More Than Just a Toke: The Long Term Effects of Weed


Marijuana is increasingly becoming the most abused recreation drug on the market today.

Several jurisdictions began legalizing the drug on basis that it can be used for medicinal purposes. Though most users believe that it’s harmless, marijuana actually has negative long term effects on the human body.

The long term effects of weed range from memory loss to damage on body organs such as the lungs and heart.

Read on to learn more about them below.

1. Memory Loss

Smoking weed on a daily basis can affect the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that facilitates short-term memory. As a response to the question, “how does marijuana affect the brain”, you may find it hard to learn new things.

The brain may also stop processing new memories when you smoke marijuana. Heavy marijuana smokers tend to develop false memories from drug abuse.

Weed smokers who are still teenagers have higher chances of suffering from memory loss than the grown ones.

What’s more, marijuana smokers are likely to experience difficulties when carrying out cognitive tasks. Such inferences indicate that cannabis affects people’s memory and thinking power.

2. Lung Damage

One popular misconception about weed is that is unlikely to damage the lungs. Daily marijuana use may cause lung damage or weaken your respiratory tracts.

Smoking weed can also cause lung conditions including chronic bronchitis, lung cancer and emphysema. Note that marijuana smoke tends to irritate the lungs and throat and can cause coughing.

Marijuana smokers have high chances of experiencing lung hyperinflation, increased airway resistance and large airway inflammation.

They’re also likely to visit the hospital more often than non-smokers seeking treatment for these respiratory problems.

3. Depression and Anxiety

Marijuana users tend to resolve to weed as a means for fighting their anxiety and depressive disorders. However, they’re unaware that anxiety and depression are among the top weed problems.

Cannabis can increase the risks of suffering from a psychiatric disorder such as schizophrenia. The drug can also put you at risk of developing psychosis.

Mental disorders such as anxiety and depression are characterized by extreme sadness and hopelessness. They can also trigger social anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

Instead of using weed to cope with anxiety or depression, consider seeking out a professional psychiatrist. 

4. Addiction

Also known as tetrahydrocannabinol, THC is the active chemical compound present in marijuana.

The human body naturally produces endocannabinoids, which help regulate metabolism, minimize inflammation and relax muscles just like THC does.

The difference between THC and endocannabinoids is that the former is an addictive chemical compound while the latter doesn’t have any negative effects on the body.

The reason most people get hooked on weed is that they want to experience sensations that exceed those given by endocannabinoids. Addiction is among the marijuana long term effects.

Weed is also one of the few drugs that can produce a psychoactive element to mimic the body’s endocannabinoids.

5. Fertility Issues

Long term exposure to THC can reduce the production of sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone in women and testosterone in men. When the body fails to produce these hormones in surplus, it may be difficult for a man to give out healthy sperms.

A woman may also have difficulties while trying to get pregnant. Smoking weed while pregnant can hinder the fetus from growing and developing into a healthy baby.

Consider checking into a weed addiction rehab center if you’re struggling with marijuana use.

6. Heart Damage

Toxic chemicals introduced into the body by smoking or feeding may enter the bloodstream and increase the risks of getting a heart attack.

Weed usually produces smoke that comprises of chemicals such as hydrogen cyanide and ammonia when it’s burning. Such chemical compounds can affect the heart rhythm and make one vulnerable to developing stroke.

Cannabis is also known to induce the coronary syndrome, which is characterized by irregularities in the blood flowing to the heart.

Patients with a history of heart attacks or other cardiovascular disorders are at risk of experiencing heart failure when they indulge in heavy weed smoking. Most cardiologists caution such patients against consuming marijuana.

One of the ways of surviving heart failure is by getting a heart transplant, which is expensive to perform and full of risks.

7. Gum Disease

Brushing your teeth daily should be among the healthy habits to adopt irrespective of your age or gender. Heavy weed smoking puts you at risks of developing gum diseases such as periodontitis just like tobacco smoking.

Periodontitis, in particular, is characterized by irregular spaced teeth. The disease tends to damage the bones and tissue that support the growth of teeth.

Periodontitis can result in dental conditions such as loose teeth, weak teeth and bad breath. The patients may also experience spaces between the teeth, receding gums, bleeding gums and swollen gums.

Natural treatments for periodontitis include maintaining healthy dental hygiene and scheduling routine dental checkups.

You also need to avoid abusing drugs to reduce your susceptibility to this gum disease.

Now You Know the Long Term Effects of Weed

Despite being a critically-acclaimed drug, marijuana can be detrimental to human health. Understanding the long term effects of weed can help you be vigilant about using recreational drugs. You can also use this information to help reform the lives of heavy weed smokers.

Note that drug abuse not only affects people at an individual level but also affects society as a whole.

My website is all about sharing lifestyle tips that can help you lead a better life and know your self-worth. My blog covers topics such as marketing, business, design, technology and travel.

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