As more states and countries legalize cannabis for medicinal and recreational use, the debate over its health effects continues to rage. Proponents argue that cannabis has numerous therapeutic benefits, while detractors insist that it can cause harm, especially when used by young people. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the complex relationship between cannabis and health, drawing on insights from experts and researchers.
Cannabis's effects on sleep and sleepiness can also be influenced by how you take it, said Dr. Ashima Sahni, a pulmonologist and sleep specialist. Some people find that certain strains or methods of consumption help them sleep better, while others may experience increased sleepiness or insomnia.
The impact of cannabis use on young people is a significant concern for many experts. You're laying the groundwork for your career, for your social groups, your physical and mental health. “The effects are subtle,” Lisdahl said, “but they can be long-lasting and detrimental to one's success and happiness.”
So you have an aging population that's going to have cardiovascular disease and other health issues. We know that smoke itself has harmful chemicals in it, so those who choose to smoke cannabis may be putting themselves at risk for respiratory problems and other health complications.
Kansas hasn't enacted a medical marijuana program or even decriminalized weed. Even getting caught with a pipe or rolling papers can land you in legal trouble, further complicating the relationship between cannabis and health.
The Biden administration released its budget proposal last week, and there was both good news and bad news for cannabis advocates. While the proposal includes provisions to protect medical cannabis programs, it also calls for increased funding for law enforcement efforts targeting the illicit cannabis market, which could have implications for public health.
“They know people now who have medical marijuana cards, or they have them themselves,” Tilley said. “They're realizing it's not the big, bad monster it was made out to be.” As public opinion shifts, more research is needed to fully understand the health effects of cannabis use.
Cannabis can cause harm, too. Cannabis doesn't cause respiratory depression, so it doesn't cause what we think of as an “overdose.” But use of high-THC products can lead to acute intoxication, which can result in impaired judgment, anxiety, and other negative health outcomes.
The mental health impacts of using cannabis aren't yet clear, though some studies have linked it to increased risk of depression and suicide. More research is needed to determine the extent of the relationship between cannabis use and mental health disorders, as well as the potential therapeutic benefits of certain cannabinoids for mental health conditions.
“Marijuana smokers breathe in more deeply, and they hold their breath longer, before they exhale. You combine the irritating effect of longer exposure to smoke with the fact that cannabis smoke contains many of the same harmful substances as tobacco smoke, and you have a recipe for respiratory problems,” says Dr. Sahni.
As cannabis becomes more mainstream, it's essential for users to be educated about the potential risk and benefits associated with its use. This includes understanding the differences between strains, methods of consumption, and dosages, as well as being aware of any underlying health conditions that may be affected by cannabis use.
In conclusion, the relationship between cannabis and health is complex and multifaceted. As more research is conducted and public opinion shifts, it's crucial for individuals to stay informed and make responsible choices about their cannabis use. Ultimately, the key to maximizing the benefits and minimizing the risk of cannabis lies in education, moderation, and open dialogue between patients, healthcare providers, and the broader community.