Are There Any Detrimental Effects from Long-Term Marijuana Use?

The Florida medical marijuana legalization movement is in full swing as it is in the reset of the country. Many states have passed legislation legalizing medical marijuana, and many others are considering making the move. Yet other states (Colorado, for instance) have decriminalized recreational use of marijuana as well. While that’s great news for those with many different medical and health conditions, it does pose a few questions, and the confusing back and forth information from proponents and detractors really only serves to muddy the waters. One of the most important questions to answer is whether or not there are any detrimental effects Florida residents can expect from long-term use of marijuana.

It Depends on Intake Method

Before we delve too deeply into the topic, it’s important you understand that the intake method has a great deal to do with potential health threats. For instance, there have been few side effects observed with CBD (cannabis oil). However, smoking marijuana puts you at the same risk as a cigarette smoker. Smoking cannabis produces similar concentrations of carcinogens and tumor causing agents, as well as bronchial irritants. However, because marijuana smoke is held in longer than tobacco smoke, there’s a five-time increase in carbon monoxide levels.

CBD is perhaps the safest way to use medical marijuana, but edible forms are also largely risk free. Edible marijuana companies have become increasingly popular in many states, and will spread into Florida as medical marijuana use increases. However, edible forms are not without their drawbacks, including the fact that because it has to be digested, it takes longer to realize the pain relief offered.  Also, edible ingestion, if it contains a high amount of THC is easy to overdo it and become a  little too out of it.  As long as it is a high CBD strain, such as the Charlotte’s web that was recently sent to Rick Scott for signing into law, it’s ok to ingest a considerably higher amount than one normally would.

No Mental Damage

One stereotype that has stuck with Floridians (and the rest of America) for a very long time, is that of the “dumb” marijuana user. It’s become part of society, but is it true? Time points out a study that sheds some light on this falsehood – marijuana use does not, in fact, make people dumb, and apparently any damage done to memory or cognition is completely reversible. However, that doesn’t mean that THC-high marijuana doesn’t impair users. It offers roughly the same impairment level as consuming alcohol, meaning that judgment is impaired, as are motor reflexes. There is also contradictory evidence concerning the mental damage to children and teens – there is some proof that young users cause irreversible damage through the ingestion of THC.

The answer to this is THC-free CBD. Cannabis oil from low or non-THC bearing varieties is being used to treat a surprisingly large number of health conditions, and seems to be particularly effective on childhood medical disorders, including epilepsy. Because the oil contains no THC, users are able to get all the health benefits without the high.

Florida is joining the ranks of the rest of the nation in realizing that medical marijuana is a highly beneficial solution for a very broad range of medical conditions, and that it doesn’t have to include the high that comes from smoking a joint recreationally.  We just hope that unlike the Charlotte’s Web bill which only designated 5 Florida dispensaries, there will be more for the full scale medical marijuana legalization that should come to bare fruit in November.

Sources:

http://adai.uw.edu/marijuana/factsheets/respiratoryeffects.htm

http://healthland.time.com/2011/07/19/study-marijuana-not-linked-with-long-term-cognitive-impairment/

 

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