A few weeks ago, New Jersey became the latest state to allow recreational marijuana dispensaries. Customers stood in line for hours for the first chance to legally purchase a substance that many said helped them with various things, from relaxation to relieving chronic medical conditions. There is evidence that marijuana may be medically beneficial. But marijuana, like any substance, affects people differently. Here are five things smoking marijuana every day can do to your body. Read on to find out more and to ensure your health and that of others, don’t miss out on these Sure signs you’ve already had COVID.
“The most common use of medical marijuana in the United States is for pain control,” writes Peter Grinspoon, MD, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Although marijuana isn’t strong enough for severe pain (for example, post-surgical pain or a broken bone), it’s effective enough for the chronic pain that afflicts millions of Americans, especially as they get older.” Cannabis can be effective for muscle and nerve pains. It has also been studied for the relief of headache, insomniaAnd fibromyalgia.
Marijuana is renowned for being a relaxant, but in some people it can have the opposite effect, causing anxiety, paranoia and even panic attacks, or exacerbating other mental health problems. “Marijuana use can cause cognitive impairment and should be used with caution if you have a mental health condition,” says the Mayo Clinic. “Marijuana use could worsen manic symptoms in people who have bipolar disorder. If used frequently, marijuana could increase the risk of depression or worsen symptoms of depression.”
Although smoking marijuana, unlike tobacco, has not been found to increase the risk of lung cancer, its smoking can cause lung problems. “Marijuana smoke irritates the lungs and people who smoke marijuana frequently can have the same respiratory problems as those who smoke tobacco,” states the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). “These problems include daily cough and phlegm, more frequent lung disease and a higher risk of lung infections.”
Smoking marijuana has been found to increase blood pressure, which can be hard on your heart. “Marijuana increases heart rate for up to three hours after smoking,” says NIDA. “This effect can increase the chance of heart attack. Older people and those with heart problems may be more at risk.”
A study conducted in 2021 by the AAA found that people who drank alcohol and then smoked marijuana were more likely to commit violations such as red lights, speeding and distracted driving. According to the National Institutes Of Health, the use of cannabis has been connected to an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents. “Some people who use cannabis develop a cannabis use disorder, which has symptoms such as craving, withdrawal, lack of control and negative effects on personal and professional responsibilities,” the agency says. And to protect your life and that of others, don’t visit any of these 35 places you’re most likely to get COVID.
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor whose health and lifestyle content has also been featured on Beachbody and Openfit. Writer for Eat This, Not That !, he has also been published in New York, Architectural Digest, Interview and many more. Read more