Marijuana is a psychoactive substance that when it enters the body alters it, generating stimulant, depressant and hallucinogenic effects. It can produce first euphoria, then relaxation and sometimes hallucinations and delusions.
Below we will mention 4 facts for which the compulsive use of marijuana in the short or long term is not harmless (in all cases we refer to smoked marijuana, not to the medical use of cannabis).
Adverse effects of marijuana
These are some of the effects that make marijuana a substance capable of wearing people down.
1. Alters the central nervous system
Marijuana use alters perception, can produce spatial-temporal disorientation, increases the probability of suffering accidents (in cars, at work) because psychomotor coordination is affected ; concentration decreases, reflexes are altered, reaction times are slower.
In the long term, the higher the frequency of consumption and the earlier the link with the substance is initiated, generates neurocognitive impairment . It affects the cognitive functions, diminishing capacities such as the resolution of mathematical problems, the comprehension of texts, the memory, making the learning process more difficult.
It also produces a decrease in interest and willingness to study because the psychoactive THC component can also generate amotivational syndrome , characterized by a decreased ability to maintain the normal course of different activities such as holding a job or completing studies.
2. May produce acute psychotic episodes
Marijuana use, by altering the state of consciousness and perception, generates modifications in mental activity to the point of producing auditory or visual hallucinations, paranoid ideas, depersonalization, feelings of loss of control, panic, and terror.
This is because THC has an impact on parts of the brain responsible for perception, attention, and the senses. These episodes may occur as a consequence of compulsive use, as withdrawal symptoms, or because of a prior predisposition to dual base pathology triggered by the use.
On the other hand, smoking marijuana may produce an increased risk of schizophrenia , which may be triggered by three factors: frequent use + early onset of use + genetic predisposition to mental illness.
3. Is capable of producing psychological dependence
Not every use of marijuana will escalate to problematic consumption, however if the user has predisposing factors in his or her body for addiction, psychological dependence may be generated, a relationship of need with the substance .
We can talk about psychological dependence when the consumption is compulsive, when there are manifestations of irritability, anxiety, desire to consume, mood swings and changes of mind in moments of abstinence and need of marijuana consumption to carry out certain activities. The dependent person feels that he or she needs the substance to function better.
4. Increases risk of developing respiratory problems, such as lung cancer
The high temperature of the smoke and the toxic substances produced by combustion, such as tar , are aggressive and invasive factors for the respiratory system; it generates irritation of the lungs and can produce some types of cancers. It can also produce respiratory crises, bronchitis, pneumonia, breathing difficulties and coughing.
And the rest of the drugs?
It is worth clarifying that the reasons mentioned to understand why marijuana is not harmless are not exclusive to it, since are also applicable to other psychoactive substances , such as alcohol.
Ignorance of the harmful effects caused by the consumption of marijuana cigarettes makes it one of the main psychoactive drugs most widely used in the world, either in an addictive way or for recreational purposes. Marijuana is easily and quickly accessible and consumption in adolescence is on the rise, from increasingly younger ages.
Tobacco cigarettes are often thought to pose more of a health hazard than marijuana cigarettes. While it is correct that tobacco causes great damage to the whole body, smoked marijuana is never beneficial to health nor is its use without harmful consequences.