A new study raised concerns about how marijuana affects the brain.
As we reported recently, a new study has found that marijuana has a big side effect on the brain by causing problems with verbal memory after years of use. But are there other reasons to avoid cannabis altogether?
The latest study followed thousands of young people, many of whom smoke marijuana, and then gave them verbal memory tests. Once they reached middle age, the researchers continued to provide the test, and they found that there was a consistent link between verbal memory and chronic marijuana use.
Marijuana has been lauded as a much safer alternative to hard drugs like heroin or cocaine, and while that is true, many agencies continue to warn that there are reasons to avoid the drug.
Drugfreeworld.org is one of the sites that still leads the charge against marijuana, even as it becomes more accepted across the United States with more states legalizing it.
The site warns that the “immediate effects of taking marijuana include rapid heart beat, disorientation, lack of physical coordination, often followed by depression or sleepiness. Some users suffer panic attacks or anxiety.”
Of course, if this happens, these effects are entirely temporary and certainly wouldn’t require hospitalization or even medical attention at all, but the site continues: “Marijuana smoke contains 50% to 70% more cancer-causing substances than tobacco smoke. One major research study reported that a single cannabis joint could cause as much damage to the lungs as up to five regular cigarettes smoked one after another.”
Cigarette smoking is certainly bad for you — and also perfectly legal.
The site adds: “Marijuana changes the structure of sperm cells, deforming them. Thus even small amounts of marijuana can cause temporary sterility in men.”
Of course, so does drinking alcohol and being obese, also unhealthy but perfectly legal activities.
So while anti-marijuana advocates raise perfectly reasonable points about the poor health effects of smoking marijuana, it certainly appears to be a far cry from the addiction, suffering, and death caused by harder drugs. The question is whether you’re willing to take those health risks.