Marijuana can affect our bodies adversely. Marijuana is an herb. It contains chemicals called cannabinoids that affect the central nervous system. Cannabinoids are found in the highest concentration in the leaves and flowers, the parts of the herb used to make medicine. Some people take marijuana extract by mouth or as a spray to be applied under the tongue for pain and symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Some people inhale marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Uses Of Marijuana:
- HIV/AIDS-related weight loss. Smoking marijuana seems to stimulate the appetite of people with AIDS. Marijuana cigarettes can also cause weight gain in people with HIV who are also taking indinavir (Crixivan) or nelfinavir (Viracept).
- Multiple sclerosis (MS). Applying a specific spray containing marijuana extract (Sativex, GW Pharmaceuticals) under the tongue seems to improve some self-reported symptoms of multiple sclerosis, including muscle spasms, the need to urinate, and nerve pain. In the UK, this product is approved as a prescription medicine to treat muscle spasms in people with MS. In Canada, this product is approved to treat nerve pain in people with MS. This product is not available as a prescription medicine in the US.
Medical Benefits Of Marijuana:
Research on the use of marijuana for specific conditions shows:
- Glaucoma. Marijuana might reduce the pressure in the eye caused by this eye condition. However, the effect appears to last only a few hours. Some findings indicate that marijuana may decrease blood flow to the optic nerve, increasing the risk of vision loss in people with glaucoma.
- Nausea and vomiting associated with cancer treatment. Research has shown that an active ingredient in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), effectively reduces nausea and vomiting in people undergoing chemotherapy.
- Pain. Marijuana use might reduce the intensity of shooting or burning pain, often due to nerve damage (neuropathic pain) caused by HIV, diabetes, and other conditions.
- Seizures. It’s not clear if marijuana effectively treats seizures.
Spasticity. Marijuana use might reduce muscle stiffness, spasms, and urinary frequency caused by multiple sclerosis.
Medically, marijuana use is generally considered safe. But different strains of marijuana have different amounts of THC. It can make dosing marijuana difficult. Marijuana can cause:
- Dry mouth and dry eyes
- Lightheadedness and dizziness
Other side effects may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased heart rate
- Increased appetite
Furthermore, if you have a mental health condition, use marijuana with caution. Marijuana use might worsen manic symptoms in people who have bipolar disorder. If used frequently, marijuana might increase the risk of depression or worsen depression symptoms. Research suggests that marijuana use increases the risk of psychosis in people with schizophrenia.
Smoking marijuana can affect your memory and cognitive function and cause harmful cardiovascular effects, such as high blood pressure. Long-term marijuana use can worsen respiratory conditions.
Marijuana has a central nervous system (CNS) depressant effect. As a result, marijuana use in combination with anesthesia or other drugs used during or after surgery might cause an additive effect.
Ways to Use Marijuana
You can use marijuana in a variety of ways. Smoking usually offers the quickest way to feel its effects:
- Rolled cigarettes
- Small handheld pipes
- Water pipes called a bong
- A cigar that has been hollowed out and refilled with marijuana is called a blunt
- Sticky resins are drawn from the cannabis plant. Resins often are loaded with much higher amounts of THC than regular marijuana.
- You also can mix it into brownies, tea, coffee, or any food items.
Medically, marijuana use is generally considered safe. But different strains of marijuana have different amounts of THC. If you have a mental health condition, use marijuana with caution. Marijuana use might worsen manic symptoms in people who have bipolar disorder. If used frequently, marijuana might increase the risk of depression or worsen depression symptoms. Research suggests that marijuana use increases the risk of psychosis in people with schizophrenia.
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