Marijuana’s place in the civilized society has been debated countless times. Despite the lack of any decisive conclusion, the series of States in America slowly legalizing the “herb” for medicinal uses and Marijuana already being legal in parts of Europe should be answer enough for now. The major reason for why people have such negative perceptions about Marijuana is; government has mis-communicated the simple facts about Marijuana. But, the question remains, is Marijuana truly what government wants us to believe – evil? Or, are there significant pros of marijuana as well? This article is written with an objective to debunk certain myths about Health risks caused by consuming Marijuana.
Overdose of Marijuana
There is no such thing as Marijuana Overdose. Never in the recorded history has there ever been a case where a person has caused death upon himself by taking weed too much. However, this does not mean that, there are no side-effects of smoking marijuana. Users might feel extreme anxiety, paranoia and experience hallucinations for a long time. Overall, marijuana is definitely safer than other drugs (even the legal ones). Alcohol for instance, causes thousands of deaths.
“Marijuana is highly addictive and has adverse effects on consumers, even worse than Alcohol and Cigarettes”. We have been hearing this all our lives. But, how true is it? And, the answer is; it’s a big fat lie. Nonetheless, whenever talks of “Marijuana Legalization” come up, the usual excuse of the government is “it’s addictive”. First of all, there are plenty of drugs (legal drugs) which are addictive but yet freely available, and second of all, potential addiction of any drug is not the basis for legal classification of the drug. But, the fact remains, marijuana is not physically addictive. Whoever smokes “pot” regularly has simply got used to getting the “high”, and it cannot be termed as addiction.
The Immune System
Another rumor about health risk from consuming Marijuana is; Marijuana affects the immune system which makes our body vulnerable to numerous kinds of diseases. If this were true, which it isn’t, it would be like saying, “Smoking pot increases the chances of HIV or lymphoma”. I know, it does sound incredibly stupid. This is mere speculation and there has never been a scientific record to support this myth. I take it, the speculation was created from how THC is carried by blood cells to different organs of the body. But the activities of T-lymphocytes aren’t disrupted in anyway, leaving the immune system intact.
Loss of Memory
As an immediate effect, Marijuana causes short-term memory loss, but the effect wears off as soon as the effect of THC decreases. The effect has been slightly exaggerated and Marijuana is rumored to cause permanent memory loss.
The principle component of Marijuana does act in the brain area called “hippocampus”, which is responsible for the information passing and memory formation. Researchers have discovered that the severe effects of Marijuana in the memory function is possible when the brain is still developing. This blockage during the adolescence could cause cognitive impairment in adulthood, which would cause dropping in IQ, slow reaction and so on.
This is another one of those rumors that started from who knows where. It is true that marijuana intoxication result in increase in heart-beat. But, marijuana does not risk the series of heart problems. In fact, there have been no data till date, even to prove that Marijuana intoxication results in heart-attack. The increase in heart-rate has been known to go down within 20 minutes approx. However, the increase in heart-rate cannot be considered healthy for old folks. Heart-problems in general, are exaggerated, but, increase in heart-beat for a long time could cause the possibility of a heart-attack.
Problems in Lungs
There have often been speculations about effects of Marijuana in lungs and Marijuana being a potential cause to cancer. There has never been a record of a lung disease or any kind of cancer solely due to the use of Marijuana. Smoking marijuana in particular (along with cigarettes) might have something to do for this speculation, which only means that any other kind of Marijuana consumption is harm-less when taken in the proper amount.
The Gateway Effect
There have been countless debates about how Marijuana acts as the gateway drug, to pave way for the abusive substances like Cocaine, Heroin and so on. Although, this remains unproven scientifically, statistics have shown that cocaine users including other abusive drug users did start out from Marijuana.
The Gateway Effect could also work the other way around. Marijuana can act as a substitute for drug addicts and extensive alcohol users, helping them lead a drug free life.
The effects of Marijuana have been extremely exaggerated, which is the main reason people have been drawn towards the use of Marijuana. It’s general curiosity to wonder the reason behind so many mythologies. Although, there have been conclusive reports about the effects of Marijuana in the long-run, overuse of the drug could cause severe effects on certain functions of the brain and emotions. Like every other thing in existence, while the minimal use can provide you recreation, abuse of the substance will have negative effects.