Before we look at the long-term effects of weed, let us first understand what weed is.
What is Weed?
Weed is also known as marijuana. It comes from the leaves and extracts of a plant called cannabis sativa.
Although illegal in many states across America, weed is commonly used for recreational purposes.
It goes by different street names such as: bhang, boom, astroturf, blunt, chronic, dope, ganja, dagga, gangster, grass, herb, hemp, homegrown, Mary Jane, J, pot, Kiff, reefer, smoke, purple haze, roach, nederweed, white, skunk, super skunk, widow, Texas tea, hashish, hash, among others.
It is usually smoked. Some people also brew it with tea or add it to food, biscuits, cookies, and cakes.
In recent times, the drug has become more potent than before. This is because of the growing techniques applied that use selective seeds resulting in a powerful drug.
Why is Weed Addictive?
What makes you high after using weed is THC, tetrahydrocannabinol. This chemical compound mimics your body’s endocannabinoids. The endocannabinoids control the neurotransmitters in your brain, relax your muscles, regulate your appetite as well as metabolism, reduce inflammation, among other functions.
When you smoke weed, THC takes over the functions of the endocannabinoids by mimicking them. That is why weed smokers have heightened appetite levels. THC is a psychoactive compound that makes you high and increases your sensitivity to different kinds of sounds.
THC increases your dopamine levels making you euphoric. How high you get depends on how much THC you take.
Abuse of weed leads to addiction. That is to say, taking weed to experience that high increases your risk of becoming addicted.
Studies reveal that:
1 out 11 people who use weed become addicted to it.
Young people who begin smoking weed in their teens have a 1 in 6 chance of getting addicted.
There are a number of ways you can get addicted:
Experimenting with weed and different drugs simultaneously
Using lots of weed over prolonged periods of time
How Weed Affects the Human Body Long-term
Weed affects different parts of your body as follows:
CNS (Central Nervous System)
Because of the THC in weed, your brain is triggered to release large volumes of the dopamine-the feel-good chemical in your body. This is what causes you to feel high and euphoric. THC also changes the way your brain processes information causing impairment to your memory and judgment.
Other effects of THC are changing the basal ganglia and cerebellum functions in your brain. The two are responsible for maintaining your body balance and coordinating your movement. Weed is capable of affecting your reflex responses, coordination and balance. It is therefore not advisable to drive after using weed.
High doses of weed can make you hallucinate. NIDA reports that there may be a link to weed use and mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. If you are schizophrenic, it is best to stay away from weed as it can worsen the symptoms.
Those below the age of 25 whose brain function is not yet fully developed and use weed are at a very high risk of affecting their memory and thinking processes.
Pregnant women who use weed expose their babies to brain impairment which in turn affects their problem-solving abilities, concentration, and memory.
Weed smoke has toxic chemicals such as hydrogen cyanide and ammonia. These chemicals can cause irritation to your lungs and bronchial passage.
Weed is known to aggravate a number of respiratory conditions such as cystic fibrosis and asthma.
If you smoke weed regularly, you are highly likely to cough, wheeze as well as produce phlegm. You also increase your chances of getting lung and bronchial infections.
THC is transported by the blood from the lungs to the rest of your body. THC may increase your heartbeat from 20-50 beats every minute continuously for almost 3 hours. If you are suffering from a heart ailment, this can make you more susceptible to a heart attack.
How to Find Help
Are you or a loved one finding it hard to go through the day without taking weed? Then you, your family member or your friend needs help.
The first step you should take is to find a drug rehab center – Sunshine Behavioral Health that can not only treat the addiction but also the psychological and emotional effects that come with weed addiction.
If you are feeling anxious, depressed, despaired, or having any suicidal thoughts, you can get all the assistance you need in a good rehab center.
Picture Credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/smoke-cigarette-smoking-tobacco-933237/