Is smoking marijuana bad for you?

Smoking -- the most popular way to consume cannabis

Cannabis, the popular psychoactive substance, can be consumed in a number of ways:  

  • Inhalation -- smoking and vaping;
  • Oral -- in food and drinks;
  • Sublingual -- placed under the tongue and;
  • Topical -- applied directly to needed area.

Inhalation – particularly smoking – is the most popular method of cannabis consumption. Smoking is widely preferred, as the effects of the substance are felt almost instantaneously when consumed in this manner. The cannabinoids -- chemical substances found in the cannabis plant -- enter the body through the lungs, where they are then passed directly into the bloodstream.

Cannabis is smoked traditionally with rolling papers. It can also be consumed using specialised devices such as bongs and pipes.



What are the
effects of smoking weed?

Cannabis is a psychoactive substance -- it possesses mind-altering properties. Aside alterations to the mind, consuming cannabis -- particularly via smoking -- can affect numerous bodily functions, both positively and negatively.



Positive
effects of smoking weed

There are many research-backed positive effects of consuming cannabis.

  • Pain management -- Many studies have proven cannabis effective at managing pain and pain related symptoms with little to no adverse effects. This ability can be attributed to cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid present in the plant. A study published in 2015 proved cannabis beneficial to the treatment of pain in diseases including arthritis and Chronic Joint Pain.
  • Mental health management -- Consuming cannabis proves beneficial to the treatment of mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression. In a survey conducted in 2018, 62% of the pool admitted to using cannabidiol for the treatment and management of a slew of mental health conditions. It is important to note that marijuana strains containing high concentrates of CBD are those beneficial to mental health management. Strains with high concentrations of THC -- the main psychoactive chemical compound in cannabis -- may worsen the mental health of those who consume them.
  • Neuro-protective properties -- Although a developing field, cannabis has shown heavy promise on the path of neurodegenerative diseases. A study conducted in 2014 using Sativex, a medicinal oral spray containing CBD, recorded massive improvements on the muscle spasms of individuals with multiple sclerosis. Another study corroborated these claims but in regards to individuals suffering from Parkinson’s disease. It concluded that the overall quality of life of patients with the ailment was massively improved upon consuming cannabis -- particularly CBD.
Pros and cons of smoking weed. Source



Negative
effects of smoking weed

Despite the benefits of cannabis use, there are a number of disadvantages -- particularly via smoking.

  • Impaired memory -- Studies have suggested that smoking marijuana makes it harder to focus, learn and remember things in the short-term. These effects are often temporary -- not lasting longer than 24/48 hours -- however, tests have shown heavy marijuana consumption in adolescents may leave permanent damage on the brain. This inadvertently leads to lower IQ scores, difficulties staying alert, and learning.
  • Addiction -- Consuming marijuana regularly may lead to addiction. 1 in 10 consumers will become addicted, but the odds increase to 1 in 6 consumers when marijuana consumption begins early. Those addicted to marijuana are unable to stop smoking the substance even if it interferes with their daily lives and relationships. 
  • Respiratory problems -- Consuming marijuana -- particularly via smoking -- can hurt both your heart and lungs. Marijuana increases the heartbeat, which intensifies the propensity for fatality in individuals with cardiovascular diseases. Aside increases in heartbeat, tar and other chemicals inhaled via smoking may hurt and irritate lungs, causing problems in breathing. These problems are similar to those experienced by cigarette smokers.



Is
smoking marijuana bad for you?

There is a great deal of controversy concerning the health implications of smoking marijuana.

When marijuana is combusted, the smoke it produces -- which is inhaled by consumers -- contains many of the chemicals found in tobacco smoke, such as:

  • Ammonia;
  • Hydrogen cyanide; and
  • Formaldehyde, to mention a few.
Many of these chemicals have been linked to causing various forms of cancer; particularly lung cancer. Although there is no concrete evidence supporting these claims, studies have suggested that heavy marijuana use may increase the risk of lung cancer.



Final
words: What are the most effective ways to stop smoking weed?

Smoking is a difficult habit to kick. Deciding to quit is the first step on the journey to effectively curtailing the habit. Here are some tips:

  • Pick a quitting method -- Several methods can be help quit smoking. Whether you’re deciding to quit cold turkey, nicotine-replacement therapy or other methods, picking and streamlining your quitting method can help immensely.
  • Stay on track -- Stay on track by identifying your triggers and avoiding them. Reward yourself by keeping on track and find new hobbies to occupy yourself with. This gives you less time to smoke.
  • Plan for relapses -- Relapsing is expected when trying to kick a habit. Should you relapse, do not beat yourself up about it too much. Simply plan to get back on track.
  • Practice patience -- When kicking a habit, it is important to practice patience. Habits were not formed at once and they often take time to be cut completely. The longer you’ve been a smoker, the harder it may be to combat the habit. Be patient with yourself and celebrate little victories.