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5 Alarming Marijuana Health Effects

Marijuana is one of the most widely used illicit drugs in the United States. The debate for legalization-whether for medicinal or recreational use-is never ending. Its effects on a person’s overall health is studied more than ever before. The marijuana health effects-while not as damaging as other illicit drugs- still pose a threat to a user’s overall well-being. The more educated a person becomes about marijuana, the clearer it will become to them that marijuana use can indeed have a negative impact on their life.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana users who have taken large doses of the drug may experience an acute psychosis, which includes hallucinations, delusions, and a loss of the sense of personal identity.

What are Some Alarming Marijuana Health Effects Known?

If you or a loved one regularly smoke or use marijuana in any other way, then knowing how it can negatively affect your health both physically and psychologically is important. Some people think that using marijuana is not harmful at all. Still others have reported certain unpleasant effects while high on the substance. Many report that some of the effects remain even after the high is gone. Here are 5 known effects caused from using marijuana:

marijuana abuse

Marijuana can have serious long-term impacts on a person’s physical health.

  • Harmful to lungs: Smoking marijuana can be just as damaging as tobacco, or even more dangerous to the lungs. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana has the potential to promote cancer of the lungs and other parts of the respiratory tract because it contains irritants and carcinogens—up to 70 percent more than tobacco smoke.
  • Learning and memory: Regular use of marijuana can affect a user’s memory. It can make learning and retaining information more difficult. According to Brown University, one study also found that long-term use reduces the ability to organize and integrate complex information.
  • Mental health: Frequent marijuana use may also have an effect on mental health. It has been linked to psychosis, especially for those that have a family history of suffering from mental health illness. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, marijuana use has been linked to other health problems, such as depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and personality disturbances, including a lack of interest in rewarding activities.
  • Addiction: Some users find it very difficult to quit marijuana use. Long-term use has shown that marijuana can become addictive for some users. Many cannot be without it. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people that try to quit report irritability, sleeping difficulties, craving, and anxiety.
  • Pregnancy: Smoking marijuana while pregnant can cause health problems for the unborn child, including the expectant mother. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, smoking can pass carbon monoxide to the unborn child, disrupting the oxygen supply and can result in growth issues, possible premature birth, miscarriage or stillbirth.

While the effects of marijuana use may affect users in different ways, the more it is used long-term, the more serious the health complications can become, and may pose serious danger to a user’s overall well-being, both psychologically and physically.

Getting Help with Marijuana Dependence

If you or someone you love is concerned about the negative marijuana health effects mentioned above, and have been trying to quit, it is recommended to seek professional help by contacting a substance abuse specialist. These licensed specialists can provide you or a loved one with resources and information to take control and safely stop using marijuana.