From a marijuana growers point of view, cannabis has always been a crop that produces big yields. But from a medical standpoint, the plant has a high degree of medicinal value. It’s been used to treat nausea, vomiting, and the side effects of cancer chemotherapy as well as inflammation and pain. This is why the legal status of the weed varies from country to country. But what about the side effects that come with consuming it?

A new study has found that the human body can become dependent on the active ingredient in the cannabis plant and the active ingredient in cocaine. These substances are called cannabinoids and scientists say that dependency on cannabinoids can develop when cannabinoids are used as medicine. The findings also suggest that the body may build up resistance to the drugs which could lead to the drugs being more harmful.

Marijuana, also known as weed, pot, dope or cannabis, are the dried flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant. It contains mind-altering substances (e.g., psychoactive substances) such as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, as well as other active ingredients such as cannabidiol, or CBD, which are not mind-altering, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention explains. Marijuana is used for many reasons, some recreational and some medicinal. But no matter what you use it for, there can be side effects, says Niket Sonpal, M.D., an internist and gastroenterologist in New York and a faculty member at Touro College of Medicine. Read on to discover the amazing side effects of marijuana. Read on, and to protect your health and the health of those around you, don’t miss the 19 ways you’re destroying your body, according to health experts.

1 Reaction time may be reduced

A grown man with a severe headache at home One of the possible negative short-term effects of marijuana is decreased responsiveness. The delayed reaction may be due to THC, the main psychoactive substance in marijuana. It is thought that the thalamo-cortical-striatal circuitry of the brain (the part that deals with time perception) contains many receptors that bind to THC, says Dr. Sonpal. When this connection is made, your internal clock speeds up, making everything around you feel like it has slowed down.

2 May contribute to severe anxiety

A woman has a panic attack alone at night. While marijuana has a calming effect on some people, others experience intense anxiety. A person may experience increased anxiety because the high levels of THC cause the brain to absorb more cannabinoids than normal. This overstimulates the amygdala, which causes anxiety in some people, says Dr. Sonpal.

3 It can have a negative effect on your heart

Someone has chest pain when sitting outside, arrhythmia, coronary artery disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, marijuana use not only makes your heart beat faster, but it can also lead to an increased risk of stroke and heart disease. However, they note that most scientific research linking marijuana to heart attacks and strokes is based on reports from people who have smoked marijuana. Smoked marijuana releases THC and other cannabinoids into the body, but it also releases substances that are harmful to users and their environment, including many of the same substances found in tobacco smoke that damage the lungs and cardiovascular system.

4 May cause long-term brain damage

The doctor carefully reviews the patient’s MRI scans. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, marijuana affects brain development. When marijuana users begin using the drug as teenagers, it can impair attention, memory and learning, and affect the way the brain makes connections between areas needed for these functions, they explain. The effects of marijuana on these abilities can be long-lasting and even permanent. This means that someone who uses marijuana may have poor school performance and memory problems.

5 It can help you sleep better

a woman laughs as she sleeps Possible positive effects in the short term? Marijuana can help you sleep better. Marijuana acts as a sleep aid because the sedative effects of THC prolong deep sleep and shorten the time it takes to fall asleep, Dr. Sonpal said.

6 Risk of using prescription opioids

White pills spilled on a table with many medicine bottles in the background. One possible long-term negative effect is an increased risk of prescription opioid abuse, Dr. Sonpal said. Studies have shown that people who use marijuana are more prone to opioid abuse than those who don’t, he says.

7 It can help treat chronic pain

Side view of a grim young man with back pain sitting on a white sheet. Dr. Sonpal also notes that a possible positive long-term effect of marijuana is that it can treat chronic pain. The THC in marijuana reduces pain perception and pain signaling by interacting with the body’s cannabinoid receptors, thereby relieving pain, he explains. And to live your life with maximum health benefits, you should not take this supplement because it can increase your risk of developing cancer.

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