Long Term Effects of Marijuana Addiction
Long term effects of marijuana use continues to be a debated topic, but research has found that smoking can lead to respiratory problems with a higher risk of lung infections or obstructed airways because of the inhaled irritants and carcinogens. Studies have also shown that marijuana may affect the body’s immune system by impairing the ability of T-cells in the lungs to fight infections. Cancer and other cardiac problems may be related to chronic marijuana smokers because the same cancer causing chemicals that are in tobacco may also be in the smoke of marijuana. Inhaling the smoke of marijuana deeper and holding it in longer may add more exposure to carcinogenic toxins than tobacco smoking thereby increasing the odds of long term effects. Long term use may produce a psychological dependency where the addict feels a compelling need to use in order to function daily and deal with stress, pain, or other problems.
How Marijuana Addiction Effects the Psyche
Short term effects of marijuana use include memory loss, distorted perceptions, lack of coordination, and trouble thinking or problem solving. The euphoric effects of marijuana inhibit responses of the brain and body causing a slowed response to reactions and may be the main attraction when abusing this drug. Marijuana’s active ingredient is THC which attaches to the cannabinoid receptors on nerve cells and influences pleasure, memory, thought, concentration, sensory and time perception, as well as coordination and movement. These effects will vary with usage and duration while alternative effects may occur when combined with alcohol or other drugs. The calming effect and its inclination for relaxation are typically the most desired effect for most users while chronic users may feel less able or unable to perform normal functions without it. High doses of marijuana may cause hallucinations, impaired memory and disorientation with long term effects producing anxiety, distrust, panic , and impaired memory.
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Physical Long Term Effects of Marijuana Addiction
Long term physical effects of marijuana use can be linked to respiratory ailments especially when the user smokes tobacco in conjunction with marijuana. Reduced immunity is also linked to long term use of marijuana and may be a contributing factor to many other diseases or physical impairments. It is important to remember that the smoke intake of marijuana affects the basic functions of the lungs, brain, central nervous system, and heart. Through the ingestion of foreign substances as well as the carcinogenic substances, these occurrences may increase the possibility of permanently harmful conditions.
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