Updated: May 3, 2020
Cannabis has many impacts on the body. Most are positive (both short and long term). However, there are negative effects that every consumer should be aware of.
Whatever the evolution of legalization, it is responsible for saying that cannabis has an impact. This drug is powerful because it can affect many interactions in the body.
How cannabis affects an individual's overall health is a different problem. The research about the drug is still in its infancy. That said, there are still some of its effects that are well known in science, whether positive or negative.
Cannabis is far from being used in the same way by all its users, which makes it possible to discover many positive effects from its consumption. For example, medical patients often experience different experiences than those experienced by recreational users.
Many of the mysteries surrounding cannabis will be solved with the evolution of research. Knowledge of the endocannabinoid system is still in its infancy, as is the understanding of the good and bad effects of these molecules.
The short-term impact of marijuana can be both positive and negative. From a negative point of view, many testimonies tell of short-term memory disturbances. Anxiety, as well as paranoia, are also common symptoms. Some also tell of psychosis. This includes hallucinations and extreme fears. The negative effects can produce panic attacks, hallucinations, up to the experience of loss of personal identity. Cannabis can also speed up the heart rate. This increases the risk of heart attacks. Coordination may also be reduced. Taking cannabis leads in some cases to impotence, especially in men. It is, however, true that cannabis has very good short-term effects. The first is the feeling of relaxation as well as euphoria. In fact, many patients do not report the same negative symptoms as recreational users. Many patients with sclerosis, for example, report significant reductions in pain as well as anxiety. Marijuana attaches in the brain to an area called the Amygdala, reducing responses to potential threats. Cannabis can also stop tremors and various muscle spasms in the short term. When it is consumed by healthy people, it implies a rapid disappearance of pain, especially muscle pain. There are many positive effects in the short term. This includes more peaceful sleep and reduced pain. Consumers also report a better feeling of well-being. Many users also echo that occasional consumption can act as a powerful aphrodisiac.
The longer-term effects are varied. Consumption by teens and pre-teens, in particular, can have extremely harmful long-term side effects. This mainly results in a decrease in IQ, specifically the following exposure during pregnancy. Early consumption seems to lead to poorer academic results. An imbalance in the ability to learn and perform complex tasks can also be induced. Heavy regular consumers tend to have a decrease in happiness and have a higher risk of developing an " addiction ". Long-term chronic users testify to difficulties in finding employment.
After stopping heavy smoking, most users will experience withdrawal symptoms. This includes insomnia and significant nervousness. These symptoms tend to improve fairly quickly, although some may last for several months.
Long-term negative effects can include an alteration in the hormonal cycle, especially with the interruption of menstrual cycles. Smokers may also experience increased mucus production as well as a strong cough. Weaning after heavy use can induce unwanted psychological symptoms. This includes depression and irritability. The gastric system can also be affected, in particular by changes in appetite, stomach pains as well as weight gain or loss. Long-term consumers may also experience tremors and sweating immediately after stopping.
The buildup of tar in the lungs is also a negative impact of long-term use of this drug. However, it is reversible.
It has been proven that cannabis has a lasting influence on receptors in the regions of the brain essential for cognitive actions: considerable drop in attention, a significant increase in reaction time compared to an individual who has never used it, and memory loss. Consumers also take longer to recognize emotions (joy, anger, sadness) because THC decreases the activity of the area of the brain necessary to identify them. Finally, cannabis causes a progressive decrease in the activity of the immune system. People who consume will be more prone to contracting so-called common diseases (flu, infections, colds).
Cannabis causes a form of apathy in the consumer who no longer feels any desire. In people who are depressed, anxious, or psychologically unstable, cannabis use can lead to mental health problems. In addition, the most lasting and notorious deficits are felt in decision-making, the ability to create concepts and plan them
However, there are many more positive impacts on cannabis use in the long term, starting with greater relaxation as well as an overall reduction in anxiety. This also includes lower BMI levels. Regular cannabis users tend to have lower BMI scores and lower waist sizes than those who do not.
Regular users also report not gaining weight as quickly. Cannabis can act as a metabolic stabilizer, helping to prevent obesity and diabetes.
Its impact on creativity can also be misunderstood. Many people use drugs to improve the performance of certain types of tasks. This applies, in particular, to work requiring new thoughts, ideas, and procedures.
EFFECTS ON SICK PEOPLE
The amount of positive effects of medical cannabis far exceeds the negative aspects. It is also poorly understood how "side effects" differ between medical and recreational users. Cannabis acts on the endocannabinoid system, resulting in the regulation of metabolic functions. This means that a deregulated system may react differently when absorbing and using cannabinoids. For example, cannabinoids are one of the best remedies for pain and chronic psychological disorders. This includes a wide range of disorders, ranging from depression to post-traumatic stress.
Cannabis is a plant, also known as hemp. Its geographic origin remains uncertain, but it is in China that the oldest traces of its use were found, more than 8000 years ago. In Quebec, the first cultures of cannabis were born in the early 1600s. It was apothecary Louis Hébert who cultivated it for its medicinal properties.
The plant contains a few drugs, but the main one is THC, short for TetraHydroCannabinol. THC is a retarder for the central nervous system. Cannabis is usually consumed in the form of a smoking joint (marijuana, hashish, or cannabis oil). The effects occur within three minutes of inhalation and last approximately 2 hours: the heart rate increases, the blood vessels dilate (red eyes), the production of saliva decreases (dry mouth), the blood sugar level decreases ( food rage is coming ) ...
In the brain, it causes a feeling of relaxation and carefree, good humor, and laughter are there, ideas are scattered. Inhibitions drop a bit and short-term memory is affected (you lose your mind). Concentration is difficult and the ability to learn is reduced. We feel less energetic. The perception of time is disturbed. At higher doses, one becomes amorphous and drowsy.
Cannabis is considered in many countries to be drug harmful to health. First, the plant alters consumers' memory capacities. Second, statistical studies often associate cannabis smokers with poor academic or professional performance. People who smoke weed are more likely to fall into delinquency than others, or to become psychologically fragile. All these reasons make it illegal to use cannabis in many countries.
On the other hand, one cannot deny its good sides: the plant has medicinal virtues.
Above all, it is capable of reducing the pain of the sick. This is why several European countries and some American states authorize the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes, which is to say under the responsibility of a doctor. The herb remains both dangerous and illegal, but in some very specific cases (for example, for patients with cancer or AIDS), it can do good to patients who have great difficulty living.
Since 2018, the sale, possession, and use of cannabis for recreational purposes have been legal in Canada.