Marijuana can cause many health problems including breathing difficulties, increased heart rate, decreased blood pressure, cancer and immune system suppression. No matter how it gets into your system, it affects almost every organ in your body, and your nervous system and immune system, too.
Marijuana smoke contains 50% to 70% more cancer-causing substances than tobacco smoke.A single cannabis joint could cause as much damage to the lungs as up to five regular cigarettes smoked one after another.
Smoking marijuana can increase your heart rate by as much as 2 times for up to 3 hours. That’s why some people have a heart attack right after use.
HEALTH EFFECTS OF MARIJUANA USE
Short Term Effects
Short-term memory loss
Difficulty with thinking & problem-solving
Increased heartbeat (and risk of heart attack)
Poor coordination of movement
Slowed reaction time
Changes in mood
Altered sense of time
Altered sense (ex: seeing bright colors)
Long Term Effects
Physical withdrawal symptoms when usage stops (cravings, irritability, sleeplessness, and less appetite)
Negative impact on brain development
More likely to contract common illness (colds, bronchitis, etc.)
Personality and long-term mood changes
When marijuana users begin using as a teen, the drug may reduce thinking, memory, and learning functions and affect how the brain builds connections between the areas necessary for these functions.
Marijuana use impairs the brain’s ability to focus and create new memories.
HOW TO TELL IF SOMEONE YOU KNOW MAY BE USING MARIJUANA
The most immediate signs of marijuana use include:
Bloodshot eyes, increased heart rate, increased appetite, memory impairment, and difficulty paying attention or solving problems.
When monitoring for symptoms of marijuana use, there may be:
Anxiety, fear or panic reactions, hallucinations, paranoia and delusional behavior
If you suspect – or know – that someone is using marijuana, many resources are availiable in Kalamazoo County who can help. Click herefor resources.
To learn more about marijuana; what it is, how it’s used, what makes a person get high, and why it’s important we’re talking about it, click here.
The Kalamazoo County Substance Abuse Task Force is a dedicated group of youth and adult community members that develop strategies, programs, and practices to address alcohol and substance abuse issues in our community.
To learn more or to get involved with the Task Force and its events, contact: Julie Smith
Copyright Prevention Works. 2015. All rights reserved.
U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration. (2011). Drugs of Abuse 2011 Edition: A DEA Resource Guide. Retrieved from www.dea.gov.
National Institute of Drug Abuse, Research Report Series