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Does Cannabis Have Negative Side Effects?

Does Cannabis Have Negative Side Effects?

Here at Item 9 Labs, we are regular advocates for the many benefits of cannabis use, both recreationally and medicinally. In recent years, as more and more states have moved to legalize or decriminalize, the stigma associated with cannabis use has dropped dramatically. In fact, two-thirds of Americans say it should be legal, according to a recent poll by Pew Research.

Regardless of age or political party, more and more people have gotten on board – not least because of the many purported health benefits, such as:

Pain management 

Cannabis is increasingly being used for pain management, especially for long-term or chronic conditions. Pro athletes have turned to it, as have doctors and patients looking for a less harmful and non-addictive alternative to opioids.

Inflammation reduction

Cannabis, and more specifically, CBD, has become a go-to treatment for reducing inflammation. Research indicates that inflammation, caused by the body’s natural response to stress, often underlines chronic conditions like heart disease and auto-immune disorders.

Neurological and mental disorders

Cannabis contains over 100 of these are chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. When consumed, these compounds interact with the body’s own vast endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for regulating countless mental and physical processes in our bodies, including in the limbic system. As such, cannabis is often prescribed to treat conditions such as anxiety, epilepsy, PTSD, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease.

Sleep support

Cannabis has also earned regard for its ability to help people with sleep conditions, such as insomnia. Its usefulness in pain management also offers relief to help people get to sleep.

All of that said, why doesn’t everyone use cannabis? Are there any negative effects of cannabis that people should know about before medicating?

Downsides of Cannabis

It’s important to note that different strains, consumption methods, and quantities of cannabis can lead to vastly different experiences. If you are using cannabis recreationally or medicinally, it’s wise to first speak to a doctor and/or knowledgeable budtender—they can guide you to the right product for your needs and match you up with something that will suit your needs and wants, reducing the chance of a negative experience.

Here are some of the negative effects of cannabis to be aware of:

Depressant symptoms

Similar to alcohol, some strains of cannabis can act like a natural depressant. It may make you feel tired or have issues with concentration and coordination. Although most people feel calm and relaxed, over time, some may experience depression, especially with overuse. 

Hallucinogenic effects

Depending on the amount and consumption method, THC, the compound responsible for cannabis’ psychoactive properties, can lead to hallucinogenic-like effects, including altered perceptions of reality. In addition, some people will experience poor motor skills – meaning that it is unsafe to drive or operate heavy machinery after imbibing.

Stimulation

While cannabis is often associated with being a natural mood booster, it can also lead to an increased heart rate and blood pressure along with rapid breathing and hyperactivity. 

Other potential side effects

Cannabis is notorious for some other pesky, non-harmful side effects such as dry mouth, bloodshot eyes, and increased appetite.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

It’s important to note that each person is different and no two individuals will react exactly the same. If you are new to cannabis use or experimenting with different consumption methods, it is wise to start slow. Taking small amounts, asking for guidance, and waiting a reasonable time before consuming more will make it more likely you have a positive experience and get the results you are after.

If you’ve got questions and want to know more, reach out. We are always happy to hear from you and offer our experience and knowledge to support you in good times and good health!