Is Cannabis Truly Safe? Unpacking the Paradox of Its Legalization and Health Risks

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Is Cannabis Truly Safe? Unpacking the Paradox of Its Legalization and Health Risks

Despite the growing legalization of cannabis, both for medical and recreational use, the debate around its safety remains complex and often contradictory. While some advocate for its benefits, others raise concerns about its potential risks.

Harvard Health emphasizes the need for safe cannabis use, highlighting that although it may be legal, it doesn’t inherently mean it’s without risks. They advise against smoking cannabis, which can irritate the lungs, and recommend alternatives like under-the-tongue tinctures, edibles, topical products, or dry herb vaporizers. They also caution against holding cannabis smoke in the lungs for more than a second or two, as it does not enhance the effect but can cause lung irritationHarvard Health.

Further delving into the implications of cannabis use, Harvard Gazette discusses the paradox of its widespread use against limited medical understanding. While 33 states allow medical use and 11 for recreational, there remains a lack of comprehensive research on its long-term effects. The article underscores risks, particularly for individuals with a history of psychosis or schizophrenia, and the potential for triggering psychotic symptomsHarvard Gazette.

Johns Hopkins Public Health explores the risks and benefits of legalized cannabis. They highlight that while public sentiment is largely in favor of legalization, there is a need for more research to understand its full impact on health and societyJohns Hopkins.

Cornell University’s research on the behavioral effects of marijuana use presents findings on cognitive impairments. Chronic use, especially starting in adolescence, can lead to memory lapses, decision-making difficulties, and attention issues. This is particularly concerning given the trend of earlier cannabis use among adolescentsCornell University.

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In summary, while cannabis may offer some benefits, there’s a growing body of evidence suggesting potential risks to mental and physical health. The need for caution and further research becomes imperative, especially in the context of its increasing legalization and normalization.

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