Is Marijuana as safe as they say, even for medical use ?
Ecuador just made legal the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
How many people will use this new law as a gateway and means to consume it recreationally or even worse as a gateway to use other more lethal or more potent harm producing drugs?
WebMd in a recent article wrote:
Even though the laws are shifting, the debate over legalized marijuana continues. Although some say marijuana is just as safe as, or even safer than alcohol, others argue that pot causes a lot more harm than just a serious buzz.
Although there isn’t much evidence that the occasional toke leads to long-term health problems, researchers are concerned that long-term, heavy pot smoking can leave lingering effects.
The fact is that it isn’t.
“I don’t think we can definitively say it is safe,” says Jeanette Marie Tetrault, MD, FACP. She’s an assistant professor of medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine.
The condition of marijuana dependence does exist, studies show. Some long-term, near-daily users seek treatment to quit, yet they keep smoking marijuana, despite its social, psychological, and physical effects. They also mention effects such as relationship and family problems, low energy and self-esteem, memory problems, and low life-satisfaction.
Marijuana can also lead to other addictions¸ especially in people who start smoking at a young age. That’s why it’s sometimes called a “gateway drug.” One study found that young people who smoke marijuana are more likely to abuse other drugs, including prescription opioids, in the future
Is it safe to eat it then ? Eat It Instead?
Although smoking is the most common way to use marijuana, some people bake it into a brownie or other food. Eating pot might spare you the lung effects of this drug, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe.
Consider its effect:
Because it takes a while for your body to digest marijuana, you might not feel the effects very quickly. If you keep eating more to get high, you could overdose. Signs of an overdose include sudden anxiety and panic.
Marijuana hangs out in the body longer when it’s eaten than when it’s smoked, so you could feel the hangover effects — like a dry mouth and bloodshot eyes — well into the next day.
The Bottom Line on Marijuana
There is some evidence that occasional pot smoking can have harmful effects on the body, although the science is still too new to prove anything (Matthew J. Smith, PhD, 2019).
The most heated arguments over medical marijuana do not concern its ability to alleviate patients’ symptoms but rather its potential danger to individual users and to society. There is scientific evidence that marijuana causes physical and psychological injury to individual users.
More detailed information and complete references for studies described below can be found in Chapter 3 of the 1999 IOM report, Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base.
Given the well-known consequences of tobacco smoking, it seems logical to suspect that marijuana could be equally detrimental to physical health. Although free of nicotine, marijuana smoke certainly pollutes the lungs. And since tobacco smoking has been linked to respiratory injury, cancer, emphysema, heart disease, complications of pregnancy, low birth weight, and other ills, it makes sense to worry whether smoking marijuana might prove equally harmful.
Scientists have compared marijuana and tobacco smoking on the basis of many different factors but have failed to find consis tent evidence that either substance poses a greater health risk than the other. On the one hand, marijuana joints have been shown to deliver at least four times as much tar to the lungs as tobacco cigarettes of equivalent weight. This difference is due to the lack of filters on joints and because marijuana smokers typically inhale a larger volume of smoke and take it more deeply into the lungs than tobacco smokers do. Marijuana smokers also tend to hold smoke in for a time before exhaling, exposing the lungs to even greater levels of cancer-causing agents.
Excerpts of this article were taken from WebMd digital page printed under title: Is Marijuana Safe?
And NCBI United States studies by the government’s data under article: HOW HARMFUL IS MARIJUANA?
- Bachhuber MA, Saloner B, Cunningham CO, Barry CL. Medical cannabis laws and opioid analgesic overdose mortality in the United States, 1999-2010. JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(10):1668-1673. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.4005
- Chelsea L. Shover, Corey S. Davis, Sanford C. Gordon, and Keith Humphreys, Association between medical cannabis laws and opioid overdose mortality has reversed over time, PNAS June 25, 2019 116 (26) 12624-12626.
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