What Are the Health Benefits and Risks of Cannabis?

What-Are-The-Health-Benefits-And-Risks-Of-Cannabis

Cannabis use has rapidly evolved and is currently getting more research into various applications, be it medical or recreational use. Medical marijuana use has multiple applications and is used for various treatments and remedies.

Some may use smoking marijuana to treat chronic pain, among other ailments, but excessive use of cannabis may lead to substance abuse and cause adverse effects. Let’s explore the overall health effects of cannabis and its risks to your health.

Cannabis content

Cannabis has various active compounds that make it psychoactive. These substances are powerful and cause strong reactions in the body once consumed. The drug enforcement administration has identified these substances as psychoactive substances. Research suggests that these substances increase the risk of health problems and adverse effects if consumption is not controlled.

There are many health effects brought by these active substances inside the cannabis plant, all of which may cause a positive or negative impact, depending on the existing medical conditions of the user and consumption patterns of cannabis use.

THC & CBD

CBD can be extracted from hemp or cannabis. The Cannabis sativa plant both produces hemp and cannabis. THC levels in hemp must be less than 0.3 percent to be considered legal. CBD can be made in various forms, including gels, gummies, oils, supplements, extracts, etc.

THC is the main psychoactive ingredient and an active compound found in marijuana that produces a high. One way to consume cannabis is to smoke it. More oils, meals, tinctures, pills, and other formats are available. Both drugs act with the endocannabinoid system in the body, but they have distinct effects.

THC binds to the brain’s cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors. It produces euphoria or a high sensation. CBD binds to CB1 receptors only sporadically. CBD requires THC to bind to the CB1 receptor, which may assist in mitigating some of THC’s adverse psychotropic effects, such as euphoria and tiredness.

CBD and THC are chemically similar to the endocannabinoids found in your body. They can then interact with your cannabinoid receptors as a result.

Endocannabinoid system

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a widely distributed neuromodulatory system involved in CNS development, synaptic plasticity, and response to endogenous and environmental insults.

Tetrahydrocannabinol is one of the most frequent cannabinoids found in cannabis (THC). It’s the substance that makes you feel “high.”

THC interacts with your ECS via binding to receptors once within your body, just like endocannabinoids. Because it reacts and binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors, it has a high potency.

As a result, it can have various physiological and psychological consequences, some of which are more beneficial than others. THC, for instance, can aid with pain reduction and appetite stimulation. However, under other circumstances, it may cause paranoia and concern.

How your body reacts to cannabis use

Cannabis has powerful psychoactive substances which are classified as drugs. Drug use and other psychoactive substances such as cannabis significantly affect your body.

THC and other compounds in marijuana move from the lungs into the bloodstream, where they are quickly carried throughout the body to the brain. Many people have a wonderful sense of exhilaration and relaxation. Other common side effects include heightened sensory awareness (e.g., brighter colors), laughing, changed the perception of time, and increased appetite, varying drastically between persons.

Health benefits

Marijuana use, especially medical marijuana, is now being used and developed for various medical and recreational applications. Pot use is one of the more popular substances among other drugs used both as recreational drugs and as a medical remedy or treatment.

Medical applications

Cannabis use has evolved in many different ways over the years. There are now cannabis products with medical purposes and have been used as remedies for various symptoms. However, most applications still have limited evidence, and more scientific evidence is needed. Most legalized marijuana are edible cannabis, concentrates, buds, and other drugs made from cannabis extracts that are also being used for medical applications. Here are some of the known medical applications where cannabis is utilized as treatment and remedies for symptoms associated with these conditions.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an inflammatory lung disease that affects breathing by blocking airflow from the lungs. It is thought to impact 15.7 million Americans. However, it is likely underdiagnosed. COPD is more prone to occur among asthmatics and current or past smokers.

People with COPD can benefit from medical marijuana in a variety of ways. Cannabis can boost overall emotions by opening airways, reducing inflammation in the lungs and respiratory system, and increasing weight gain and physical activity.

Research presented at the American College of Chest Physicians’ annual meeting shows that people with COPD who consume cannabis have lower in-hospital mortality and pneumonia risks. Compared to COPD patients who did not use marijuana, marijuana users had a 37.6% lower risk of death in the hospital. In addition, cannabis usage was linked to an 11.8 percent lower incidence of pneumonia.

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Medical marijuana is also used for treating symptoms and complications of PTSD. For years, PTSD patients have claimed that cannabis relieves their symptoms. Nightmares, panic attacks, hypervigilance, separation from others, overwhelming emotions, and self-destructive conduct are symptoms of this devastating disorder.

Researchers at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, investigated how cannabis usage affects the amygdala response in people suffering from trauma-related anxiety, such as PTSD. Cannabis has been demonstrated in previous studies to have the ability to alleviate anxiety or perhaps prevent it in threatening situations. However, no research has looked into this response in adults dealing with trauma, such as those who have PTSD.

Multiple sclerosis

According to surveys, many people with MS already use marijuana, and a half or more would consider it if it were legal and offered demonstrated advantages. So far, the evidence is contradictory.

MS is a neurological condition that primarily affects the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Cannabis sativa, or marijuana, has dozens of compounds to impact your mind and body.

At least as judged by self-reported symptoms, an influential national group of scientific institutions found that marijuana, nicknamed cannabis, is proven or highly likely to help alleviate stiffness and muscle spasms that are typical in MS.

Some data suggest that marijuana or its active ingredients, known as cannabinoids, can help patients with MS, fibromyalgia, and other medical disorders sleep better.

However, there is little evidence that marijuana or cannabinoids:

As assessed by a doctor, reduce muscle tightness or spasticity.

Depressive symptoms in patients with MS or long-term pain can be helped or not helped.

Dravet syndrome

Dravet syndrome is a type of epilepsy that can be treated with cannabis. Cannabinoids present in marijuana lessen not just the severity of epileptic seizures but also their frequency. In more than 84 percent of patients, CBD-rich marijuana treatments help to relieve Dravet syndrome symptoms. In addition, the items completely halt seizures in 11% of children who are on medication.

Syndrome of Dravet. Dravet syndrome, severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy (SMEI), is an autosomal dominant hereditary disorder marked by persistent seizures triggered by heat or fever.

Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome are two rare epileptic syndromes that might harm your child’s development. Medical marijuana can help address these conditions and ensure that the child grows happy and healthy.

Risks

There are many risks in cannabis use, whether used as medical ][marijuana or recreational use. Marijuana users who smoke cannabis may develop health risks in the respiratory system and have an increased risk of getting lung-related ailments and developing symptoms such as chronic cough. Long-term risks for lung health may be developed for regular users who smoke pot and have a greater risk for more severe cases like lung cancer.

Young adults that consume cannabis may have a higher risk of complications that affect their physical, psychological, and mental health, primarily if cannabis use is not controlled. Weight loss, drug and alcohol dependence, drug addiction, and other mental health problems may arise if large quantities of cannabis are consumed, especially at a young age.

Risks include the physical harm that users may inflict on themselves or others while under a psychoactive state. A person with altered senses of his surroundings may pose a danger, especially in situations where they might be driving a car or performing duties at work. Car accidents may happen when a driver is under the influence of marijuana, especially in high doses, as this may cloud the user’s judgment and affect sensory abilities.

Testicular cancer

One study compared current, chronic, and frequent cannabis usage to never used the substance; one study found that a) current, b) chronic, and c) frequent cannabis use are all linked to the development of TGCT. The strongest link was discovered for non-seminoma development—those who used cannabis at least once a week had a two-and-a-half times higher chance of acquiring a non-seminoma TGCT than those who never used cannabis (OR: 2.59, 95 percent CI 1.60-4.19). The evidence on the link between cannabis usage and the development of seminoma tumors was equivocal.

Researchers discovered that people who frequently use cannabis every week had a two-and-a-half-times higher chance of having non-seminoma TGCT. Testicular cancer that isn’t seminoma grows faster than seminoma testicular cancer. It is frequently made up of multiple types of cancer cells.

Lung cancer

Cannabis is the most widely used illegal drug in the world. It can be smoked straight from the plant (marijuana), but it is most commonly blended with tobacco. Smoking cannabis and cigarettes together is a typical occurrence in contemporary society. However, it has serious pulmonary implications when used.

It’s difficult to quantify and separate the effects of smoking cannabis from the effects of tobacco. Marijuana smoke has a higher quantity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and carcinogens than tobacco smoke. Marijuana smoking is a risk factor for lung cancer, according to cellular, tissue, animal, and human investigations and epidemiological studies. Lung cancer risk is doubled when cannabis is consumed. This should urge clinicians to recognize cannabis usage and provide patients with resources to help them quit.

Psychotic disorders

In the general population, regular cannabis use and psychotic diseases (such as schizophrenia) are linked, and heavy cannabis users are over-represented among new instances of schizophrenia. These findings, along with increased rates of cannabis use among young people in many industrialized nations, have sparked discussions regarding whether cannabis use is a contributory cause of psychosis or whether it can trigger schizophrenia in vulnerable persons. This theory assumes that cannabis usage is one factor among many that cause schizophrenia (including genetic predisposition and other undiscovered reasons).

Regular cannabis usage is linked to a higher risk of schizophrenia, and the link holds even after correcting for confounding variables. Self-medication is unlikely to explain the association. Although mounting evidence suggests the link is biologically possible, given the complex etiology of schizophrenia and similar illnesses, it is doubtful that the link will be attributable to a single gene interaction.

Uncertainty about biological causes should not deter us from implementing educational, psychological, and social interventions to reduce cannabis use among vulnerable young people and hence the risk of its issues.

Other psychoses may be developed from cannabis and other psychoactive substances. Health problems in the psychological aspect of a person may be more severe and difficult to treat if left unchecked. Therefore cannabis users should always be aware of the risks that cannabis consumption poses.

Mental health conditions

Marijuana usage, especially in large doses and regularly (daily or nearly daily), can cause disorientation and unpleasant thoughts or feelings of worry and paranoia.

Marijuana users are more prone to acquire transient psychosis (not knowing what is real, hallucinations, and paranoia) and long-term mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, a type of mental illness where people develop auditory and visual hallucinations where they might see or hear things that are not there.

People who start using marijuana at a younger age and use it more regularly have a higher link between marijuana and schizophrenia.

Marijuana usage has also been connected to depression, social anxiety, suicidal thoughts, attempts, and deaths.

Several data lines imply that cannabis usage in people with a mental health condition has therapeutic potential or adverse effects. We present an overview of the existing scientific literature on the effects of cannabis on schizophrenia, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder in this section (PTSD).

Pregnancy

Pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing complications for themselves and their children. Prenatal exposure to cannabis might lead to lower birth weight and hinder brain development in the exposed baby. Using cannabis, especially in high doses, could cause severe problems for the baby’s health.

Pregnant women should avoid psychoactive substances such as alcohol and marijuana. Smoking should also be avoided as more research suggests that many babies develop a higher risk of having serious prenatal conditions.

Consumption

Consuming cannabis has a lot of benefits and practical medical applications. However, there are risks to marijuana use, and the user must be aware of this.

Wrong dosage and consumption practices may result in vomiting caused by obscene amounts of cannabis intake. Nausea and vomiting are some of the mild adverse effects of cannabis if consumed in the wrong way or combined with other psychoactive substances such as alcohol, which causes nausea and vomiting at high doses.

Controlling your cannabis intake

Marijuana consumption should be controlled and done adequately according to your body’s requirements and how much you can take. Tolerance, health status, and lifestyle should be considered when starting to take marijuana, whether it will be used for medical purposes or simply recreational use.

If smoking or vaping isn’t for you, you could try edibles! Marijuana edibles are easy to consume and come in predetermined doses with each serving. Therefore they are helpful, especially in medical treatments, as they could be easily paired with usual meals. Check out GetGreen’s Best AAAA+ Hybrid Strain which offers all the benefits of cannabis that hybrid strains have to offer.

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