Common Effects of Marijuana on the Body

The popularity of marijuana has only continued to grow as the drug has become legalized in many parts of the country. But does legalization mean marijuana is completely safe to use? Unfortunately, just as with any drug, marijuana can have adverse effects, including addiction. Before choosing to use marijuana medicinally or recreationally, it’s important to learn about the effects of marijuana on the body and how to recognize the early warning signs of addiction.

If you need marijuana addiction treatment, you can count on Promises Behavioral Health to fulfill all your recovery needs. We have treatment centers located throughout the eastern and southern US, offering both residential and outpatient treatment. To find your nearest Promises location, reach out at 17135283709.

The Effects of Marijuana on the Body

Marijuana, which is also known as cannabis, contains cannabinoids that interact with the endocannabinoid system in the body. The most well-known cannabinoid, or psychoactive compound, in marijuana, is THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is responsible for the physiological and psychological effects marijuana is associated with, such as:

  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation
  • Pain relief
  • Altered sense of time and space
  • Increased appetite
  • Impaired coordination
  • Short-term memory loss

As you can see, some of the effects of marijuana are pleasurable, which is what draws people to use this drug. Although marijuana is often used recreationally for its euphoric and calming qualities, many people have discovered the medicinal benefits of marijuana for chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, and other medical conditions. 

However, as noted above, marijuana can also have some less desirable effects, as it can interfere with motor skills and cognitive function.

Long-Term Effects of Marijuana

While the aforementioned effects of marijuana may seem relatively minor, long-term or heavy marijuana use can have more serious consequences on your physical and mental health. Chronic marijuana use has been linked to:

  • Respiratory issues like chronic cough and bronchitis, primarily in those who smoke marijuana
  • Impaired cognitive function, especially in young adults
  • Increased risk of mental health conditions like anxiety and depression
  • Impaired judgment and decision-making abilities
  • Increased risk of dependence and addiction

Of course, the easiest way to avoid the long-term effects of marijuana is to discontinue using the substance. But for some, this may prove to be difficult.

What Is Marijuana Use Disorder?

Marijuana use disorder, also known as marijuana addiction, is a condition characterized by the problematic use of marijuana despite the negative consequences. If you recognize any of the previously mentioned short- or long-term side effects of marijuana but find it challenging to quit or cut back on the drug, you may have developed marijuana use disorder.

Signs of Marijuana Use Disorder

How can you tell if you are addicted to marijuana? Here are a few telltale signs:

  • Developing a tolerance, resulting in needing to use larger doses to achieve the desired high
  • Neglecting personal or work responsibilities due to marijuana use
  • Spending a considerable amount of time obtaining, using, or recovering from the effects of marijuana
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using marijuana, such as cravings, irritability, and insomnia

Marijuana use disorder is not reserved for those who experiment with the drug recreationally. You can also become dependent on the drug when using it medicinally, so it is important to talk to your provider about your dosage if you notice adverse effects.

Enroll in Marijuana Addiction Treatment at Promises Behavioral Health

If you are ready to get help for marijuana addiction, reach out to the compassionate team at Promises Behavioral Health at 17135283709. But if you are not quite ready to take the leap yet, we understand. Feel free to check out our Rooted Recovery Stories podcast to get more of an idea of what we do and how we have helped many people lead happier, more satisfying lives free from drug or alcohol dependence.

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