Is Marijuana Safe for Recreational and Medical Use?


The debate around marijuana’s safety and health implications continues, with varying perspectives emerging from different sources. Harvard Health emphasizes the need for safe cannabis use, suggesting alternatives to smoking, like under-the-tongue tinctures, edibles, topical products, or dry herb vaporizers, to avoid lung inflammation. They advise against holding smoke in the lungs for extended periods and recommend refraining from driving for at least four hours after consumption Harvard Health.

Is Marijuana Safe for Recreational and Medical Use?

Go Ask Alice! from Columbia University discusses moderate marijuana use, highlighting that THC metabolites can linger in the body’s fatty tissue, raising questions about long-term health risks even with moderate use Go Ask Alice!. Marijuana’s impact on anesthesia is also a concern, as frequent users may require different amounts due to its effects on the central nervous system Harvard Health.

Regarding heart health, marijuana use can increase heart rate and blood pressure, posing risks for those with heart disease. Research indicates a higher risk of heart attack shortly after smoking marijuana, along with a potential link to atrial fibrillation Harvard Health. Northwell Health adds that marijuana smoke contains many of the same carcinogens as tobacco smoke, including higher levels of certain toxins, which could impact lung health Northwell Health.

However, a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests that moderate marijuana smoking might not adversely affect lung function. This study indicates that smoking up to one joint a day for seven years may not harm lung function, adding a layer of complexity to the ongoing debate Harvard Health.

Alvin Powell, a Harvard Staff Writer, notes the paradox in marijuana’s legalization and its understanding. Despite widespread public use and legalization in several states for medical and recreational purposes, there remains a gap in comprehensive medical understanding of its long-term effects. This lack of extensive scientific research adds an element of uncertainty to the conversation about marijuana’s safety and health impacts Harvard Gazette.

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