Knowledge is power. While the general public and medical communities alike are more informed than they’ve ever been about the potential benefits of medical cannabis, some prospective patients are left wondering if it might be too good to be true. What’s the catch? Do the pros outweigh the cons? Are marijuana side effects severe enough to deter someone from exploring this treatment option?
It’s important to ask questions, especially when it comes to something as serious as which medical solutions are right for you. Read on to explore some marijuana side effects and make sure to contact a health care practitioner to receive personalized guidance.
Marijuana Side Effects: Dry Mouth and Red Eyes
The “red eyed” effect of marijuana has been often caricatured in pop culture. While not everyone gets red eyes when consuming cannabis, it does happen. Its degree and frequency are affected by eye sensitivity, quantity consumed, particular marijuana strain, and other variable factors. But why does it happen in the first place?
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is a chemical compound found in cannabis. While THC is responsible for the “high” feeling individuals may experience when consuming cannabis, it also lowers blood pressure. A lower blood pressure causes the dilation of blood vessels and capillaries, increasing blood flow to the eyes. The result? A harmlessly red or bloodshot look. Many people simply keep eye drops handy to combat this marijuana side effect.
As for the dry or cotton mouth sensation that occurs after consuming cannabis (not just smoking it)? Most users keep their water bottles nearby and make sure to stay hydrated.
Marijuana Side Effects: Increased Heart Rate
Along with lowering blood pressure, studies also show that cannabis can elevate an individual’s heart rate by 20 to 100 percent for up to three hours. Again, this is highly dependent on the individual person, the quantity and strain of the cannabis, and more.
A little fluttering feeling in the chest is nothing to worry about�”even a cup of coffee can have this effect. However, there is a higher risk for seniors, minors, or patients with preexisting heart conditions. If you are concerned about your heart health, always contact a doctor or health care practitioner to make sure medical cannabis is a viable option for you.
Otherwise, if you simply don’t enjoy the sensation of a quicker heart rate, try switching strains to one that’s lower in THC, consuming cannabis slowly while taking small breaks, drinking more water, and creating a soothing, calm atmosphere.
Marijuana Side Effects: Smoke & You
We’re here to dispel a popular rumour: there’s currently no evidence that smoking cannabis is linked to lung cancer. It is very different from smoking tobacco cigarettes. However, smoke still may irritate the lungs, make you more receptive to infections, as well as create a higher risk for lung issues such as chronic bronchitis.
Here’s the good news: While most people automatically think of smoking when they hear the words “cannabis,” there are so many other options available. You can avoid smoke altogether by opting for cannabis oil.
Marijuana Side Effects: Drowsiness
The drowsiness or sluggishness associated with marijuana use is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it may slow down productivity or impede certain activities during the day. Yet, it may also be a highly effective sleep aid, benefiting patients experiencing insomnia or other sleep disorders.
Along with adjusting your strains and avoiding ones that claim to promote sleepiness (such as Bubba Kush and Granddaddy Purple), it might be best to avoid important tasks that require your full concentration, driving, operating heavy machinery, and more while taking medical cannabis. However, these warnings also apply to many prescription drugs and are not unique to cannabis.
Marijuana Side Effects: Conclusion
Yes, almost everything comes with a set of pros and cons�”especially when it comes to your health. There are conflicting studies published every day claiming that a specific “superfood” will completely change your life, while another source claims that food should be avoided at all costs.
Want to know how and when you should be taking medical cannabis? The best thing you can do when considering marijuana side effects is to contact a health care practitioner for more information.