People in the world of medicine and research and even ordinary people are still debating on what the long term effects of marijuana are. Does it really have bad effects in the body and mental health? Can you really get dependent to it? Does it really cause emotional, physical and mental instability? With the internet bombarding us with the opposing ideas, we don’t know what or who to believe in anymore.
But it is good to keep ourselves informed and knowledgeable about how something can affect us. What are the long term effects of marijuana to our body?
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It can Weaken the Immune System
The long term effects of marijuana on the immune system is still not certain as of this time but clinical studies done on both humans and animal showed that marijuana decreases the ability of our lungs to fight off infection making the person more susceptible to infection and lung diseases.
It can Lead to Cancer
Smoking marijuana has been linked to testicular cancer. Cannabis contains even higher amount of cancer-causing chemical than tobacco smoke but it is not yet clear whether marijuana causes other types of cancer since those who are marijuana users also smoke cigarette.
It can be Dangerous to the Lungs
Since the most common form of consuming marijuana is by smoking a rolled joint of it, it can possibly cause bad effects to the lungs. However, a study pointed out that there is not enough evidence to prove that marijuana can indeed cause harm to the lungs since most users are also heavy tobacco smokers.
It can cause a Decline in Memory and Intelligence
Chronic marijuana users who started to smoke at a young age, especially before puberty, are in a high risk for an irreversible cognitive impairment.
You can be Dependent and may Experience Withdrawal When You Stop
There are others who claim that you cannot get dependent on marijuana and stopping marijuana cannot give you withdrawal symptoms. However, there are chronic marijuana users who have testified to have gone through withdrawal symptoms upon ceasing use of marijuana. Although mild and easily managed, there are still some things the users experienced that can be comparable to a withdrawal symptom.
Mental and Emotional Health Problems
This includes acute psychosis, chronic psychosis, schizophrenia, severe anxiety, suicidal behavior and depression. Although now medicinally used to help treat some of those disorders like depression and anxiety, there are claims that long time and heavy use of marijuana can actually lead to some of these mental disorders.
Heavy use of marijuana has been said to cause changes in the structure of the brain and a change in the brain’s structure could also mean a change in the way it functions so it is really a possibility that marijuana can cause these conditions once abused, used for a long time and when the person started using marijuana at such a young age.
Moderation is still the key here. It won’t cause you harm if you don’t abuse it and use it responsibly. Remember that too much of something can either make you crazy or kill you.