The ongoing legalization of marijuana across various states has brought with it a mix of enthusiasm and concern. With 33 states allowing medical use and 11 for recreational purposes, understanding the safety and risks associated with cannabis is more crucial than ever.
Harvard Health highlights that, while the use of cannabis can be enjoyed safely, there are certain precautions to consider. For instance, instead of smoking cannabis, which can inflame the lungs, alternatives such as under-the-tongue tinctures, edibles, topical products, or dry herb vaporizers are recommended. It’s also advised not to hold cannabis smoke in the lungs for more than a second or two, as this doesn’t enhance the effect but rather irritates the lungsHarvard Health.
Despite its widespread use, cannabis isn’t without risks. Harvard Health and other sources indicate potential heart-related risks, such as an increased heart rate and higher blood pressure, which can be particularly hazardous for those with heart diseaseHarvard Health. Furthermore, marijuana smoke contains many of the same toxins, irritants, and carcinogens found in cigarette smoke, which raises concerns about long-term health impacts.
Withdrawal symptoms from cannabis can also be a significant issue, with reported symptoms including aggression, anger, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, depression, and physical discomfort. This array of withdrawal symptoms raises questions about the ease of reducing or ceasing cannabis useHarvard Health.
The effects of cannabis on lung health are also noteworthy. Northwell Health reports that marijuana smoke has many of the same carcinogens as tobacco smoke, sometimes in higher concentrations. This similarity is particularly concerning given the known risks associated with tobacco smokeNorthwell Health.
In summary, while cannabis can be used safely, it is imperative to approach its use with caution and awareness of the potential risks. By understanding and adhering to safer consumption methods and being aware of the possible health impacts, individuals can make more informed choices about their use of cannabis.