions of ER visits every year are due to panic attacks caused by too much marijuana.
Marijuana’s effects on the lungs are not totally understood. Some say those who smoke cannabis are at a higher risk of lung cancer, but the evidence is inconclusive. Some even say marijuana can reduce the risk of cancer.
What we do know is that smoking weed can lead to coughing. However, it’s more likely that the act of taking smoke into your lungs is what causes coughing rather than the cannabis itself.
3. Developmental Issues
In certain cases, those who consume marijuana may suffer mental deficits. Keep in mind that this is only a problem for those who use marijuana at a young age, and infants who were exposed in the womb.
Though there hasn’t been much research into the effects of marijuana on teenagers, some evidence does suggest that heavy, prolonged marijuana use by teenagers leads to a drop in IQ.
Those exposed to marijuana in-utero or through breast milk are more likely to have developmental issues and to be underweight when born. These risks remain even when cannabis is eaten rather than smoked.
While marijuana seems to have a very low addiction rate compared to other drugs, it is still addictive, with roughly 10% becoming addicted, and possibly many more.
The good news is that much like the addiction, marijuana withdrawal is far less severe than some other drugs. For the most part, the addict will just be agitated, angry, and restless.
The Effects of Smoking Weed
While the effects of smoking weed are still very much debated, there are a few things that seem consistent. We’ve talked about some of marijuana’s known and highly-suspected effects in this article, but there’s a lot more to learn.