Effects of Marijuana on Your Body
The cannabis Sativa plant, also known as marijuana, can be smoked, vaped, or eaten. Many people primarily utilize it for recreational purposes. Furthermore, a rising number of doctors recommend it to treat various medical conditions and symptoms. In this post, you will learn about marijuana's effects in both potential and negative ways.
Table of contents
- Potential positive benefits of marijuana
- Marijuana can make you feel good
- It may help relieve some types of pain, including IBS
- It may help control epileptic seizures
- Women may experience more satisfying sex
- Athletes may see improvement in physical performance
- Potential negative downsides of marijuana
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Potential positive benefits of marijuana
Marijuana, in moderate amounts, may have beneficial health effects that impact your body, ranging from a good feeling to health advantages. Of course, keep in mind that everyone is different and that cannabis use for two people might have different reactions in each person. With that in mind, let's explore some of the positive health effects.
Marijuana can make you feel good
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), one of the active components, interacts with the brain's reward system, trained to respond to pleasurable experiences such as eating and sex.
The reward system produces sensations of bliss when marijuana is overexcited. This is also why, according to a study published in the PNAS, excessive marijuana use can be a problem for some people – the more you experience that euphoria, the less you will enjoy other pleasurable experiences. The sensory perception may decrease.
It may help relieve some types of pain, including IBS
The marijuana plant is known to contain up to 60 different cannabinoids. Also called CBD for short, is a molecule found in marijuana that does not get you high but is thought to be responsible for many of the drug's therapeutic effects.
Those benefits can include pain relief for the digestive system or potential treatment for regulating cancer processes - those being two of the multiple reasons people seek medical marijuana.
According to a 2014 study, some people with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) may benefit from marijuana use. For example, medical marijuana may help with gastrointestinal issues like anorexia, emesis, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and diabetic gastroparesis. However, in a follow-up study utilizing low-dose CBD, the researchers found no effect in the patients.
The same research suggests that 30 patients with Crohn's disease (CD) saw "improvement in disease activity and reduction in the use of other medications" with medical cannabis.
It may help control epileptic seizures
Epidiolex, a CBD drug, was authorized by the FDA in June 2018.
People with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two rare forms of epilepsy, can be administered the cannabinoid CBD. It is, in fact, the first FDA-approved Dravet syndrome therapeutic option. However, some safety and side effects they noticed during the clinical trial included sleepiness, exhaustion, decreased appetite, diarrhea, and insomnia.
Women may experience more satisfying sex
Research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that "out of the 373 participants, 34.0% reported having used marijuana before sexual activity. Most women reported increases in sex drive, improvement in orgasm, decrease in pain, but no change in lubrication."
Young people may have difficulty prioritizing their pleasures when they're suffering from stress, anxiety, or racing thoughts. Adding unexpected elements to the bedroom, on the other hand, may make the encounter more enjoyable.
Athletes may see improvement in physical performance
Marijuana use, according to some athletes, can improve athletic performance, particularly in endurance and adventure sports. This could be due to anti-inflammatory or pain-relieving properties that make it easier to push through or recuperate from many hours of working out.
Cannabis clinician Patricia Frye, M.D., chief medical officer at HelloMD, a startup focused on educating people about marijuana, says, "Both THC and CBD, the main compounds found in the cannabis plant, have anti-inflammatory, muscle-relaxing, and pain-relieving effects, which alleviate muscle soreness, muscle spasms, and arthritic joint pain. Athletes may be able to return to intense workouts faster because they feel better faster."
Potential negative downsides of marijuana
Marijuana contains mind-altering chemicals that impact both the brain and the body. It can become a marijuana addiction and is hazardous to some people's health.
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Potency Monitoring Project found that the average THC content in marijuana increased from less than 1% in 1972 to 3-4% in the 1990s to approximately 13% in 2010. Some retail marijuana now has 30% or higher THC. Marijuana's potency has increased, making it impossible to predict its short- and long-term effects.
It can make your heart race
Your heart rate and blood pressure rise when you use marijuana.
Simultaneously, smoking in general, whether tobacco smoke, marijuana smoke, or a combination of the two, lowers the blood's ability to carry oxygen throughout the body - creating an impact of combustion products like carbon monoxide. This combination increases the risk of a cardiac event such as a heart attack, especially during smoking and immediately after. We won't even get into what happens when smoked in large doses.
It can distort your sense of time
One of the most generally reported consequences of marijuana use is the sensation that time has sped up or slowed down. In one study, 44 people with varying levels of marijuana exposure were brought into the lab and instructed to perform two-time perception tests before, during, and after a THC dose.
According to the findings, when compared to their sober baseline values, people who were high overestimated time by up to 25% and underproduced time by up to 15%. Meanwhile, compared to their baseline levels, individuals who got a placebo showed no significant improvement in time estimates or productivity. That's why some workplaces require their employees to take drug tests either regularly, randomly, or yearly. Putting your and others' lives in danger is the last thing anybody wants.
In summary, those with more THC in their system experienced a speeding up their internal, subjective time—making them feel as if external, objective time passed more slowly. After they sobered up, however, these effects disappeared.
It could increase the risk of depression
Scientists can't say whether the one concern frequently raised- the link between marijuana and depression - is actual or not.
Established as a risk factor for heart disease, depression impairs a patient's ability to embrace healthier lifestyle choices. Many people believe that marijuana usage might be the cause of it.
However, it's a causality dilemma. According to Dr. Pipe, "we don't know whether marijuana causes depression or whether people who are sad use marijuana at least in part to self-medicate." In any case, it highlights yet another area in which additional research is required.
However, a Dutch study reveals that smoking marijuana may increase the risk of depression in young people who already have a particular serotonin gene that makes them more susceptible.
Men could experience affected sperm count
In brief research of 37 men, researchers discovered that men who used marijuana had lower sperm counts than those who did not. The study did not specify the marijuana ingestion methods employed in the trial.
In another study, though, marijuana was proven to boost men's sperm count. A total of 1,215 healthy young males were included in this investigation. They discovered that males who use marijuana now or in the past have greater sperm counts and concentrations than men who have never used it.
It can affect the lungs but doesn't seem to increase the risk of lung cancer
A study, Pulmonary effects of marijuana inhalation suggests that smoking marijuana has been linked to lung health, damage large airway mucosa, and potentially play a role in bullous disease.
Nonetheless, the study was limited by the variety of effects of weed and the difficulty of performing studies due to its illegal status. The method of ingesting marijuana may also change the outcome and the mixture of smoking both tobacco and marijuana.
However, another study pointed out that it's impossible to establish whether these occur more frequently among marijuana smokers than the general population.
Despite the research, there are still many questions surrounding marijuana use and its effects
Based on the available evidence and research, there are good reasons to think that there are potentially beneficial effects of marijuana for medical uses. At the same time, we know that, as with any substance, not all use is risk-free. Understanding the ways your body may react, whether, for pleasure or medical reasons, it's best to educate yourself beforehand.
For the latter, be sure to consult with your doctor to provide medical advice fit for your needs, including dosage and frequency of use. Let us know in the comments what point stood out to you!
This is really interesting to learn about. In school, we were always taught that marijuana is a gateway drug but I’ve seen the benefits of medicinal marijuana because a friend of mine uses it to treat a stomach illness she suffers from. It’s worked wonders for her health and general mood.
Marijuana’s effect on our body is fascinating. As a medical student, I found this helpful.
Marijuana should be used only as a remedy. Paranoia, laziness, and lack of interest will quickly turn into depression and alienation and can lead to a complete lack of interest in life, and even suicide.
I’ve always been curious as to how marijuana works on the body! Thanks for this post.