When it comes to using cannabis, safety is a paramount concern. While some advocate for its benefits, there are potential risks to consider. For instance, Harvard Health suggests using cannabis safely by opting for under-the-tongue tinctures, edibles, topical products, or dry herb vaporizers instead of smoking. Smoking cannabis can inflame the lungs, and holding in the smoke doesn’t increase its effect but rather irritates the lungs. Furthermore, it’s advised not to drive for at least four hours after using cannabis.
Vaping marijuana, however, might carry its own set of concerns. According to a study noted by University of Michigan, adolescents who vaped marijuana were about twice as likely to report respiratory symptoms like “wheezing and whistling” compared to those who did not vape. This raises questions about the long-term effects of vaping THC products.
The impact of marijuana on memory cannot be overlooked either. THC, the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana, affects brain regions crucial for memory formation, such as the hippocampus, amygdala, and cerebral cortex. As Harvard Health points out, the extent of cognitive effects from long-term marijuana use, whether medical or recreational, is still under research, adding an element of uncertainty.
Aside from health, the environmental impact of cannabis cultivation is significant. In California’s Siskiyou County, for instance, illegal marijuana cultivators used about 1.5 to 2 million gallons of water daily in 2014, as reported by Brookings. This large-scale water theft raises concerns about the sustainability and environmental ethics of cannabis cultivation.
Interestingly, cannabis cultivation also intersects with lawn care practices. For example, the advice to “mow high for weed and grub control” from Michigan State University Extension is an eco-friendly approach that contrasts with intensive cannabis farming methods. Additionally, strategies for managing weeds and drought conditions in lawns, as discussed by UCANR and IFAS, highlight the complex relationship between agriculture, climate, and environmental stewardship.
While the benefits of cannabis may be debated, it’s clear that its use, cultivation, and impact on the environment and personal health are complex issues that warrant careful consideration and further research.