Is Pot Bad For You?
Cannabis, also known as marijuana, can increase the risks of clinical depression and aggravate the symptoms of mental disorders. While scientists are unsure why marijuana causes paranoia, they do know that high doses can make people lose touch with reality. In addition, marijuana may cause a person to experience anxiety, panic attacks, and a general loss of touch with reality. While researchers have yet to discover exactly why pot makes people feel paranoid, the risks outweigh the benefits.
THC affects strategic locations in the brain
Research shows that THC affects strategic areas of the brain, including the hippocampus, where memories are formed and stored. While this may not seem like a big deal, chronic exposure to THC has been shown to accelerate this process. In a mouse model, chronic THC exposure led to reduced numbers of neurons in the hippocampal area by 11-12 months. Clearly, this is not good for your health.
THC interferes with anti-inflammatory mechanisms
There are 450 substances in the cannabis plant, but three of them are responsible for the intoxicating effect. These chemicals act on two receptors in the body, CB1, and CB2, to stimulate anti-inflammatory and perception-altering responses. The cannabis plant also contains beta-caryophyllene, a component of the essential oil, which comprises about twelve to thirty-five percent of its total weight.
THC blocks pain
The findings suggest that THC blocks pain in the body. The research involved a series of tests involving the participants’ brain imaging and rated pain. They also underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) tests to analyze connections between different areas of the brain. Participants then received either THC or a placebo oil and rated their pain levels again at one hour and two hours. Two hours later, participants underwent a second brain scan, and they were questioned again. Results from the study indicate that the treatment with THC reduces pain.
THC regulates sleep patterns
Studies have shown that THC reduces circadian rhythms, a phase of sleep associated with dreaming, learning, and problem-solving. The REM sleep cycle involves increased heart rate and respiration. Heavy THC reduces nightmares, though the effects on non-PTSD patients are not clear. Excessive REM sleep can also lead to insomnia, a condition that often occurs due to stress and chronic medical conditions.
Marijuana is linked to schizophrenia
Although it is not clear exactly how cannabis use affects the brain, there is a strong connection between the two. People who use cannabis on a regular basis are six times more likely to develop schizophrenia than low-to-moderate users. This study, however, had several limitations. The term “low” was used to describe use only twice a week, while “high” was defined as daily or almost daily use. Despite its positive implications, it is still important to keep in mind that cannabis use and schizophrenia may be linked.
Marijuana smoke is carcinogenic
While it is not known whether marijuana smoke is a cancer risk, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has classified it as a potential carcinogen. In a 2009 report, the office noted that marijuana smoke contains between 50 and seventy percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke. There is also a correlation between marijuana smoke and chronic bronchitis. But this is a complicated topic.
Marijuana causes chromosomal changes
Cannabis use is directly related to chromosomal changes. This is consistent with prior research linking cannabis to chromosomal anomalies and cancers. It also impacts public health, as evidenced by its rapid increase in use among the youth. This association also accounts for the discontinuity between the fourth and fifth quintiles of marijuana exposure. Moreover, the relationships observed were robust even after adjustment for ETOPFA rates. In addition, cannabis causes chromosomal changes across 500 MB of the human genome.