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Adverse Health Effects of Marijuana Use

The landscape for legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use is rapidly shifting, patients may be more likely to ask their physicians about its effects on ones health, both being potentially adverse or beneficial. One very popular notion about the use of marijuana is that, it is a harmless and satisfying pleasure, and access to its usage for recreational use should not be considered illegal or regulated. Currently marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States. Statistics show that there are particularly high rates of marijuana use amongst young people, and 12% 12 years of age and older reported using the drug in the past year.

The most common way the drug is administered is through inhalation. The greenish leaves and flowers of the Cannabis Sativa plant are shredded and then smoked, the stems and seeds are sometimes used too, in cigarettes, cigars, pipes, water pipes, or “blunts”. Hashish is a related marijuana product that’s created from the resin of marijuana flowers and it is usually smoked by itself, or in a mixture with tobacco, and it can also be ingested orally. Sometimes marijuana is used to brew tea as well, and its oil- based extract can be mixed into food products.

Marijuana and Pregnancy

Studies suggest that marijuana use during pregnancy may lead to fetal harm, including congenital defects, developmental (learning) disabilities, and miscarriage. The effects may increase when marijuana is smoked, adding toxins that also are harmful


MJBizDaily reports, “California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. Since then, the medical use of cannabis has been legalized in 39 states and the District of Columbia. Recreational or adult use of cannabis is also legal in D.C. and 19 states.”

Although marijuana use is becoming even more accepted, decriminalizing marijuana use should be a federal decision, and it should not be legal to use recreationally.

Researchers have differing stances on wether marijuana is considered a gateway drug, it does have every possibility to be one, and it can open the door for marijuana users to move into heavier and more dangerous drug substances.

In a report on marijuana use as a possible gateway drug, the National Institute on Drug Abuse says, “ … a study using longitudinal data from the National Epidemiological Study of Alcohol Use and Related Disorders found that adults who reported marijuana use during the first wave of the survey were more likely than adults who did not use marijuana to develop an alcohol use disorder within three years … Marijuana use is also linked to other substance use disorders including nicotine addiction.” The CDC has also outlined the short- and long-term effects marijuana has on the brain as well as how it can also affect ones mental health.

Read more about the effects of Marijuana use on health at:


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