Marijuana's Effects on the Body This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

March 30, 2013
When most people think of marijuana, they think of all the possibilities of why they should get high and how they’re going to do it. What most people don’t know about marijuana is that marijuana has many health risks that come with it. No matter how people smoke marijuana, marijuana can be worst than tobacco products such as cigarettes, chewing tobacco, creamy snuff and dipping tobacco. Medical marijuana should not be taken lightly as it can cause many health risks to the human body, cause your immune system to weaken causing you to be more prone to diseases such as AIDS, and is a gateway drug to many illicit drugs in the future.

Marijuana can have long lasting negative effects on young users who use marijuana. Young adults who use marijuana will result in structural and functional deficits of the brain. Altering the structural and functional deficits of the brain can cause development of weakened verbal and communication skills, lowered learning capabilities and a shortened attention span. In addition to the effects on the brain, smoking marijuana can be hazardous to developing lungs causing your lungs to become weakened and cause respiratory distress. Marijuana smoke contains fifty to seventy percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke.

Marijuana limits your brain's effectiveness, slows your thinking and impairs your coordination. A number of studies have also shown an association between chronic marijuana use and increased rates of anxiety, depression and schizophrenia. When marijuana is smoked, the effects of it begin immediately and can last for about three hours. When marijuana is eaten in foods such as brownies and cookies, the effects of marijuana take longer to begin but the effects last longer as a result. When high doses of marijuana are smoked or eaten, users can experience hallucinations, delusions, impaired memory and disorientation.

Within a few minutes of smoking marijuana the heart begins to pump more rapidly causing the blood pressure to decrease. Marijuana can cause the heart to beat twenty to fifty times faster per minute. Scientists have found out that because the blood pressure has decreased and there is a higher heart rate that there is risk for a heart attack four times higher within the first hour of smoking marijuana. Smoking marijuana also causes the burning and stinging of the mouth and throat and heavy coughing. Regular marijuana smokers can experience same respiratory problems as tobacco smokers. When experiencing the same problems as tobacco smokers, marijuana users can expect daily cough and phlem production, frequent chest illness, increased risk of lung infection and obstructed airways.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the main effects of marijuana on mood vary and may include euphoria, calmness, anxiety, or paranoia. Getting high or "stoned" is the reason most pot smokers use marijuana. Other short-term psychological effects of pot include Distorted sense of time, Paranoia, Magical or "random" thinking, Short-term memory loss, Anxiety and depression. These psychological signs of using pot also generally ease after a few hours. But residual effects can last for days.

The risks of smoking marijuana go up with heavy use. Although the link has never been proven, many experts believe heavy pot smokers are at increased risk for lung cancer. Heavy marijuana use lowers men's testosterone levels and sperm count and quality. Pot could decrease libido and fertility in some heavy-smoking men. Contrary to what many pot smokers may tell you, marijuana is addictive, at least psychologically. Even among occasional users, one in twelve can feel withdrawal symptoms if they can't get high when they want to. Among heavy pot smokers, the rates of dependence are higher. Many experts also believe that marijuana is physically addictive. Symptoms of withdrawal from pot might include aggression, anxiety, depressed mood and a decreased appetite.

Scientists say that one study of marijuana smokers showed that marijuana smoke contains three times the amount of tar found in tobacco smoke and fifty percent more carcinogens. It is safe to say that there is an increased risk of lung cancer for marijuana smokers. Research of marijuana indicates that Tetrahydrocannabinol also impairs the body's immune system from fighting disease, which can cause a wide variety of health problems. One study found that marijuana actually inhibited the disease-preventing actions of key immune cells. Another study found that Tetrahydrocannabinol increased the risk of developing bacterial infections and tumors.

Exposure of marijuana smoke can cause many effects during pregnancy. Women who smoked marijuana while pregnant experienced problems with neurological developments. Prenatal marijuana exposure can cause altered responses to visual stimuli, increased tremulousness, problems with sustained attention and memory and poor problem solving skills. Women should not smoke marijuana during pregnancy to prevent problems with neurological development. When pregnant stay away from marijuana to prevent the chances of altered neurological development.

Marijuana can put most people behind bars if caught with it. The misdemeanor of possession of marijuana includes up to a one year sentence in prison, two-thousand dollar fine and suspended driver's license of persons convicted of this offense for up to ninety days. On the other hand, a felony of possession of marijuana includes a prison sentence of one year and a day up to ten days and a maximum fine up to five-thousand dollars . Sentences including formal probation may also be used in misdemeanor marijuana cases. This can have important implications for a student who is looking for summer or permanent employment outside the mobile area. Regular reporting to a probation officer and random drug screening, along with fees and costs, can make finding or keeping a job difficult.

Many job applications require applicants to report any arrests on their record; failure to disclose this information on an application can lead to further legal problems between the student and an employer. Possession of a controlled substance may become a trafficking charge if the drugs weigh enough. Marijuana is classified as a schedule I drug on the basis that is has a high potential for abuse. When people get addicted to marijuana, they are hooked to the drug with makes them become potheads. Marijuana then begins to dominate the users life. It happens to be that alcohol is perfectly legal but marijuana is not. Alcohol can be twice as deadly as marijuana but if that's the case then why is it not illegal? Marijuana and alcohol should be illegal in most states.

With all of this said and done, why do people continue to smoke even if they know what the consequences of smoking marijuana are. You could make a difference in someone’s life only if you choose too and not let them ruin their life with smoking marijuana. The only question left is, should marijuana be a medical option

Join the Discussion

This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

la chappara 002 said...
Sept. 6, 2013 at 1:01 pm
i think that was reallly really gooooooooood ;)
dagnytaggart said...
Apr. 2, 2013 at 9:48 pm
This article was very informative... but almost the complete opposite of what I wrote in mine! Mines called "Why Marijuana should be Legalized". You should read it, then we can debate =) good job btw!
BigTMorales replied...
Apr. 3, 2013 at 9:39 am
Thank you very much =). I Shall go read yours right now so we can have a little one on one debate =)
Site Feedback