The legalization of marijuana has spread across various regions, with 33 states in the United States permitting its use for medical purposes, and 11 states allowing recreational usage. However, there is a persistent paradox in its public perception and scientific understanding. Despite widespread use, there are significant gaps in the medical community’s knowledge about the potential risks and benefits associated with marijuana use.
Concerns have been raised regarding the impact of marijuana on mental health, particularly for individuals with a family history of psychosis or schizophrenia. The onset of cannabis use during early adolescence may trigger psychotic symptoms and potentially result in prolonged challenges with psychosis and schizophrenia. It is recommended to avoid smoking cannabis, as it can lead to lung inflammation. Alternatively, users are advised to consider under-the-tongue tinctures, edibles, topical products, or dry herb vaporizers. For those who do smoke, it is advised not to hold the smoke in the lungs for more than a second or two, as doing so does not enhance the effects but rather irritates the lungs. Additionally, it is crucial to avoid driving for at least four hours after consumption.
There are significant heart-related risks associated with marijuana use. The substance can cause an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, posing a particular danger for individuals with existing heart conditions. Research has indicated that the risk of a heart attack is several times higher in the hour following marijuana use. Additionally, studies have found links between marijuana usage and atrial fibrillation, a condition characterized by an irregular and often rapid heart rate. It is important to approach marijuana use with caution, considering these potential cardiovascular risks.
Despite its growing legality and popularity, it is paramount to acknowledge that cannabis is not without its risks. Smoking marijuana exposes users to many of the same toxins, irritants, and carcinogens found in cigarette smoke, substances known to contribute to heart disease and cancer. Given that marijuana cultivation and usage have a history spanning over 6,000 years, it is vital to continue researching and understanding its effects on the human body.
A recent survey found that two-thirds of Americans support the legalization of recreational marijuana use, and nearly 70 percent of states have legalized its medical use. However, this increasing acceptance does not negate the potential risks associated with its use. Researchers at Stanford Medicine have conducted extensive studies, indicating that people who use marijuana have an increased risk of heart disease and heart attack. The active component in marijuana, THC, has been found to cause inflammation in the endothelial cells lining blood vessels, as well as contribute to atherosclerosis in laboratory mice.
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Risks and Benefits of Legalized Cannabis – Johns Hopkins
If you use cannabis do it safely – Harvard Health
Marijuana may be risky for your heart – Harvard Health
Marijuana and heart health: What you need to know
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Marijuana linked to heart disease
How does marijuana affect the heart? – Harvard Health
The Facts About Recreational Marijuana – Health Encyclopedia