Marijuana Side Effects
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Marijuana Side Effects

Initially, marijuana's side effects may seem minimal. Short term side effects may include: problems with memory and learning, distorted perception (sights, sounds, time, touch), trouble with thinking and problem-solving, loss of coordination, and increased heart rate. These side effects of marijuana become exaggerated when the user takes additional drugs such as alcohol and cocaine. There are many long term side effects due to marijuana use that are detrimental to the users health.

Individuals who use marijuana on a regular basis may develop cancer, breathing problems, and problems with their immune system. It is hard to know for certain whether repeated use of marijuana causes cancer, but it is well known that it contains some of the same if not more or the cancer-causing chemicals found in tobacco smoke. Studies show that those who smoke five marijuana joints a day maybe taking in as many cancer-causing chemicals as an individual who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day. Imagine now, individuals who smoke marijuana and cigarettes are doubling their chances at developing cancer.

Those who smoke marijuana frequently often develop similar types of breathing problems as those who smoke cigarettes. Side effects such as coughing, wheezing, and chest colds are not uncommon with habitual users. Additionally, they are more susceptible to contracting lung infections such as pneumonia due to their deteriorated lungs. The THC in marijuana may increase the users risk of developing infections. This is because the THC inhibits normal disease-preventing reactions that are necessary to fight infections.

Marijuana's side effects also vary depending on the sex of the user. In males, marijuana typically affects parts of the bran that control the sex and growth hormones. This may mean a decrease in testosterone levels. Habitual use of marijuana can also decrease sperm count, in addition to increasing abnormal and immature sperm. The side effects of marijuana in women as includes effecting the part of the brain which controls hormones. These hormones determine the sequence of the females menstrual cycle and may lead to irregular periods. This particular side effect is reversible, but may take several months of not smoking marijuana before the female users menstrual cycle becomes normal again.

Typical Marijuana Side Effects:

  • Enhanced cancer risk
  • Decrease in testosterone levels and lower sperm counts for men
  • Increase in testosterone levels for women and increased risk of infertility
  • Diminished or extinguished sexual pleasure
  • Psychological dependence requiring more of the drug to get the same effect
  • Sleepiness
  • Difficulty keeping track of time, impaired or reduced short-term memory
  • Reduced ability to perform tasks requiring concentration and coordination, 
    such as driving a car
  • Increased heart rate
  • Potential cardiac dangers for those with preexisting heart disease
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Dry mouth and throat
  • Decreased social inhibitions
  • Paranoia, hallucinations
  • Impaired or reduced short-term memory
  • Impaired or reduced comprehension
  • Altered motivation and cognition, making the acquisition of new information difficult
  • Paranoia
  • Psychological dependence
  • Impairments in learning and memory, perception, and judgment - difficulty 
    speaking, listening effectively, thinking, retaining knowledge, problem solving, 
    and forming concepts
  • Intense anxiety or panic attacks

Marijuana Side Effects
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