Marijuana and Health
Long-Term Effects of Marijuana Use
Respiratory System Damage
- Daily cough.
- Chronic bronchitis.
- More frequent chest colds.
- Injured lung structures.
- Increased risk of lung or oral cancer – Marijuana deposits in the lungs roughly five times as much tar as tobacco and contains nearly 50% more of the cancer-causing chemical benzopyrene than the average tobacco cigarette.
Immune System Damage
- Causes damage to the cells and tissues that protect the body from disease.
- Users are more likely to become ill.
Reproductive System Damage
- Decreased sperm count.
- Abnormal sperm cells.
- Decreased production of estrogen.
- Menstrual or ovulatory irregularities.
Danger During Pregnancy
- May affect good functioning of the mother’s immune system.
- Increased miscarriage rate.
- Possible brain damage in the fetus.
- Lower birth weight, which is associated with more health problems.
- THC can be passed to a baby in breast milk, which can impair the infant's motor development (control of muscle movement).
- Amotivational syndrome is the most common side effect of long-term marijuana use. Marijuana users:
- Lose interest in setting and achieving goals.
- Stop caring about things that used to be important to them.
- Neglect school, work, chores, personal health, and their relationships.
- It can take up to 2 years of abstinence to regain a normal motivation level.
- More delinquent behavior and aggression
- Permanent damage to thinking and reasoning ability.
- Difficulty sustaining attention.
- Increasing tolerance -- Users need increasing amounts of marijuana to feel its effects.
- Many users develop compulsive drug craving and drug seeking.
- Abusers continue to use marijuana despite negative consequences in their lives.