Marijuana has both psychological and physical effects for people who use this drug. The physically addictive properties of cannabis, also known as marijuana, are well documented but each individual reacts differently to the effects. To understand how a person is affected by marijuana, it is important to know the typical reactions people exhibit and how it affects the body.
How it Works
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), when smoked, passes from the lungs straight into the bloodstream. From there, the brain and other organs receive a psychoactive chemical which alters brain cells once it crosses the blood-brain barrier. THC targets specific molecular areas of brain cells named cannabinoid receptors. Similar chemicals to THC exist in the body naturally which form part of a neural communication network called the endocannabinoid system which plays an important role in normal brain function and development. The mind and body reach THC as a result of interaction with the nerve cells.
There are dangerous chemicals in marijuana which can affect different parts of the body. Certain diseases have been associated with smoking marijuana including liver disease (with co-existing Hepatitis C) lungs and heart. Some studies indicate increased rates of lung cancer while others do not. There has not, as yet, been a direct correlation between smoking marijuana and increased incidence of lung cancer. It has been noted, however, marijuana smoke may contain up to 50-57% more cancer-causing compounds than tobacco smoke.
Some physical side effects have been noticed in people who smoke marijuana. These include:
- decrease in immunity to diseases
- lung diseases
- breathing trouble
Other Health Concerns
Health issues are not just related to physical symptoms, there are also other factors which are impacted by marijuana use which can lead to physical challenges. Smoking marijuana is the more well known form, however, other methods of ingestion exist. No matter how it is consumed, marijuana use can lead to serious health complications, issues with safety, relationship and overall welfare. Some people who use marijuana also compound it by using alcohol or other drugs. Common health repercussions for this mix can include:
- anxiety, panic attacks and paranoia
- distorted perception
- loss of coordination
- problems with memory and learning
- reduced ability of immune system to fight disease
- difficulty with thinking and problem solving
Increasingly, states are seeking ways to bring marijuana use into the mainstream through legalization and use of medical marijuana. Chronic use, however, has long lasting physical side effects and impacts the health of users and others who inhale the smoke second hand. Marijuana can also be addictive which can lead to a decline in the ability to be motivated, retain gainful employment or generally take care of oneself.
If you or a loved one are struggling with chronic marijuana use or suspect an addiction, there is hope. Hired Power has trained counselors ready to assist you with questions and information regarding programs. Contact our Huntington Beach office today at 800-910-9299.