Research also shows that regular use of marijuana is linked to an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and a loss of motivation or drive. You may feel “dopey” on the drug, which is when you begin to lose interest in activities that you might have previously enjoyed or you may lose the ability to grasp concepts easily.
Some studies suggest that the impact that marijuana has can depend on the age at which a person began smoking marijuana and for how long they used the substance.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that marijuana can affect each person differently according to their own body chemistry and the type of pot used. Some people can use weed and never have any negative reactions while others may try it and get entirely freaked out by the experience.
Long-Term Effects of Smoking Weed
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There are a number of different things that can happen to you when you smoke weed. In addition to the immediate short-term impact of the substance, smoking pot can also have long-term effects on both your mind and body. These effects can vary from person to person.
Factors that influence how you respond when you smoke weed include:
As recreational marijuana becomes legal in more states in the U.S., more edible products containing marijuana are hitting the market. When marijuana is ingested it is absorbed by the body more slowly and the effects can last longer and be stronger.
THC connects with a receptor on nerve cells in the brain. The marijuana “high” results from THC’s effects on the nerve cells that control sensory perception and pleasure.
Marijuana can be addictive. About 1 in 10 people who use the drug regularly can develop a “marijuana use disorder.” These people can’t stop using marijuana even though it causing problems in their lives. This is much more likely to happen in people who start using marijuana before age 18.
Here are a few ways marijuana use could affect you:
Career problems. People charged under marijuana laws may end up with criminal records that hurt their plans for college or finding a job.
People who use marijuana for a while can have withdrawal symptoms when they try to give it up. They may feel irritable, anxious, or depressed; have trouble sleeping; or not feel like eating.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved pills containing THC or other cannabinoids (chemicals similar to THC) as a way to help relieve pain, nausea, muscle stiffness, or problems with movement. There’s still a lot of discussion about the medical use of marijuana, though. THC and other cannabinoid pills are only available in some states and require a doctor’s prescription.
She stared back at me with wide eyes—scared and worried. She tried to lie, but before her, I held out the evidence. Once she saw the joint in my outstretched hand, her story fell apart.
Don’t wait for the pot to show up—talk, talk, talk, and then talk some more.
I guess I just hoped, prayed, and trusted that she was doing the right things. My random scowls with sarcastic remarks made me hopeful she was getting the point. I thought scaring her was the way to do it—just enough scare to make her think about the sort of choices I’d want her to make. I was so naive! I didn’t believe that my daughter was old enough to experiment with drugs and alcohol.
Without knowing, my daughter did me a favor. She gave me an opening, she showed me her world, and she needed me.
Ultimately, here’s what I learned. Booze and weed are the least of our worries. The biggest investment into their future is our communication with them.