Smoking weed is done by inhaling smoke produced by burning dried marijuana leaves or “buds,” thus releasing marijuana’s primary psychoactive compound, THC. THC goes into the lungs and then into the bloodstream.
- Smoking marijuana is the fastest way users experience physiological changes caused by marijuana compounds.
Marijuana often goes into small “bowls” found on handheld pipes and be smoked. Bongs are larger devices that use water vapor to allow users to inhale pot smoke more deeply without experiencing a burning throat or coughing.
Within a few minutes of taking one or two “hits” on a joint, blunt, bong, or pipe, the majority of users report;
- Feeling relaxed, talkative, light-headed, and slightly euphoric
- Feeling anxious or “paranoid,” i.e., people high on pot may think law enforcement is outside waiting to arrest them or robbers are already inside their home
- A pleasant sensation of time distortion usually involves hours passing by quickly without the user realizing how much time has passed
- Heightened sensory awareness–music sounds unusually and intensely interesting, colors seem more vivid, and may even appear “animated”
- Inability to concentrate on tasks, especially tasks that require attention to detail or quick reflexes
- Psychoactive effects can last up to three or four hours, depending on the amount of THC contained in the marijuana smoked
Long-term marijuana use is associated with increased lung, esophageal, bladder, and testicle cancer incidences.
Marijuana smoke causes airway damage, leading to chronic and acute bronchitis, decreased lung defenses against diseases, and lung inflammation.
Research has repeatedly shown that daily pot smokers have smaller orbitofrontal cortexes than those who are not long-term marijuana users.
Men who are daily marijuana smokers have low sperm counts and “incapacitated” sperm that are not healthy enough to induce fertilization.
Chemicals found in marijuana exert immunosuppressant properties on the user’s body that degenerate the ability of the immune system to fight infection and disease.
According to a study released in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, 0ver 25 years, researchers studied the pot practices of 3,400 Americans. The more weed they smoked, the worse they performed on memory tests. It is a polite way of saying that pot can cause brain damage, especially in teenagers and young adults whose brains are still developing.
According to reports from the American Lung Association, many of the same irritants, toxins, and carcinogens found in tobacco. In addition, while pot smoke damages the cell lining of the lungs, leading to chronic bronchitis, it can also affect the immune system, making it harder for a person’s body to fight off infection and other diseases.
In one study, postal workers that tested positive for THC, the psychoactive ingredient in weed, were:
- 55 percent more likely to get in an accident
- 85 percent more likely to suffer an on the job injury
- missed 75 percent more work
Addiction – Not a Myth
Pot smokers develop a tolerance to the drug and must use more and more to achieve the same or similar “highs” that they did in the early days of their consumption. Furthermore, heavy users can develop marijuana withdrawal syndrome after stopping. The condition is complex enough that many pot smokers go back to the drug to alleviate the symptoms.
It is information that the public doesn’t typically hear from the big green marijuana publicity machine. The best action to reduce any adverse effects from using marijuana is to abstain. If that’s not an option, remember to proceed with caution and practice moderation in all things. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to seek help or treatment if marijuana has begun to cause problems in your life or the life of a friend or a loved one.
Despite your stance on t marijuana legalization– Ohioans, for instance, just voted no around the same time that Alaskans were legally lighting up – there’s a lot of conflicting information surrounding this issue. Most healthcare experts concede that it isn’t as dangerous as heroin or crystal meth. But contrary to what the pro-pot lobby would have people believe, it’s not necessarily harmless either.
Certain species of marijuana plants, Indica and Sativa, contain higher THC and cannabidiol (CBD) levels than other marijuana plant strains.
Since 1965, writes U.S. News and World Report, “law enforcement has made an estimated 22 million arrests for weed infractions.” The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) began a marijuana eradication program in 1977 that continues to this day. Unfortunately, every effort at “stemming” – pun intended – the tied of pot has failed. A Gallup poll reveals that 44 percent of Americans admitted to smoking weed in 2015 compared to 24 percent in the ’70s.