Whether you are a user yourself, or you are interested in the effects of weed smoking so that you can share your knowledge with a friend or a family member that it is a known user, you probably have heard and have your own opinion on the topic of smoking weed. Weed, or also known as cannabis, has been used for the needs of medicine for a long time.
But with the rise up of the different opioids and the whole development of the pharmaceutical business, it seems that traditional healing methods such as the use of week for medicinal purposes have ended.
Now, there are only a few cultures left which turn to cannabis use as a part of their traditional medicine, and of course, there are those of you who are using weed for your own benefit. Now, as you can guess, we want to discuss this controversial topic - the use of weed and most importantly its effects, both short-term and long-term, on our bodies.
How does weed cause its characteristic effects in the body?
As you may know, the cannabis plants produce a special compound known as cannabinoids. One of the most popular cannabinoids is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Of these two, THC is the one that causes most of the psychoactive effects that you feel whenever you smoke weed.
On the other hand, CBD acts as if it is an antagonist to the effects caused by THC since it cannot cause any psychoactive effects on the body. When these compounds enter the body, they attach to the cannabinoid receptors which allow them to affect the different brain areas which result in the user to feel the characteristic symptoms.
What are the short-term effects caused by smoking weed?
The most characteristic effect perhaps is the "high" feeling. When you smoke weed, you tend to feel esthetic, excited and even cause anxiety and paranoid feelings. Then you also experience changes in your appetite, as you start to feel an unexplained need to eat weird combinations of food - pickles and peanut butter is not something that you would eat on a daily basis, but perhaps it is what you would need on a day like this one.
Then there are also the slow motor skills. Perhaps you were able to watch TV, talk on the phone and eat at the same time, but once you smoke weed, you probably will not be able to do more than one thing at the same time as long as the effects do not pass. You probably would stay calm and away from doing anything at the moment and wait for the effects to wear off.
That is if you do not happen to react with anxiety at the moment. If you do feel anxiety, then you might feel like you are losing the ability to breathe, walk and move your body in general. Memory problems are not uncommon when you are under the influence of THC.
You might not be able to remember what you have talked about or done while under the influence of THC. And a dry mouth? Well, that is just one more effect that you need to watch out for. Perhaps next time you will make sure to have a glass of water next to you.
What are the long-term effects caused by smoking weed?
And talking about the long-term effects, there are plenty and not many of them are welcomed. As it turns out, regular, long-term use of marijuana seems to mess with your immune system decreasing its ability to answer to the potential threatenings of the common viruses and infections. And your thinking and judgment are not affected only during the moment of use.
In fact, there are learning, memory, thinking, and problem-solving abnormalities that occur due to the long-term use of cannabis. These cognitive malfunctions are most probably the reason behind your poor performance at school or work.
The good news perhaps is a study showing that these cognitive malfunctions will probably go away with a long-term absence from the use. Long-term use of cannabis is also linked to depression. The signs of depression that you have been feeling lately might be caused by your long-term use of cannabis, unfortunately.
And perhaps you have heard people taking that marijuana cannot be linked to addiction. But that is not true. At least 9% of the adults and 17% of the adolescents that use cannabis have been associated with addiction. But addiction to cannabis is not where everything stops.
Apparently, long-term cannabis users eventually develop the need to continue and try heavy drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and opiates. And dry mouth is not the only oral health problem that has been associated with cannabis use.
According to this research, long-term use of cannabis has also been linked with gum problems and even falling off of teeth. And what is most surprising out of all is the ability of cannabis actually to shrink your brain! Yes, you read that right.
According to a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, long-term cannabis users have been detected to have a smaller hippocampus and amygdala volumes when compared with non-cannabis users at the same age. Decreased volume of these brain areas, corresponding to the decreased capacity of the brain for the functions of which these brain areas are responsible for. One of these important brain functions is the process of memory production and the ability to recall old memories.
Conclusion
We are all introduced to the concept of recreational cannabis use. It is not the 90s anymore when only the hippies where the ones that were linked to the use of marijuana.
Nowadays, both adolescents and adults are included in the recreational marijuana use. And when you look at all the short-term effects, you might think that marijuana use is not such a big deal as everyone makes it be. But what happens when instead of using marijuana, let’s say - once in two or three months to use it every or every other day?
Sure, marijuana due to its well-known effects of Cannabidiol such as pain, inflammation relief, and improved mood, has been used more and more, especially among the patients who suffer from chronic diseases but even in these cases, its use eventually stops. And you might want to think about the possible side effects of cannabidiol while you are there.
As there is a short-term use and long-term use, there are short-term and long-term effects from the use of cannabis. And while euphoric mood with an increased appetite and a better feeling about yourself are part of the short-term effects, the long-term effects do not seem to be just as good.
We are talking about a possible addiction, use of more heavy drugs, gum disease, depression, anxiety and so on. So if you are a long-term user of cannabis, or you know someone that is, you would want to think about it once again and reconsider how important your health and life is. Recreational use might be good, but using cannabis every day - this is where you need to stop and think.

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