The 7 Surprising Side Effects of Medical Marijuana You Need to Know
Marijuana is not a new discovery. It has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. However, the use of medical marijuana has picked up in recent times, especially after the legalization of marijuana in several states in the US. Medical marijuana is said to have numerous benefits, but it also has its side effects. This post will outline seven surprising side effects of medical marijuana that you need to know.
1. Increased Appetite
One of the most well-known side effects of medical marijuana is an increased appetite. THC, the primary active component in marijuana, stimulates the release of hormones that stimulate hunger. This effect is commonly known as the “munchies.” This side effect can be beneficial for patients undergoing chemotherapy or suffering from eating disorders. However, it can be a problem for individuals who need to watch their calorie intake.
2. Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is another common side effect of medical marijuana. This happens because the cannabinoids in marijuana bind with the saliva-producing cells in the mouth, reducing saliva production. This side effect can be alleviated by drinking lots of water or using gum or lozenges to stimulate saliva production.
3. Impaired Memory
Marijuana use can impair short-term memory. THC affects the hippocampus, a part of the brain responsible for memory formation. This side effect can be more pronounced in long-term users. However, the effects are temporary and do not cause permanent damage to the brain.
4. Increased Heart Rate
Marijuana use can temporarily raise the heart rate, especially during the first hour after use. This side effect can be concerning for individuals with heart conditions. However, it is generally not dangerous and subsides after a few hours.
5. Reduced Blood Pressure
Marijuana can cause a temporary drop in blood pressure. This side effect can be beneficial for individuals with high blood pressure or hypertension. However, it can be a problem for individuals with low blood pressure, as it can cause dizziness or fainting.
6. Anxiety and Paranoia
Marijuana can cause anxiety and paranoia, especially in individuals who are predisposed to these conditions. THC can trigger changes in neurotransmitters in the brain, leading to feelings of anxiety and paranoia.
7. Respiratory Problems
Smoking marijuana can cause respiratory problems, similar to those caused by smoking tobacco. This side effect can be avoided by using other methods of ingestion, such as edibles or vaporizers.
Q: Is medical marijuana legal?
A: Medical marijuana is legal in some states in the US, but it is still illegal at the federal level. Patients need to have a medical marijuana card to purchase and use medical marijuana.
Q: Can I get high from medical marijuana?
A: Yes, medical marijuana can cause a “high” due to the presence of THC. However, the psychoactive effects can be minimized by using strains with higher levels of CBD, another cannabinoid found in marijuana.
Q: Can medical marijuana be addictive?
A: Yes, long-term use of medical marijuana can lead to addiction. However, the risk of addiction is lower compared to other substances such as opioids.
Q: Can I drive after using medical marijuana?
A: No, it is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana. Marijuana can impair your reaction time and judgement, making it dangerous to drive.
Q: Can I use medical marijuana while pregnant or breastfeeding?
A: No, it is not recommended to use medical marijuana while pregnant or breastfeeding. THC can cross the placenta or breast milk and affect the developing fetus or infant.
Medical marijuana has numerous benefits, but it also has side effects that need to be considered. The most common side effects include increased appetite, dry mouth, impaired memory, increased heart rate, reduced blood pressure, anxiety and paranoia, and respiratory problems. It is important to discuss the potential side effects with a healthcare professional before using medical marijuana. Always follow the recommended dosage and method of ingestion to minimize the risk of side effects.