Consuming marijuana affects the body in many ways. The elated feeling you experience after consuming it is attributed to tetrahydrocannabinol better known as THC. This is the chemical substance that accounts for the psychoactive effects.
Cannabis use can be risky. Frequent and long-term use has been linked to some harmful effects. This is regardless of whether it was used recreationally or medically. Such harmful effects include:
Long-term use of cannabis as a coping mechanism for anxiety and other psychological issues has its down sides. The main problem is psychological dependence. This however is less likely to happen since the healing properties of cannabis are fast acting. Thus long-term health use is unlikely to develop.
Long-Term Memory Loss
THC has been observed to alter the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain responsible for memory formation. The studies show that long-term cannabis use can cause memory loss and in extreme cases have negative consequences on the brain’s motivation system.
Exacerbation of Symptoms
THC has been known to increase the severity of already existing symptoms of ailments. If you have anxiety it can make the feeling much worse when it increases your heart rate. Excessive use can also make you feel scared or paranoid.
In some cases it can cause symptoms. It can induce feelings of nausea, dizziness, confusion and blurred vision. These symptoms can contribute to anxiety. Cannabis can also induce a drop in blood pressure which can cause lightheadedness or feeling faint. This is known as Orthostatic Hypotension.
Recently a serious effect known as Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome has been observed in long term users. It is characterized by cyclical nausea and vomiting. As marijuana is used to decrease nausea and vomiting in treatment, it becomes quite difficult to diagnose.
Higher Levels of Psychiatric Disorders
Extended use of marijuana for treatment can increase possibilities of increasing levels of depression, regardless of the gains made in short term use. This applies to other psychiatric disorders including anxiety, psychosis, bi-polar and other mood disorders.
Some research has also shown that heavy use of marijuana in adolescence (particularly in teenage girls) can be a predictor of depression and anxiety later on in a person’s life. Certain susceptible individuals are also at risk for the development of psychosis with the use of cannabis.
Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil
CBD oil, is a cannabis extract that doesn’t contain THC. Thus it does not give you the psychoactive effects that would otherwise occur with THC. It is best dispensed under the tongue with a dropper. There is some evidence supporting the use of CBD to treat anxiety and other psychiatric disorders. Currently it is administered for treatment of chronic pain, ADD/ADHD and cancer. There is still more research to be done to determine its suitability for treating anxiety.
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