While consuming weed may seem harmless, many users’ experience has shown the opposite. Although weed itself has rarely been linked to serious side effects. Experts think this may be due to the different way your body processes leading to a more potent and longer-lasting high.
What is a Weed Addiction?
Cannabis abuse, which includes marijuana addiction, is a recognized disorder in the DSM-IV. While weed addiction is often not diagnosed by medical personnel, it is a major concern for many of the people who access drug addiction services. In the United States, 100,000 people are treated yearly for marijuana addiction It is estimated that up to 50% of daily marijuana users develop a weed addiction.
Symptoms of weed addiction include:• Compulsive marijuana-seeking behavior• A pattern of self-destructive behavior due to weed use• Failure to fulfill major life obligations at work, home or school because of pot use• Marijuana use continues in spite of recurring negative consequences, including legal consequences• Weed use continues in spite of recurring social or interpersonal problems caused by or made worse by drug use• Marijuana is used in dangerous situations
Marijuana is one of the most popular drugs on the market today. While it may have the impression of being a harmless, fun substance, it is still a drug that changes what goes on in the mind, sometimes with significant consequences. The long-term effects on the brain and body make marijuana a dangerous drug to a lot of people, leading to negative outcomes that don’t show until years later. Effects of marijuana from long-term use may include:• memory issues• greater risk for heart attacks, diseases, and stroke• lung damage• depression• persistent cough• anxiety• lower dopamine production
What Does Marijuana Do To The Brain?
To understand what marijuana does to a user in the longrun, it’s necessary to look at how the drug effect in the brain. Marijuana is as effective as it is because its active chemical compound (tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC) mimics substances called endocannabinoids that the human body produces on its own. In the brain, endocannabinoids work by controlling the production of neurotransmitters (chemical substances that facilitate communication between the brain and the central nervous system). In the rest of the body, endocannabinoids relax muscles, reduce inflammation, protect damaged tissue, and regulate appetite and metabolism, among many other functions.
Because endocannabinoids are so important, the brain has readymade receptors for them. Since the THC in cannabis mimics natural endocannabinoids, marijuana is unique among other drugs in that regard. The same physiological effects that arise from the normal application of endocannabinoids are triggered with the use of marijuana, especially in the brain. This is why smokers experience:• memory issues• augmented levels of pain• alterations to emotion, pleasure, and movement control
Marijuana use can have negative and long-term effects:Mental health: Studies link marijuana use to depression, anxiety, suicide planning, and psychotic episodes. It is not known, however, if marijuana use is the cause of these conditions.Athletic Performance: Research shows that marijuana affects timing, movement, and coordination, which can harm athletic performance.Baby’s health and development: Marijuana use during pregnancy may cause fetal growth restriction, premature birth, stillbirth, and problems with brain development, resulting in hyperactivity and poor cognitive function. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other chemicals from marijuana can also be passed from a mother to her baby through breast milk, further impacting a child’s healthy development.Daily life: Using marijuana can affect performance and how well people do in life. Research shows that people who use marijuana are more likely to have relationship problems, worse educational outcomes, lower career achievement, and reduced life satisfaction.