Cannabis, increasingly recognized for its legal status and medical applications, still raises significant health concerns. While many advocate for its benefits, the question remains: is it truly safe? Christy Sprague, a research scientist at Michigan State University’s Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences, points out the significance of weeds as soil health indicators, not directly related to cannabis, but emphasizing the importance of understanding natural indicators in agriculture and possibly, by extension, in health MSU Extension.
Harvard Health advises cannabis users to opt for safer methods like under-the-tongue tinctures, edibles, topical products, or dry herb vaporizers. They warn against smoking, which can inflame the lungs, and emphasize that holding cannabis smoke in the lungs for extended periods does not enhance its effects, only potentially harms lung health Harvard Health.
Kevin Hill, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, explores the nuances of marijuana’s safe use and addiction. He suggests that while the increasing legality of cannabis reflects changing societal views, it doesn’t necessarily imply safety. This is echoed by Yasmin Hurd, a neuroscientist, who cautions that legal status does not equate to a clean health bill for cannabis Harvard Health.
Concerns about heart health are prominent, with Harvard Health noting that marijuana can increase heart rate and blood pressure, posing risks for those with heart disease. Research indicates a heightened risk of heart attack shortly after smoking cannabis, and a link between its use and atrial fibrillation Harvard Health.
The cognitive effects of long-term cannabis use are equally alarming. A decrease in IQ and impairments in learning and processing speed have been noted, particularly in those who use cannabis frequently Harvard Health.
While the debate on cannabis’s safety continues, it’s clear that more research and understanding are needed. The potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis cannot be overlooked, but neither can the risks associated with its use, especially for certain individuals or in certain forms.