How Marijuana Abuse Affects the Human Body and Brain

Marijuana is one of the commonly abused illegal drugs in the United States. Many people ignorant of its harmful effects are initiating and continuing marijuana abuse. It affects a person's mind and body including the vital organs like the heart, lungs, and kidneys.
This article intends to throw some light on short and long-term effects of marijuana to help people stay away from it.

Short-term effects:
• Distorted sensory perception: Marijuana contains THC, a chemical that disturbs the optimal function of important senses such as vision, hearing and touch, by causing drastic changes in function of the brain. This results in the slowdown in responses such as seeing, hearing and touching.
It also leads to poor concentration and significant fall in problem solving and judging abilities.
• Increased heart rate: One of the common physical effect of marijuana abuse us increased heart rate. It leads to increased risk of a heart attack by 20% to 100% (Source: NIH, USA) within three hours of consumption.
• Poor memory and lack of coordination: Memory is impaired as THC in marijuana changes the normal course of processing information by brain. Thinking and judging abilities are hit. It also causes loss of coordination between sensory and reflex actions.
Long-term effects:
• Respiratory problems: Marijuana damages the respiratory tract and parts therein that save the body from harmful microbes inhaled. This causes decline in immunity because of inability of the cells to combat bacteria and other microbes. This results in high risk of pneumonia, tuberculosis and other diseases.
• Decreases reproductive hormones: The drug causes harmful effect on reproductive organs in the body. The amount of reproductive hormones declines. There will be lower sperm counts, their quality being suboptimal in men and erratic menstrual cycles in women. This results in weakening of reproductive ability.
• Anxiety and depression: Marijuana leads to severe conditions such as excessive fear, anxiety and depression.
• Impaired memory and learning: THC in marijuana alters the functioning of the brain. As brain is the organ reflecting all the normal activities involving intellect, the short and long-term effects are serious. Long-term marijuana abuse badly impairs critical skills such as memory and learning. The effect is worse if the person has any psychological disorder or is elderly.
• Cancer: Marijuana induces cancerous growth of cells in parts like lungs and others. It is 70% more potent than tobacco in enhancing cancer (Source: NIH, USA).
Now that you are aware of the harmful effects marijuana, make sure that you stay away from this harmful substance.
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