According to a survey taken by The National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States. And as most of us know, when smoked, the effects happen almost immediately and can last for hours. Of course, when it is eaten in food, the effects take longer to begin, but usually last longer.
Here is a list of common short-term side-effects linked to marijuana use. I am sure you all are aware of most of them. But, think about your kids (even if they are “of age”) or this younger generation as a whole and what it can mean for their future and ours.
- Distorted perception of time, sounds, sights and touch
- Problems with memory and learning
- Loss of coordination
- Trouble with thinking and problem-solving
- anxiety, fear, distrust, or panic
- Increased heart rate, reduced blood pressure
Oops, go back. Read that last one. Yes people, smoking or eating marijuana can increased one’s heart rate or reduce blood pressure (aka Hypotension). Hypotension is a condition that occurs when BP drastically drops from a normal level. If it drops below 60/40 or 50/30 (normal is 120/80 and borderline low is 99/60), one has entered the Danger Zone. This can have a negative result on the brain, heart, as well as the lungs.
Other effects of the brain, directly related to marijuana use are:
- Impaired Memory
On the heart, marijuana can cause the heart beat to increase by 20 to 50 beats per minute. With both the increase in heart rate and the rapid reduction of blood pressure, researches have found that regular “pot” smokers are four times more likely to suffer a heart attack within the first hour after smoking marijuana, compared to their overall risk of a heart attack when not smoking.
It has also been reported that smoking pot, even infrequently, can lead to a residual burning and stinging of the mouth and throat, which can eventually lead to many of the same respiratory problems tobacco smokers suffer:
- Daily cough and phlegm production
- Chest illnesses
- Lung infections
- Obstructed airways
Did you know that marijuana smoke contains three times the amount of tar found in tobacco smoke and 50 percent more carcinogens? And while that’s true, there still have been no definitive determination or link found in the correlation between smoking pot and cancer. However, as the saying goes, where there is smoke, there probably is…
So, while I might not be the Liberal Thinker many of you would like me to be, at least join me in not taking any more liberties with Lung Health than we already do just by breathing our pollutant-infested air. As I have come to know all too often this past year, life is a gift and we should treat it with gratitude.
Oh, by the way, if you are wondering about today’s installment title, being “4-2-0 friendly” is numeric slang for being ok with Marijuana use. Don’t ask me why. I don’t get it. And, while I firmly acknowledge that I am more conservative than most of my readership, I must say I would be shocked if any parent on my schedule echos the sentiments of the women in this “CBS News “piece”.“.