Marijuana Causes Asthma and Other Breathing Difficulties

asthmaSome tobacco smokers inquired about the benefits of marijuana, and if switching to the drug quickly gaining favor in the United States would be better for their health in the long run. Tobacco remains the nation’s top killer and marijuana has claimed a sizably less amount of lives; it has even been said to cure many people of pains and other medical conditions. However, there are some dangers of short and long-term use of marijuana that people need to be aware of

Though the risks of marijuana are known, it is still the most popular partially-illegal drug in the United States. Marijuana has been used in medical treatments for decades. Three states have even legalized marijuana for medicinal and recreational use. A closer look at the medical benefits shows the following results:

  • THC, the main ingredient in marijuana, has been known to treat nausea. The most common place to see this nowadays is during cancer chemotherapy. The nausea that comes with the harsh radiation treatment is researched and proven to be a relieved by moderate marijuana use.
  • Cannabis has been working to reduce pressure in the eyes of glaucoma victims since the ‘70s. It is thus far unknown how marijuana works this way, though.
  • Since the 1800s marijuana has been used as a pain reliever. Today, patients prescribed marijuana are often victims of cancer pains. Cannabis also relieves pains that doctors prescribe opiates for, and marijuana requires less of a dosage.
  • The tremors, muscle spasms, and pain of multiple sclerosis is also treatable by marijuana, research shows.

The medical benefits would show anyone that marijuana has value in society; however, there is a catch. Prolonged use of marijuana has adverse health effects. It can cause mental impairment in areas of problem-solving, critical thinking, and memory. While under the influence, users lose their center of balance and have a lack of coordination. Smoking also increases the risk of heart attack and the likelihood of respiratory diseases such as asthma. But the risks do not stop there.

The Mental State of a Smoker

When marijuana is smoked, THC travels through the bloodstream to the brain. There, it settles in sites called cannabinoid receptors and causes an overstimulation of dopamine to cycle out, but blocks the return. Because of this, the brain consistently sends out dopamine, waiting for some to return. This causes the pleasure feelings that is known as the “high”. Cannabinoid receptors are found throughout the brain, but the highest amount are found in places that control memory, pleasure, concentration, and time perception. Research shows that continuous smoking can affect certain areas of the brain for weeks after the last smoke. Meaning an everyday smoker is operating at a handicapped intellectual level most or all of the time. Long term users have reported symptoms that mimic tobacco withdrawals such as irritability, decreased appetite, exhaustion, and drug cravings – making marijuana difficult to quit for those who are addicted. Withdrawal symptoms can begin as soon as one day after the last smoke and last for weeks. The most harmful effects marijuana has on the body are as follows:

  • Marijuana more than quadruples the risk of heart attack in the first half hour after smoking.
  • Smokers often develop respiratory diseases. These include phlem, chest illness, chronic cough, obstructed airways, and an increased risk of lung infections. Marijuana contains over 50 percent more carcinogens than tobacco and the method in which pot smokers consume (inhaling deeper and holding the smoke in longer) increases the body’s exposure and therefore increasing the risks.
  • Marijuana has shown evidence of increasing a user’s risk of head and neck cancers. Studies have shown that continuous smokers have developed cancers in the mouth, tongue, and throat more than those who only smoke tobacco.

Reference:

Health Central – http://www.healthcentral.com/copd/c/89783/34522/marajuana?ic=506048

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