Is Marijuana Safe? Exploring the Risks and Benefits

Is Marijuana Safe? Exploring the Risks and Benefits

With the increasing legalization of marijuana, a paradox emerges: widespread public use contrasts with cautionary medical advice. Despite legalization in 33 states for medical purposes and 11 for recreational use, researchers and scientists urge a careful approach. Harvard’s Alvin Powell highlights this in his article, “Professor explores marijuana’s safe use and addiction”, suggesting that legal does not always equate to safe.

The use of cannabis, though increasingly common, raises several health concerns. Smoking cannabis can irritate the lungs, potentially leading to issues like chronic bronchitis. Inhaling cannabis smoke exposes users to many of the same harmful substances found in cigarette smoke, contributing to heart disease and cancer risks. Alternative methods such as under-the-tongue tinctures, edibles, topicals, or dry herb vaporizers are suggested for safer consumption. Harvard Health advises against holding cannabis smoke in the lungs, as it doesn’t enhance the effect but can harm the lungs.

Mental health risks associated with cannabis are also noteworthy, especially for those with a family history of psychosis or schizophrenia. Early cannabis use in adolescence, particularly in these cases, can trigger psychotic symptoms and potentially lead to long-lasting problems.

For those using cannabis, being open with healthcare providers is essential. Some illicit drugs can interact negatively with medications, leading to adverse effects like high blood pressure or heart attacks. Cannabidiol (CBD), often associated with medical treatments, can yield positive results in drug tests and should be disclosed to healthcare professionals.

Despite its growing acceptance, cannabis remains a subject of debate. The advantages of rapid onset and dosage control through inhalation must be weighed against the disadvantages of lung irritation and the need for frequent redosing.

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As the discussion around cannabis continues, it is crucial to consider both its potential benefits and risks. The evolving legal landscape and ongoing research point to a need for a nuanced understanding of cannabis and its effects on health.

Professor explores marijuana’s safe use and addiction
If you use cannabis do it safely – Harvard Health
Risks and Benefits of Legalized Cannabis – Johns Hopkins
Should you tell your doctor about your drug use?
Cannabinoid Screen and Confirmation (Urine) – Health Encyclopedia
It may be increasingly legal but doesn’t mean cannabis is safe
The Facts About Recreational Marijuana – Health Encyclopedia
Common questions about medical cannabis – Harvard Health
Marijuana and heart health: What you need to know

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