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NCBI Bookshelf. Mack A, Joy J. Marijuana as Medicine?
Marijuanaweed, pot, dope, grass. You can smoke it, vape it, drink it, or eat it.
You can get “high”
Most folks use marijuana for pleasure and recreation. But a growing of doctors prescribe it for specific medical conditions and symptoms. Marijuana has mind-altering compounds that affect both your brain and body. The main psychoactive ingredient, THC, stimulates the part of your brain that responds to pleasure, like food and sex. That unleashes a chemical called dopaminewhich gives you a euphoric, relaxed feeling. If you vape or smoke weed, the THC could get into your bloodstream quickly enough for you to get your high in seconds or minutes.
Can you get addicted to cannabis?
The THC level usually peaks in about 30 minutes, and its effects may wear off in hours. If you drink or eat pot, it make take many hours for you to fully sober up. You may not always know how potent your recreational marijuana might be. That also goes for most medical marijuana. It often can leave you anxious, afraid, or panicked. Using pot may raise your chances for clinical depression or worsen the symptoms of any mental disorders you already have.
Marijuana can cloud your senses and judgment.
It might:. About 1 in 10 people who use pot will become addicted. The risk is greater the younger you start marijuana and the more heavily you use it. For instance, the odds of addiction are 1 in 6 if you use pot in your teens. It might be as high as 1 in 2 among those who use it every day. You could also grow physically dependent on marijuana.
Marijuana: how can it affect your health?
Your body could go into withdrawal, leaving you irritable, restless, unable to sleepand uninterested in eating. Learn more about how to spot the s of marijuana addiction. Marijuana can make it harder for you to focus, learn, and remember things. This seems to be a short-term effect that lasts for 24 hours or longer after you stop smoking. But using pot heavily, especially in your teen years, may leave more permanent effects.
Imaging tests with some -- but not all -- adolescents found that marijuana may physically change their brains. Specifically, they had fewer connections in parts of the brain linked to alertness, learning, and memory, and tests show lower IQ scores in some people.
What is marijuana?
Pot smoke can inflame and irritate your lungs. If you use it regularly, you could have the same breathing problems as someone who smokes cigarettes. That could mean ongoing cough with colored mucus.
Your lungs may more easily pick up infections. Medical marijuana is legal in some form in a majority of states. And more than 10 states and Washington, DC, have legalized recreational pot. Limited research shows that medicinal pot might help:. Many people who use weed regularly notice that it boosts their appetite. Marijuana makes your heart work harder. Normally the heart beats about 50 to 70 times a minute. But that can jump to 70 to beats or more per minute for 3 hours after the effects of pot kick in.
The added strain plus tar and other chemicals in pot may raise your chance of heart attack or stroke. More than 1 in 10 drinkers say they have used marijuana in the past year. Combining alcohol and pot at the same time roughly doubled the odds of drunk driving or legal, professional, or personal problems compared to drinking alone.
Mothers who smoke pot while pregnant face a higher risk of giving birth to underweight or premature babies. Limited evidence suggests that heavy marijuana use may lead to one type of testicular cancer. Some people use CBD to treat pain, seizuresand other health problems.
Where there's smoke, there's harm
You can use pot in a variety of ways. Smoking usually offers the quickest way to feel its effects:. You also can mix pot into brownies, cookies, candy, teaand other foods. Eating and drinking the drug delay the high because it has to travel through your digestive system before the THC gets into your bloodstream. So it may take 30 minutes to 2 hours before you feel anything.
But edibles give you a high that lasts much longer -- up to 8 hours -- than if you smoke or vape weed. It's in the news as more and more states legalize it. But what is it used for? Studies show that marijuana may help several conditions. It's most commonly prescribed for chemotherapy side effects like nausea, vomiting, or weight loss.
Muscle spasms and stiffness caused by multiple sclerosis. Various pain syndromes and seizures. It can be taken several ways. Inhaled, either through smoke or vapor, as an edible like in a cookie or an herbal tea, or as a liquid under the tongue. But marijuana is not without side effects. It can cause dizziness, confusion, and drowsiness.
It can worsen some mental illnesses like depression. And like cigarettes, when smoked, it can hurt your lungs. So if you live in a legal state, talk to your doctor. Like any treatment, you can weigh the benefits and risks to determine if medical marijuana is right for you.
Arefa Cassoobhoy. Your Lungs May Hurt Pot smoke can inflame and irritate your lungs. Limited research shows that medicinal pot might help: Ongoing pain This is the most common use and a well-proven benefit of medical marijuana. Stiff muscles or muscle spasms from multiple sclerosis. People with Can weed be dangerous report stronger improvements compared to measurements by experts Sleep problems for those with fibromyalgiaMS, and sleep apnea Anxiety Loss of appetite and weight loss in people with AIDS Nausea or throwing up from chemotherapy Seizures from epilepsy Dravet syndrome or Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
Continued You May Feel Hungrier Many people who use weed regularly notice that it boosts their appetite. Your Newborn Might Be Underweight Mothers who smoke pot while pregnant face a higher risk of giving birth to underweight or premature babies.
Continued Ways to Use Marijuana You can use pot in a variety of ways. Smoking usually offers the quickest way to feel its effects: Rolled cigarettes Small handheld pipes Water pipes, called a bong A cigar that has been hollowed out and refilled with marijuana, called a blunt Sticky resins drawn from the cannabis plant. Resins often are loaded with much higher amounts of THC than regular marijuana You also can mix pot into brownies, cookies, candy, teaand other foods.