There’s increasing evidence that cannabis use is linked to a number of health risks. It damages the ability to concentrate, decreases motivation and more than occasional use in teenagers can affect psychological development. Users can become anxious, suspicious and even paranoid.
Heavy use increases the risk of serious psychiatric illness. Users of skunk, a stronger and increasingly more available form of cannabis, are seven times more likely to develop a psychotic illness, such as schizophrenia, than people not using cannabis or using the more traditional forms. Cannabis also interferes with coordination, causing problems with balance, walking and driving.
Side Effects of Marijuana
Side effects of smoking weed. Side effects of marijuana
There are other side effects of the drug, but they vary considerably and are less predictable, partly because cannabis has more than 400 active ingredients. They may include effects on the heart, such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, and damage to fertility. People who smoke cannabis are also exposed to the toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke. People may become dependent on cannabis and find it difficult to stop using it, experiencing unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if they do stop such as cravings, agitation, mood changes, sleep problems, appetite disturbance and other symptoms.
The debate over the use of cannabis in medicine is highly controversial and emotive. Supporters of the drug claim it has wide-ranging benefits, but opponents say it is a potentially dangerous substance that can actually damage health. The use of cannabis remains illegal (except for prescribed cannabinoids as described above). It is a Class B drug. As a result, the penalties for getting caught with cannabis, especially on repeated occasions, can be severe.