Did you know?
Depressed people are more than twice as likely to have used pot within the last month, a far higher number than 10 years before.
The folks struggling with depression are more into the smoking pot (marijuana) to ease their symptoms. This boom is probably linked to the legalization of marijuana in the US for medical purposes.
According to Michael Wetter, director of adolescent and young adult medicine with the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, “The accessibility of marijuana has increased over the specific time.”
But our question is – Is it safe to smoke marijuana?
Marijuana has been linked to lung changes, memory loss, and other health concerns, such as mood disorders, depression, and anxiety, etc.
According to Dr. Elie Aoun, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry with the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons the previous studies show that smoking pot actually can worsen mood disorders like anxiety or depression.
What happens when you smoke marijuana?
When you smoke pot, THC and other chemicals travel to your brain via the bloodstream, affecting your body in different ways. The THC chemical available in marijuana makes you feel high by increasing dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is a feel-good” neurotransmitter that directly stimulates the pleasure centers in the brain.
Some other effects of marijuana on your body are:
- Trouble thinking and remembering
- Bloodshot eyes
- Dry mouth (cottonmouth)
- The increased appetite
- Fast heart rate
- Slowed coordination
Marijuana does not help overcome depression, however, it just numbs your feelings and you can spend a couple of hours without thinking about your problems. When the effect dissipates, you get more depressed than you were before.
According to Aoun, “Drugs don’t introduce new feelings that you don’t have in you. They just allow for disinhibition.” If you are depressed and you smoke marijuana, it’s not going to cure your depression.
With time, you get addicted to marijuana, and you need more amount of pot to feel good. And if in case, you don’t have weed, you will start to feel the symptoms of more increased depression.
Moreover, the chemicals available in marijuana smoke are similar to tobacco smoke, including ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, and formaldehyde. Some of these chemicals are known to cause cancer.
The boom in marijuana smokers – Why?
It’s not easy to say which direction the association runs – if marijuana use causes depression or depressed people are more likely to turn to the pot. Probably both things are happening at the same time. It is possible that marijuana could be causing depressive symptoms, or depressed people are seeking out treatment options to help reduce the impact or burden of their depressive symptoms. When traditional treatment options are insufficient, they are turning to marijuana.
There is not enough medical research that shows the health benefits of smoking marijuana but, the legalization of marijuana has made it a seemingly legitimate alternative for folks struggling with a mood disorder.
Want to know more about marijuana and its health side effects, stay tuned to the WiseRx discount card blog!