As more and more Americans start using medical or recreational marijuana, it’s important to know these side effects.
- Pharmacologic Resistance – Dr. Taylor Graber, an MD Anesthesiologist says “Chronic Marijuana use can lead to a physiologic resistance to many pharmaceuticals, including opioids, local anesthetics, general anesthetics, and others.” Dr. Graber also says that marijuana users need 2-4x more medications to induce and maintain anesthesia and also need more opioids to reduce pain.
- Lung Infections – Marijuana damages the lining of the lungs, reduces the body’s immune system, and increases the risk of lower respiratory infections.
- Increased Appetite – Marijuana causes the stomach to release more hormones for hunger and stimulates neurons in the hypothalamus that control appetite. This can lead to consuming more food and weight gain. \
- Dry Mouth – Dr. Abe Malkin states, “Dry mouth or cottonmouth… is another frequent side effect of cannabis abuse. The cannabinoid receptors are located in the brain – CB1 and CB2 – and also in the submandibular glands found beneath the bottom of the mouth. These glands produce nearly three-quarters of our body’s saliva. When THC binds to these receptor sites both in the brain and in these glands, the glands stop receiving messages from the peripheral nervous system- specifically the parasympathetic nervous system- to produce saliva. Thus, there is a reduction in the amount of saliva produced resulting in the feeling that your mouth is dry.”
- Sexual Dysfunction – Marijuana restricts blood flow to veins and arteries, which can affect the ability to have an erection or have an orgasm.
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