Marijuana, also known as weed or cannabis is widely used both for recreational medicinal purposes. The effects of marijuana come from the active ingredients that are released into the bloodstream, in particular, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
The effects of cannabis can vary from person to person, with effects occurring on both the mind and body while you may ask what does weed do to you. While experiences of relaxation and euphoria are common they are by no means universal and others may experience fear or paranoia, especially if they have taken a high dose or are inexperienced.
Many people use medical marijuana for its positive effects on both mental health and physical health. Cannabis users might smoke cannabis for any number of medicinal benefits including pain management, appetite loss nausea and vomiting, anxiety, insomnia, and muscle spasms.
If you use marijuana medically for its health effects you can apply for a medical card today and get instant access to medical dispensaries and deliveries.
What Happens When you Consume Cannabis?
Marijuana users can choose to consume both medical and recreational marijuana in a variety of ways. Smoking, eating and increasingly vaping cannabis are all popular ways of delivering THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the active ingredient in marijuana into the bloodstream.
When you inhale marijuana the THC and other chemicals pass quickly from the marijuana smoke into the blood vessels of the lungs which rapidly carry them to the body and brain meaning that users experience an almost immediate effect from smoked marijuana that will generally last from 1-3 hours.
Marijuana edibles take longer to affect both mind and body as they must first pass through the digestive system and it may take 30 minutes to an hour before the marijuana effect is felt. Regular marijuana users will be aware of the delayed effect but others may inadvertently consume higher doses than intended. The marijuana affect can also last longer when cannabis is eaten rather than inhaled.
THC and other cannabinoids found in cannabis plants including Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid known for its medicinal benefits, interact with the endocannabinoid system.
The Endocannabinoid System
Although the endocannabinoid system is not fully understood, research suggests that it plays a role in regulating a variety of functions in the mind and body including, sleep, reproduction and fertility, activities of the immune system, pain sensation, mood and memory.
Endocannabinoid receptors are found predominantly in the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system including cells of the body’s immune systems. Our body produces endocannabinoids that attract to these receptors and ensure our mind and body are working as they should.
Studies suggest that cannabinoids are also able to attach to these receptors and that it is through the endocannabinoid system that cannabis exposure affects the brain and body. These effects include the feelings of relaxation and euphoria desired by recreational users as well as chronic pain relief, increased appetite and other health benefits so what does weed do to you.
Health Effects of Cannabis
Cannabis has been legalized for medicinal use in many states in the US and is recognized for its potential therapeutic benefits.
Conditions that may benefit from the use of medicinal cannabis include:
- Anxiety and mood disorders including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
- Muscle spasms and seizures.
- Nausea and appetite loss particularly for those undergoing chemotherapy or suffering from hepatitis, HIV or AIDS.
- Migraines, neuralgia and neuropathic pain.
- Arthritis, fibromialgia and myofascial pain.
- Pain related to injury or trauma.
- Gastrointestinal issues such as celiac disease, Crohn’s and irritable bowel syndrome.
- As well as insomnia, inflammatory issues and glaucoma.
If you suffer from any of these conditions you can apply for a doctors recommendation giving you accesses to medical cannabis dispensaries and deliveries here.
However, the fact that it remains an illegal drug at the federal level has potentially limited the research that has been undertaken.
The Book: The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research, published in 2017 concludes that there is conclusive or substantial evidence that cannabis can be used to treat:
- Chronic pain.
- Nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy.
- And symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
Recent studies have shown that cannabis can be useful in treating neuropathic pain and can improve sleep outcomes. The FDA has also approved a number of medications that contain cannabis derivatives including a CBD based medication used to treat two severe forms of childhood epilepsy.
Although marijuana research is an ongoing process, as well as the many health benefits there is also a link between marijuana and a number of negative health effects. Like tobacco smoke, marijuana smoke has a negative effect on lung health and it is thought that smoking cannabis and tobacco increases the risk of lung cancer.
While for some people asking what does weed do to you the calming and relaxing effects make marijuana effective at treating anxiety for others marijuana can increase anxiety and lead to unpleasant feelings of paranoia.
Studies have also found that people who used marijuana showed slower reaction times, impaired judgment and an inability to form short term memories which could all have a negative impact and pose a health risk especially if users are operating machinery or driving.
You may therefore wish to seek medical advice and additional information before taking marijuana.
Substance Abuse and Addiction
According to the National Institutes of Health National Institute on Drug Abuse marijuana abuse can lead to problem use and in severe cases addiction. Frequent users often report withdrawal symptoms when they stop using the drug including irritability and physical discomfort with heavy users being at increased risk. That’s all what does weed do to you because you’re taking marijuana.
If you feel you have a problem with substance abuse you should always seek medical advice and support.