Positive and negative effects of marijuana
Weed or marijuana has become popular over the years in the west and now is highly consumed for either medicinal purposes or for recreation.
Due to its popularity, it has been commercially employed at a wide scale and the cannabis industry was reported to have an up rise after it’s legalization, according to reports in the 2019 the market was overflowing with nearly tones of different strains of weed which also brought revenue and profits to the growing industry.
Although it’s growing use by the public raised many concerns whether it would have a positive or negative impact on the health of the consumers, so a lot of research was carried out which proved that it’s effects on an individual depends upon the kind, strain, quantity of the weed used by an individual.
It is important to know the anatomy of the cannabis (weed) plant to get to know what constituents are of therapeutic use or of greater potency.
The scientific name of the weed plant is Cannabis Stavita the plant is naturally indigenous to the eastern Asia but now has been cultivated in different regions too due to technology based growing systems which includes the specialized indoor-outdoor, the Hydroponic and aeroponic systems.
The plant has both male and female parts (hermaphrodite) or are unisexual depending upon the kind or strain , but mostly for recreational purpose the female plant is prioritized because its leaves are dried and used in bongs or cigarettes and it’s parts are free from pollens as of male provides the pollens and is although not cultivated for use but is important for further breeding and cultivation of the plant.
The flower and the bracts of the female plant are rich in trichomes which are leaf shaped parts and contain most of the potent constituents which are called as cannabinoids which gives the plant it’s aroma and contains most of the essential oil, which has found to contain THC (TETRAHYDROCANNIBINOL) and CBD (CANNABIDIOL) in abundance which are widely employed for its use medicinally and recreationally.
Cannabis was first classified as a controlled substance and was placed under schedule i under the controlled substances Act but later on its use was legalized by the federal law. Although it’s long-term or short-term use can have an impact on the human body. Following are the positive and negative impacts of weed.
Negative Effects of Weed
Some of the acute side effects of the drug include euphoria, altered sensory perception, dependency, increased appetite. Some of the long-term effects include:
- Respiratory Disorders: Weed is commonly dried and used as cigarettes and is smoked, it is reported to have develop respiratory disorders on long-term use which includes bronchitis, wheezing, coughing, phlegm and even asthma evidence shows that it has also been linked to lung cancers too. However, much research is to be conducted in this area as a solution now e-cigarettes or vapes have been introduced to counter its effects.
- Cardiovascular Disorders: The use of marijuana has reported in an increase in the heart rate and blood pressure as it can make the heart beat faster, dilating blood vessels and can make the heart pump harder, using it frequently can also increase CVD but although there is less evidence in this area.
- Central Nervous Systems: THC is reported to have major negative effects on the brain as it is a psychoactive drug and can is reported to have worsen the effects of schizophrenia and paranoia. THC acts basically on the endocannabinoid system of the brain and can alter the hippocampus chemistry of the brain which is responsible for cognition, learning and the basal ganglia which controls the balance and co-ordination, although it is believed to be short-term or only when the person is on the drug, but it is advised to not drive while under the influence of weed as one should wait 3-4 hours after intake of it as a precautionary measure.
- Withdrawal symptoms: Most of the withdrawal symptoms may vary from person to person and depends on the duration and amount of weed used. Most of the people experience many physiological and physical symptoms: Headaches, stomach irritability, mood swings, loss of thinking, cognition, insomnia etc. Although its withdrawal symptoms are less severe as compared to other substances like heroin, cocaine, LSD or alcohol.
Positive Effects of Weed
Despite its negative effects weed also has a greater role in improving the quality of life of many patients and can also improve the quality of life in many individuals:
- Chemotherapy: Medicinal weed is used to elevate the pain which is a major con of the treatments and often make the patient’s life miserable. CBD and THC both have reported to weakened the multiplication of cells and also made them more susceptible to radiations of the chemotherapeutic treatments.
- Tourettes-Syndrome: It is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, involuntary movements or sounds which are referred as TICS. It can be due to environmental or genetic factors; THC-CBD sprays has showed a marked progress in the suppression of repetitive or involuntary movements but clinical studies are yet to be made in this manner.
- Glaucoma: Studies have shown that the use of Cannabis has led to a decrease in the intra-ocular pressure of the eye and has led to the treatment of glaucoma, a condition in which there is increased in the intra ocular pressure which can lead to optic nerve damage.
- Epilepsy: CBD has an increased effect in treating epilepsy and has shown to decrease seizures in patients usually children, CBD has found to have anti-convulsant effects and has found to treat two kinds of epilepsy successfully which includes Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
Due to its therapeutic potency weed can also be used widely to treat a lot of disorders but one must ensure that the quality and appropriate dose for that many stores and online-dispensaries have been set up for instance budstars. Although its tolerance is developed over the years and can cause dependency when used over a period of time but dependency or addiction has only been reported in 10% of the individuals. Over the years, its positive effects have outweighed its negative effects and has gained popularity as well as acceptance in the society.
Story by Waqas Baig