The world is changing its perception towards marijuana— be it recreational or medicinal. At this point, you realize cannabis use is finally crossing international borders too. An interesting change in the screenplay from the times when it was allegedly considered as a “gateway drug.”
Do you have any idea patients are going berserk with the idea of finding a reliable medical marijuana doctor for obtaining a medical cannabis card to access marijuana? The numbers are pretty intriguing. But, besides that rise in popularity, how safe is medical marijuana for long-term use? Let’s jump right in and discuss the facts right away.
Is Medical Marijuana Safe?— Short-term risks
Everyone loves marijuana. But, having an honest discussion about its effects will help to break all the stigmas that the plant is facing right now. So, let’s start by talking about its temporary effects. For that, we need to turn the page to the endocannabinoid system and how cannabis acts on it. For instance, cannabis receptors are found all over your body. One of the types of receptors, CB1, is located in the brain, and CB2 ones are present in immune cells.
So, targeting those receptors would produce different effects and some modulations in different biological functions such as memory, mood, appetite, coordination, and more. That’s when you know that cannabis high causes euphoria, increased appetite, or others. It might also cause some temporary rise in the feelings of pleasure linked with sex, music, art, or eating.
So, is reefer madness a real phenomenon?
If you go by the popular search engine “Google,” you will often hear a term, i.e., cannabis-induced psychosis. So, chances are some people might have symptoms like paranoia, delusion, or a psychotic episode. Medical marijuana doctors also talk about similar issues when giving away a medical cannabis card. But, confirms the fact that cannabis can’t cause any lethal overdose. The effects are pretty much temporary. And can be prevented by going for lower doses.
Now, let’s move forward and talk about its long-term effects if any.
Is Medical Marijuana Safe?— Long-term risks
Imagine you go to a pharmacy and ask for a prescription drug. Have you ever seen its label? You don’t pay much heed on words like “Warning” or “Precaution.” Why is that? It’s because doctors prescribe you the doses while considering the effects. But, still, you are not immune to the repercussions for taking such drugs. The same thing happens with medical marijuana, as well. Studies show that cannabis smoking is healthier than smoking tobacco. Nevertheless, the smoke contains harmful toxins or carcinogens that might cause issues in the future.
There is another theory that talks about cannabis affecting brain structure. A variety of research suggests that marijuana had varying impacts on the brain structure based on the frequency of using cannabis. According to that, cannabis use impacts the levels of grey matter that contains the critical neurons. However, the results are in relation to the outcomes in lab settings. So, here is what the scientists believe cannabis might affect you.
Cannabis Might Affect Brain Functions
Research talks about medical marijuana impacting an individual’s ability to learn. But, the mechanism is yet to unknown. A study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine found that a link between cannabis use and its impact on verbal memory in middle-aged people. It also established that fact cannabis might decline the cognitive functioning of the users. So, consulting 420 doctors while going for a medical cannabis card becomes a necessity.
Cannabis Might Cause Addiction
No matter how much the world is changing, one must know that it might cause addiction. Binding of THC naturally causes a downregulation that hampers the natural production of endocannabinoids. So, over time, users tend to develop dependence. And that makes the users ask for one. And this increases the levels of cortisol that trigger stressful situations.
Cannabis Can Trigger Mental Illness
Shocked!! But, many pieces of research show its impact on mental health as well. As we already mentioned psychosis, reports suggest it might cause schizophrenia as well. They also say that it might trigger the onset of mental illness in patients who are already suffering from the condition though the mechanism is not known yet.
If you read the blog carefully, you would have noticed there are many “might’s” or “can’s” when it comes to determining the impact of cannabis. Nothing is yet known and everything out there is just a presumption until one performs a full-fledged human trial decoding the mechanisms.
That does not mean we are ruling out every possibility. But, depending on that alone won’t be a good idea as well. It is essential if you are new to cannabis, you must be clear about the cannabis effects and its underlying mechanisms so that you can understand things clearly when talking to doctors when applying for a medical cannabis card.
But, nothing can take away the fact it has a multitude of benefits. You must start using plant responsibly. So, if anyone asks, “Is medical marijuana safe?” The answer would be dependent on how you are using it. Experts suggest going for micro-dosing to avoid reaching a threshold value. Started using cannabis yet? I hope this article helps you to figure out how to make the right choices.