More than 1 in 3 people in American have tried marijuana in some form in their lives. The smoke of marijuana contains 60 chemicals known as cannabinoids, and the most popular one is THC. People have been smoking weed for ages, but there have always been some controversy surrounding the use of marijuana. Do you know exactly what makes it that controversial? What are the real pros and cons of weed? Keep reading to learn more about it.
Pros of Weed
You may not believe it, but there are a number of pros and cons of weed. Now let’s first take a look at its benefits to find out why some support it.
1. Treat Glaucoma
Glaucoma, an eye disease that increases pressure in the eyeball and even leads to loss of vision, responds well to weed. Studies show that marijuana helps decrease the pressure inside your eye. Smoking marijuana may also help slow the progression of glaucoma.
2. Reverse the Carcinogenic Effects of Tobacco
A study published in 2012 showed that marijuana might help increase lung capacity; in fact, it may even help improve your lung capacity that is affected by tobacco smoking. Many experts believe this improvement is not due to marijuana but is the outcome of taking deep breaths while inhaling the drug.
3. Control Epileptic Seizures
A study conducted in 2003 showed that marijuana could be quite helpful in preventing epileptic seizures. It is mainly because THC binds itself to the brain cells that regulate relaxation and control excitability.
4. Stop Cancer from Spreading
Cancer spreads by creating more copies of a gene called Id-1, but researchers have found that smoking weed will hamper this process and stop cancer from spreading through the body. Some researchers say that cannabis has compounds that may even help kill cancer cells.
5. Decrease Anxiety
Research shows that smoking weed may improve your mood. And medical marijuana users say they find it extremely beneficial when they feel anxious. It relieves pain, decreases anxiety, and suppresses nausea. So, it is often used to deal with side effects of chemotherapy. It even works as a sedative, but higher doses produce the opposite effect.
6. Maintain Your Figure
Some studies have found that weed smokers are skinnier as compared to the average person and their metabolism is healthier too. Pot smokers have better reaction to sugars, so they don’t put on fat.
7. Increase Creativity
Have you ever seen a pot smoker who tries new things that non-smokers do not even think of? Even though you cannot count it as a health benefit, it should be taken as a positive mental effect that spurs creativity in the brain and helps you find new ideas. That usually happens because marijuana triggers the release of dopamine and lessens inhibitions, which in turn give your brain the ability to think differently.
8. Eliminate Nightmares
This one is tricky. Smoking weed affects the later stage of REM sleep, which means you may never get into the phase where you have nightmares. It can be a blessing for someone suffering from nightmares associated with PTSD.
9. Other Pros of Weed
There are many other pros that should be added into the list of pros and cons of weed. For example, marijuana can help you cut back on drinking, reduce nausea, stimulate appetite, protect your brain after a stroke, and even protect your brain from concussions and trauma. It may also prove beneficial for people with Crohn’s disease.
Cons of Weed
Among a number of pros and cons of weed, you have already known the pros; here is the list of some basic cons.
1. Affect Your Body Negatively in Short-Term
You will notice short-term side effects for about an hour of smoking marijuana. Some of the most common ones include dry mouth, red eyes, psychosis, fatigue, dizziness and increased heart rate.
2. Make You Anxious or Paranoid
Studies show that marijuana can affect a specific region of the brain that is responsible for fear.It is common for people to feel paranoid and anxious after smoking weed. Some people even get panic attacks and have bouts of anxiety after using cannabis.
3. May Make You Feel Depressed
Depression is more common in pot smokers. However, it is not clear whether pot smokers smoke because they are depressed or they become depressed after smoking weed.
4. Impair Memory
Several studies suggest that pot smoking may affect your cognitive function in a negative way. The effect on short-term memory is quite noticeable, but marijuana affects long-term memory as well. Besides, some studies suggest that marijuana use decreases IQ level. More evidence is needed to confirm this though.
5. Irritate Your Respiratory System
While there are many different ways to take marijuana, smoking is one of the most common, which may end up irritating the airways. Besides, cannabis smoking may lead to some respiratory problems, like increased phlegm and persistent cough.
6. Get Addicted
Quite like other recreational drugs, pot smoking can lead to addiction. About 9% of marijuana users end up becoming addicted to the drug.
7. Other Cons of Weed
There are other cons should be added into the list of pros and cons of weed.
- Its excessive use can sometimes cause serious health problems such as low blood pressure, liver disease or diabetes.
- Heavy use may also lower your testosterone levels, which in turn will affect your sperm count and quality.
- Research has also found links between marijuana use and several mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, short-term psychosis, suicidal thoughts and schizophrenia. Even if not causing all these issues, smoking pot can definitely aggravate a pre-existing condition.