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Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States, with Click on the sections below to learn more about how marijuana use can affect your health. About 1 in 10 marijuana users will become addicted. For people who begin using before Physical effects marijuana age of 18, that rises to 1 in 6. People who are addicted to marijuana may also be at a higher risk of other negative consequences of using the drug, such as problems with attention, memory, and learning.
Some people who are addicted need to smoke more and more marijuana to get the same high. It is also important to be aware that the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol THC in marijuana i. The higher the THC content, the stronger the effects on the brain. In addition, some methods of using marijuana e. Marijuana use directly affects the brain — specifically the parts of the brain responsible for memory, learning, attention, decision making, coordination, emotions, and reaction time.
Heavy users of marijuana can have short-term problems with attention, memory, and learning, which can affect relationships and mood. Marijuana also affects brain development. When marijuana users begin using as teenagers, the drug may reduce attention, memory, and learning functions and affect how the brain builds connections between the areas necessary for these functions.
This means that someone who uses marijuana may not do as well in school and may have trouble remembering things. The impact depends on many factors and is different for each person. It also depends on the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol THC in marijuana i. Developing brains, like those in babies, Physical effects marijuana, and teenagers are especially susceptible to the hurtful effects of marijuana.
Although scientists are still learning about these effects of marijuana on the developing brain, studies show that marijuana use by mothers during pregnancy may be linked to problems with attention, memory, problem-solving skills, and behavior problems in their children. Marijuana and cannabinoids the active chemicals in marijuana that cause drug-like effects throughout the body, including the central nervous system and the immune system.
The main active cannabinoid in marijuana is deltaTHC. Although Physical effects marijuana and cannabinoids have been studied with respect to managing side effects of cancer and cancer therapies, there are no ongoing clinical trials of marijuana or cannabinoids in treating cancer in people.
Relying on marijuana alone as treatment or for managing side effects while avoiding or delaying conventional medical care for cancer may have serious health consequences. Studies of man-made forms of the chemicals found in the marijuana plant can be helpful in treating nausea and vomiting from cancer chemotherapy. At this time, there is not enough evidence to recommend that patients inhale or ingest marijuana as a treatment for cancer-related symptoms or side effects of cancer therapy. Smoked marijuana delivers THC and other cannabinoids to the body, but it also delivers harmful substances to users and those close by, including many of the same substances found in tobacco smoke, which are harmful to the lungs and cardiovascular system.
Researchers have found limited evidence of an association between current, frequent, or chronic marijuana smoking and testicular cancer non-seminoma-type. More research is needed to understand the full impact of marijuana use on cancer. Even though pain management is one of the most common reasons people use medical marijuana in the U.
A few studies have found that marijuana can be helpful in treating neuropathic pain pain caused by damaged nerves.
Using marijuana makes the heart beat faster. More research is needed to understand the Physical effects marijuana impact of marijuana Physical effects marijuana on the circulatory system to determine if marijuana use le to higher risk of death from these causes. In many cases, marijuana is smoked in the form hand-rolled cigarettes tsin pipes or water pipes bongsin bowls, or in blunts—emptied cigars that have been partly or completely refilled with marijuana.
Smoked marijuana, in any form, can harm lung tissues and cause scarring and damage to small blood vessels. The known health risks of secondhand exposure to cigarette smoke—to the heart or lungs, for instance—raise questions about whether secondhand exposure to marijuana smoke poses similar health risks.
While there is very little data on the health consequences of breathing secondhand marijuana smoke, there is concern that it could cause harmful health effects, including among children. Recent studies have found strong associations between those who said there was someone in the home who used marijuana or a caretaker who used marijuana and the child having detectable levels of THC — the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Marijuana use, especially frequent daily or near daily use and use in high doses, can cause disorientation, and sometimes cause unpleasant thoughts or feelings of anxiety and paranoia.
Marijuana use has also been linked to depression and anxiety, and suicide among teens. However, it is not known whether this is a causal relationship or simply an association. Edibles, or food and drink products infused with marijuana and eaten, have some different risks than smoking marijuana, including a greater risk of poisoning. Unlike smoked marijuana, edibles can:. It is also important to remember that marijuana affects children differently than adults. Since marijuana has become legal in some states, children have accidentally eaten marijuana products that looked like candy and treats, which made them sick enough to need emergency medical care.
If you use marijuana products, keep them in childproof containers and out of the reach of children. It is important to remember that people of any age, sex, or economic status can become addicted to marijuana or other drugs. Things that can affect the likelihood of substance use include:. Skip directly to site content Skip directly to options Skip directly to A-Z link.
Marijuana and Public Health. Section. Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Syndicate. Health Effects.
Minus Related s. Giving up important activities with friends and family in favor of using marijuana. Using marijuana even when it is known that it causes problems fulfilling everyday jobs at home, school or work. Drug Alcohol Depend. Hall, W, Degenhardt L. Adverse health effects of non-medical cannabis use. Vaping cannabis marijuana : parallel concerns to e-cigs? American Psychiatric Association.
Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders 5th ed. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Is marijuana addictive? What are the long-term effects of marijuana on the brain? Marijuana and the developing brain Developing brains, like those in babies, children, and teenagers are especially susceptible to the hurtful effects of marijuana.
Structural and functional imaging studies in chronic cannabis users: a systematic review of adolescent and adult findings. PloS One. Filbey, FM, et al. Goldschmidt, L, et al. Richardson, Effects of prenatal marijuana exposure on child behavior problems at age Neurotoxicol Teratol. Differential effects on cognitive functioning in 9- to year olds prenatally exposed to cigarettes and marihuana. Neurotoxicol Teratol, Leech, SL, et al. Prenatal substance exposure: effects on attention and impulsivity of 6-year-olds. El Marroun, H, et al. Intrauterine cannabis exposure le to more aggressive behavior and attention problems in month-old girls.
Is there a link between marijuana and cancer? The health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids: Current state of evidence and recommendations for Physical effects marijuana external icon. Washington, D. National Cancer Institute. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, GA: U. Gurney, J, et al.
Cannabis exposure and risk of testicular cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Cancer. References Sidney, S. J Clin Pharmacol. Wolff, V, et al. Cannabis-related stroke: myth or reality? J Am Coll Cardiol. Cardiol Rev.Physical effects marijuana
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How marijuana affects the body