Cannabis use may increase the risk of depression. Although there is There are advantages and disadvantages to taking it. It should really. What are the other health effects of marijuana? Marijuana use may have a wide range of effects, both physical and mental. Indeed, despite the use of marijuana by other drugs between and
and of use marijuana risks Other disadvantages
Many researchers think so. A later study from the same institution found that those who smoked skunk daily had subtle changes in their white matter that could impair communication between the two sides of the brain. The changes were not evident in non-smokers, or those who smoked low-strength cannabis. Efforts are now underway to work out who are the most vulnerable people.
In a review published this month, Bristol University scientists say the evidence is now strong enough to warrant public health messages that cannabis can increase psychotic disorders. Cannabis plants produce more than active compounds called cannabinoids.
The one most responsible for the mind-altering effects of the drug is called delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Growers crossbreed plants to produce high-THC strains to give them more bang for the buck. The drug has its most immediate effects when inhaled. Within seconds, THC in the smoke passes into the bloodstream and then into the brain. A dose of mg of THC is enough to produce a high.
Inside the brain, THC latches on to what are called cannabinoid receptors. These are found in huge numbers in the hippocampus, where THC affects memory; the cerebellum, where it affects coordination; and in the basal ganglia, where THC can also affect movement.
The body produces its own THC-like substances called endocannabinoids. These are released in the body to help regulate a host of different functions in the brain. Frequent high doses of THC may overstimulate the endocannabinoid system.
Cannabis plants produce a second important substance called cannabidiol, or CBD. The compound appears to reduce the risk of psychotic disorders, by counteracting the effects of THC.
Sign up for a free Medical News Today account to customize your medical and health news experiences. This tension, between a widespread belief that marijuana is an effective treatment for a wide assortment of ailments and a lack of scientific knowledge on its effects, has been somewhat exacerbated in recent times by a drive toward legalization.
Twenty-nine states plus the District of Columbia have now made marijuana available for medical — and, in some states, recreational — purposes. A recent study published in the journal Addiction also found that use of marijuana is increasing sharply across the United States, although this rise may not be linked to the legalization of marijuana in participating states.
Nevertheless, this rise in use is prompting major public health concerns. In this article, we look at the scientific evidence weighing the medical benefits of marijuana against its associated health risks in an attempt to answer this simple question: Over the years, research has yielded results to suggest that marijuana may be of benefit in the treatment of some conditions. These are listed below. Last year, a large review from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine assessed more than 10, scientific studies on the medical benefits and adverse effects of marijuana.
One area that the report looked closely at was the use of medical marijuana to treat chronic pain. Chronic pain is a leading cause of disability, affecting more than 25 million adults in the U.
The review found that marijuana, or products containing cannabinoids — which are the active ingredients in marijuana, or other compounds that act on the same receptors in the brain as marijuana — are effective at relieving chronic pain. Another comprehensive review of evidence, published last year in the journal Clinical Psychology Review , revealed that using marijuana may help people with alcohol or opioid dependencies to fight their addictions.
But this finding may be contentious; the National Academies of Sciences review suggests that marijuana use actually drives increased risk for abusing, and becoming dependent on, other substances. Also, the more that someone uses marijuana, the more likely they are to develop a problem with using marijuana.
Individuals who began using the drug at a young age are also known to be at increased risk of developing a problem with marijuana use. The review published in Clinical Psychology Review assessed all published scientific literature that investigated the use of marijuana to treat symptoms of mental illness. Its authors found some evidence supporting the use of marijuana to relieve depression and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.
That being said, they caution that marijuana is not an appropriate treatment for some other mental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder and psychosis. The review indicates that there is some evidence to suggest that marijuana might alleviate symptoms of social anxiety , but again, this is contradicted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine review, which instead found that regular users of marijuana may actually be at increased risk of social anxiety.
Evidence suggests that oral cannabinoids are effective against nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy , and some small studies have found that smoked marijuana may also help to alleviate these symptoms. Some studies on cancer cells suggest that cannabinoids may either slow down the growth of or kill some types of cancer. However, early studies that tested this hypothesis in humans revealed that although cannabinoids are a safe treatment, they are not effective at controlling or curing cancer.
The short-term use of oral cannabinoids may improve symptoms of spasticity among people with multiple sclerosis , but the positive effects have been found to be modest. In June , the Food and Drug Administration FDA approved the use of a medication containing cannabidiol CBD to treat two rare, severe, and specific types of epilepsy — called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome — that are difficult to control with other types of medication. This CBD-based drug is known as Epidiolex.
CBD is one of many substances that occurs in cannabis. It is not psychoactive. The drug for treating these conditions involves a purified form of CBD.
The approval was based on the findings of research and clinical trials. A study published in found that the use of CBD resulted in far fewer seizures among children with Dravet syndrome, compared with a placebo. Dravet syndrome seizures are prolonged, repetitive, and potentially lethal. In fact, 1 in 5 children with Dravet syndrome do not reach the age of 20 years.
In the study, children and teenagers with Dravet syndrome, all of whom were aged between 2 and 18, were randomly assigned to receive an oral CBD solution or a placebo for 14 weeks, along with their usual medication.
The researchers found that the children who received the CBD solution went from having around 12 seizures per month to an average of six seizures per month. Three children receiving CBD did not experience any seizures at all. Children who received the placebo also saw a reduction in seizures, but this was slight — their average number of seizures went down from 15 each month before the study to 14 seizures per month during the study.
The researchers say that this 39 percent reduction in seizure occurrence provides strong evidence that the compound can help people living with Dravet syndrome, and that their paper has the first rigorous scientific data to demonstrate this. However, the study also found a high rate of side effects linked to CBD. More than 9 in 10 of the children treated with CBD experienced side effects — most commonly vomiting, fatigue , and fever. The patient information leaflet for Epidiolex warns of side effects such as liver damage, sedation, and thoughts of suicide.
At the other end of the spectrum is the plethora of studies that have found negative associations between marijuana use and health. They are listed below. Daily marijuana use is believed to exacerbate existing symptoms of bipolar disorder among people who have this mental health problem. However, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report suggests that among people with no history of the condition, there is only limited evidence of a link between marijuana use and developing bipolar disorder.
Moderate evidence suggests that regular marijuana users are more likely to experience suicidal thoughts , and there is a small increased risk of depression among marijuana users.
Marijuana use is likely to increase risk of psychosis, including schizophrenia.
Marijuana: Good or bad?
Pot smoking leads to other lung effects, too. "We know that patients see their doctor with more symptoms, including cough and wheezing, when. So what, exactly, are the pros and cons of pot? Other research has also suggested that marijuana may be more harmful than helpful for. There are a lot of people who use weed not only for recreational purposes but also to treat and relieve symptoms of chronic conditions like.