Marijuana refers to the cannabis products made from dried seeds, stems, leaves, and flowers of the cannabis plant. The cannabis plant’s flower is used for medicinal or recreational purposes. The intake of marijuana for either medicinal or recreational purposes can affect the body in different ways.
Marijuana and Other Products of Cannabis Plant
Marijuana is also commonly referred to as cannabis, weed, or pot. The stem or stalk of the cannabis plant gets used for industrial purposes like the production of hemp fiber. The seed gets utilized for household purposes like the production of hemp oil or consumed for its health benefits. While many people vape or smoke marijuana, it is still an essential ingredient in beverages, food items, topical, or tinctures.
The effect of marijuana on your body may be different due to the different methods of ingestion. When it gets into your lungs, the compounds quickly enter your bloodstream and immediately find their way to your brain and other body organs. The effect may be noticed within seconds or minutes.
When you drink or eat products containing marijuana, the compound goes through your liver and digestive system before getting to your bloodstream. In this case, the effect may be felt within minutes or hours, as well.
The Effect of Marijuana on Body Image Perception
There remains a continuous debate on the effect of marijuana on body image perception. Various psychological and physical effects, from relaxation to pain relief and discomfort to harm, have been reported.
The intoxicating effect of cannabis is caused by THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). THC has potential medicinal effects for conditions such as pain, nausea, insomnia, and reduced appetite. Another component that is prevalent in marijuana is CBD or cannabidiol. CBD is non-intoxicating and has potential medicinal effects for conditions like anxiety and epilepsy.
The effect of marijuana on body image perception is different depending on the body system they trigger. Here are some of the effects and how it extends to different body systems.
Central nervous system
The effect of marijuana spreads throughout the central nervous system of the body. It is widely believed that marijuana eases inflammation and pain and helps control seizures and spasms. However, care must be taken to prevent the long-term negative effects of marijuana on the central nervous system.
THC triggers the release of large amounts of dopamine from your brain. Dopamine is a “feel good” chemical naturally occurring in your body. The pleasant high that you get from the intake of marijuana is a result of dopamine. It may heighten your perception of time and sensory perception.
Nevertheless, the dopamine cycle may cause long-term users of marijuana to develop use disorders. Although addiction or severe use disorder may not be relatively common, it can still happen. Symptoms of marijuana withdrawal may include loss of appetite, insomnia, and irritability.
Additionally, your judgment may be impaired when you take marijuana because THC changes the way you process information in the hippocampus. Forming new memories may also be difficult.
Some changes take place in the basal ganglia and cerebellum. These areas of your brain play roles in balance and movements. Marijuana may alter your reflex response, coordination, and balance. All these changes mean it is not safe to perform certain activities that are dependent on motor skills, which includes driving.
THC passes through your lungs and moves into your bloodstream and all over your body. As this happens, your heart rate may increase within minutes. The rapid heart rate may last as long as 3 hours. As a result, extra demand for oxygen is placed on your heart. The risk of heart attack is increased if you have heart disease. It is advisable to check with your doctor before opting for medical or recreational use of marijuana.
Furthermore, bloodshot eyes are one of the obvious signs of recent marijuana use. The red color of the eyes happens because marijuana causes the expansion of blood vessels, filling them with more blood. The pressure in the eyes can also be lowered by THC. This, in turn, can help ease the symptoms of glaucoma for a few minutes or hours.
Similar to the smoke from tobacco, marijuana smoke comprises various toxic chemicals that may include ammonia and hydrogen cyanide. These chemicals can irritate your lungs and bronchial passages.
Regular smokers of marijuana are more likely to produce phlegm, cough, and wheeze. Smokers are also at risk of developing lung infections and bronchitis. The use of marijuana may also aggravate existing respiratory illnesses like cystic fibrosis and asthma. Theoretically, the risk of lung cancer is increased because marijuana smoke contains carcinogens.
Smoking marijuana can cause some burning or stinging sensations in your throat and mouth during inhalation. When taken orally, marijuana can also cause a digestive issue. Even though THC has been shown to heal vomiting and nausea, the long-term uses for some people can paradoxically cause vomiting and nausea.
Another effect of taking any form of THC is an increase in your appetite. This leads to what people call “the munchies.” It may be beneficial for people who want to improve their appetite or gain weight. In contrast, this effect could be considered a disadvantage for people looking to lose weight.
Studies have shown that THC can suppress the immune system, adversely affecting it. Theoretically, this could make you more at risk of contracting infectious diseases.
However, it could be a benefit for people with autoimmune conditions. This is particularly true if you have an overactive immune system. Research is still on to further understand the effect of marijuana on body image through the immune system.
How Marijuana Affect Younger People
The use of marijuana is potentially safe for use by adults. There are potential ill effects it has on children and teenagers. A pregnant woman should not use marijuana as the baby may develop concentration and memory issues as they grow.
Additionally, breastfeeding mothers still using marijuana may be exposing their babies to potentially harmful effects. As a result, they should also avoid using marijuana.
There are potential short and long-term effects of using marijuana. It is believed in many quarters that its use is a solution to many health issues. Others believe that the negative effect it has on the body outweighs its potential medicinal benefits. However, what is certain is that both recreationally and medically, the usage and consumption of marijuana do have measurable benefits. All that is needed is care and monitoring when experimenting with marijuana.