With adults using more marijuana than they have in the past decade – people should know more about the long-term effects that may come from daily marijuana use. Marijuana use doubled among adults over the last ten years. Most people are aware of the short-term effects of cannabis like hunger, sleepiness, euphoria, etc.
However, the facts about the long-term effects of marijuana are rarely mentioned. Fortunately, research on the subject has been surfacing over the years. We’ll go into detail on the research about long-term marijuana use.
Impact On Memory
One study found long-term marijuana use by young adults might lead to difficulty recalling words by the time they reach middle age. The study suggests long-term cannabis use can make you forget words. It’s worth noting that marijuana use did not appear to damage or dim any other mental capacities. Long-term use did not change quick thinking, focus, and problem-solving, the study authors said.
The impact long-term pot use had the ability to memorize words depended on the amount of marijuana consumed over time. If you smoke more, you’ll have a lower “verbal memory” than less heavy smokers, according to Dr. Reto Auer, from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
Auer stressed that the results “are only associations,” and not proof of cause and effect. These results would need to be reproduced several times before fully being taken into account by scientists.
Impact On Social And Economic Problems
A study performed by researchers at the University of California claims that long-term cannabis use is unsafe. The study showed that long-term marijuana users ended up in lower social classes than their parents.
The study followed children from birth to the age of 38. Researchers observed that those who smoked cannabis four or more times a week ended up in lower social classes than their parents. They also apparently had lower-paying, less-skilled, and less-prestigious jobs than those who were not regular cannabis smokers.
Heavy users also “experienced more financial, work-related and relationship difficulties, which worsened as the number of years of cannabis use progressed,” the study said.
It’s unclear whether these issues have anything to do with the illegal status and stigma of marijuana. However, the researchers at UC Davis do not believe the results of their study “support arguments for or against cannabis legalization.”
Researchers also noted that alcohol dependence was associated with more harmful economic and social problems than long-term marijuana use.
Impact On Depression
Studies have shown cannabis is effective in treating depression. Research indicates that THC stimulates cells in the brain that release dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that affects emotions and behavior. The side effects of THC such as elation, relaxation, and pain relief can help combat long-term depression.
The research illustrated that those who used marijuana once or more a week reported fewer episodes of depression than those not using marijuana.
Chronic stress and anxiety can also lead to long-term depression. However, cannabis can decrease stress and relieve anxiety, preventing the risk of depression.
Link To Gum Disease
Gum disease is an infection of the tissue that keeps your mouth healthy and holds teeth in place. Weakening or damaging those tissues can lead to teeth falling out. Long-term cannabis use has been linked to gum disease.
However, it is not the smoke from cannabis that causes gum disease. It’s more likely that users get stoned and forget to take care of their teeth before passing out.
One study found that over two decades, regular marijuana users had more dental problems and gum disease.
The Final Hit
Now you’re more informed about some of the long-term effects of marijuana. There are some positives and negatives associated with long-term marijuana use. More research on long-term marijuana needs to be conducted for a better understanding of any risks related to long-term use.