Health Benefits and Risks of Smoking Weed

According to the National Institutes of Health, people have been using cannabis for recreational and medical purposes for at least 3,000 years. Even though mass media and the advocates of cannabis legalization can overstate some of the medical benefits, recent studies have shown us that there are real medical uses for cannabis. 

On the other hand, there are unwanted side effects as well. Scientists are still researching the long-term effects of cannabis, but we already know some of the health benefits and risks.

In this article, we are going to take a closer look at essential health benefits and risks of smoking cannabis

Let’s start with the advantages first!

Benefits of Smoking Weed

Cannabis can help in treating other addictions

Medical studies have proved that cannabis can be used for treating heroin addiction. It has the ability to reverse the brain changes that were caused by heroin use.

CBD helps heal broken bones

CBD is known for its healing abilities. It can strengthen bones and enhance bone volume, thus accelerating the healing of fractures. After the CBD treatment, bones are stronger 35% to 50% than before.

Cannabis can reduce multiple sclerosis symptoms

Cannabis can help in controlling muscle tone, which can improve the tremors caused by multiple sclerosis. It also helps with muscle spasms and stiffness.

Diabetes is far less common among cannabis consumers

According to studies, the plant can reduce the risk of developing diabetes and can help regulate the stomach’s population of microbes, which results in achieving a healthy weight.

Cannabis can help with depression

Cannabis can help with a lot of psychological disorders. Depression, anxiety, and insomnia are some of them. CBD has antidepressant and anxiolytic effects on the adult brain.

Cannabis can manage some symptoms of dementia

THC can protect the brain from the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s and is most effective in the early stages because it stimulates the brain’s natural endocannabinoids.

Cannabis helps people with ADHD

Although psychologists, psychotherapists, and psychiatrists still can’t agree on the right definition for ADHD, there is no doubt this psychological disorder can be crippling for children, adolescents, and adults. Cannabis can aid both their physical symptoms such as nausea and psychological symptoms like depression or hyperactivity.

Cannabis helps with pain

According to recent studies, 62.2% of people with a license to use medical cannabis are using it for pain relief. Cannabis is helpful with several types of pain, from simple digestive pain to crippling chronic pain.

Cannabis treats migraines

It is renowned for its anti-inflammatory effects. That’s why it can be very helpful for people suffering from constant migraines caused by excessive neurogenic inflammation.

Cannabis can have a positive impact on some symptoms caused by cancer treatment

Chemotherapy can have devastating effects on the human body, and cannabis is known to give some relief from those symptoms.

Even though all these health benefits may seem incredible, they are backed up by serious research.

Side Effects of Smoking Weed

You should be aware of the dark side of smoking cannabis too. Let’s continue with the ten most known risks.

Smoking weed can lead to addiction

It is believed that at least 30% of regular cannabis users have some level of addiction. When they stop using it, they will most likely experience withdrawal symptoms.

It impairs cognitive skills

When it comes to long-term effects, cannabis can cause a decline in the cognitive ability of the brain. For example, cannabis users have lower motor learning and control abilities compared to non-users.

Cannabis can damage oral health

The use of cannabis can negatively affect the immune system, leaving your body vulnerable to infections. It can also cause dry mouth, which could lead to gum disease and cavities.

Smoking cannabis causes breathing problems

With regular cannabis smoking, you may damage lungs and bronchial passages. It can also cause the formation of air sacs in the lungs.

Cannabis increases heart rate

Cannabis use has side effects on the cardiovascular system, like dilating blood vessels, increased heart rate, and making the heart pump harder. This can be especially dangerous for people with a history of heart problems.

Cannabis use during pregnancy could affect the child’s development

Smoking weed during pregnancy can lead to lower birth weight in the infant and emotional and cognitive problems while growing up.

Smoking cannabis causes paranoia

A recent study showed that 50% of the participants who used cannabis had paranoid thoughts, compared to 30% of the control group that used a placebo.

Cannabis may cause schizophrenia symptoms to start earlier in life

Heavy cannabis users can increase the risk of developing schizophrenia and can start experiencing symptoms much earlier than anticipated.

Cannabis lowers the level of testosterone

Cannabis use can affect sperm concentration to drop by 28%, which, in turn, can affect a man’s ability to conceive a child.

Risks of testicular cancer

Testicular cancer is a rare condition and one of the easiest to cure. That being said, cannabis smokers have twice the chance to develop a more aggressive form of this type of cancer.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are good and bad sides of cannabis use. The key to responsible use seems to be moderation. If you want to learn more about the pros and cons of consuming cannabis, take a look at the infographic that follows.

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