Effects of Marijuana
What are the effects of marijuana? What are the side effects and the beneficial effects of this drug? In this guide that’s the question that we aim to answer, providing you with an unbiased viewpoint as we so often do.
Before we look at the ways that marijuana can effect blood pressure and ask “is weed bad for you?” let’s cover the basics. Here are a list of the most common effects (or side effects, if you prefer) from smoking marijuana. Similar effects will be felt from eating the drug and from consuming pills and other forms of cannabis:
Positive Effects of Weed:
- Feelings of creativity
- Lowered inhibitions
- Hunger and increased appreciation of food (known as the “munchies”)
- Heightened senses
Negative Effects of Weed:
- Feelings of panic
- Changes to blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Trouble concentrating
- Decreased coordination
- Trouble completing simple tasks
Marijuana and Blood Pressure
There is a lot of confusing statements and beliefs out there concerning Marijuana and blood pressure. Does weed raise blood pressure? Does weed lower blood pressure? Well, the truth is that it’s a bit of both and it all depends on the use and the dose.
Immediately after Marijuana use blood pressure will increase. The level of increase depends on the dose. The more you take, the higher it will be. But it’s rare for there to be any drastic increases that you need to worry about.
However, there seems to be an opposite effect in those with a tolerance and those who have used for long periods—they seem to suffer from lowered blood pressure. When you consider that as many as 35% of Americans have high blood pressure, this could even be considered to be a positive.
Either way, blood pressure should be monitored. Only then can you make sure you are staying healthy throughout this process.
Smoking Weed While Pregnant
Should you smoke marijuana while pregnant? This is a question that many pregnant women have asked, but one that is not easy to answer. There isn’t a great deal of information out there concerning the effects of cannabis while pregnant, but there is enough to cause concern.
Pregnant women have considered using cannabis to get rid of morning success and the general malaise that comes with carrying an unborn human around for nine months. But this is a clear concern and one that needs a little thought.
The good news is that it’s probably not as bad as cigarettes. It is the nicotine and all of the other chemicals in cigarettes that are cause for concern with pregnant women, as opposed to the smoke itself. However, THC does have an effect on heart rate, brain activity and more, so it’s not something that can be recommended in the long term.
Not only that, but there are studies that suggest that the drug crosses the placenta, which means the baby is consuming it as well. Regardless of your stance on this drug, you have to admit that it’s probably not safe for an unborn baby to consume.
Smoking Weed While Breastfeeding
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics there has only been 1 report of a baby having negative effects as a result of the mother consuming marijuana while breastfeeding. However, that doesn’t mean that it is safe to smoke weed when you’re breastfeeding.
For one thing, this is a time when you need to be at your most alert. The baby needs a lot of care and support. Being under the influence of a drug like this will not help that. Secondly, even if there is only a slight chance of it doing the baby any harm then it should be avoided.
Smoking cannabis while breastfeeding might take away the stress of using a young baby. It might help with sleep, sickness and everything else. But it’s probably not a trade off that you want to make.
Effects of Marijuana Withdrawal
Marijuana withdrawal is a real thing. And the effects of marijuana withdrawal are far from pleasant or easy to overcome. It is something that isn’t always as well respected or appreciated in the medical community. And that’s purely because there is no physical addiction here. However, there are definitely marijuana withdrawal symptoms and this is an unpleasant thing for anyone to go through. Like all withdrawals, weed withdrawal is unpleasant enough to force people back to using the drug as soon as they begin to feel those symptoms.
The good news is that there are few, if any, physiological symptoms. There are many psychological symptoms though and there are also a few other issues that may be a result of the drug or the negative health effects caused by abuse of the drug. These include:
- Depression and Anxiety: These can be symptoms of heavy use. They can also occur because addicts withdraw from society and distance themselves from the world.
- Poor Health: Excessive smoking and lack of activity can lead to breathing problems through cannabis withdrawal. These can often mimic certain withdrawal symptoms that are present in alcohol withdrawal and opiate withdrawal.
- Cravings: The need will always be there. This is true of any drug that is used for a long time and it can drive the user around the bend.
- Sleep Loss: Sleep problems arise from the fact that they have relied on weed to calm them down and sedate them for so long. Without it they may feel like their mind is racing and they can’t shut down.
One of the main issues with regards to marijuana withdrawal is the fact that there is usually a reason the person was addicted in the first place. They might have been an anxious or depressed person looking for a pick-me-up. They might have had social anxiety issues and were hoping for a release, or they might have suffered abuse.
Whatever the reason, when the drug is no longer there then all of those issues come rushing back and they can feel like they are worse than ever. Battling with these issues are often the biggest marijuana withdrawal symptom that a person has to overcome.
There are many “fake weed” products on the market. These seem to have grown in popularity just as weed was being legalized across the United States. These are a different drug altogether, although there has been concern amongst marijuana users that the chemicals used in synthetic weed are being sprayed on real weed in order to make them more potent.
The truth is, this is probably not very common. There is certainly a chance that it is happening; it seems a likely way for unscrupulous dealers to increase the potency of low quality weed. But it’s highly unlikely to be a common thing.
To learn more about this synthetic drug, visit our page on Synthetic Weed Addiction.
Is Weed Bad for You?
The belief that weed is a gateway drug is a common misconception. While some hard drug users do begin by using cannabis, there is nothing to suggest that this drug led them to other drugs. If that was the case, then alcohol would be a bigger gateway drug, as most drug addicts had their first drink before they first used drugs.
The simple fact is that if people want to use drugs then they will. And while one opiate may lead to another and one stimulant may lead to another, there is nothing to suggest that cannabis leads to anything else. The reports suggest that only a small number of people who use cannabis go on to use hard drugs like heroin.
Once you remove those concerns then there are only a few worries. The first is that no smoking is healthy and it can lead to lung cancer. The second is that heavy marijuana use in developing minds and unstable minds can trigger mental illnesses. The final issue is that one of the main effects of marijuana is that can make a person less productive, more paranoid and more anxious. Although this typically only occurs in people with other issues present and there are functioning members of society who use cannabis on a regular basis.