Some people may believe that marijuana is not addictive or that it’s ‘better’ than other drugs that can cause dependence but this study provides evidence that it is affecting the brain in a way that may make it more difficult to stop using it. It changes your brain in a way that may change your behavior, and where you get your sense of reward from.”
Find out all the other ways—good and bad—marijuana is influencing your health.
1. It Can Damage Blood Vessels
Secondhand smoke may not seem all that bad. But it can have a major impact on your blood vessels, according to research from the American Heart Association. After rats inhaled secondhand smoke for one minute, their arteries carried blood less efficiently for at least 90 minutes. When they were exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke, however, their blood vessels recovered after 30 minutes. “While the effect is temporary for both cigarette and marijuana smoke, these temporary problems can turn into long-term problems if exposures occur often enough and may increase the chances of developing hardened and clogged arteries,” said study author Matthew Springer, Ph.D.
2. It May Increase Testicular Cancer Risk
Researchers at the University of Southern California found smoking weed may increase your odds of getting testicular cancer. In the study, men who had testicular germ cell tumors were more likely to report previously using marijuana than those who didn’t have the tumors. A doctor for the American Cancer Society said that while the findings were interesting, more research needs to be done to determine if there was a causal relationship between cancer and marijuana use.
3. It Impacts Short Term Memory
Stoners get a bad reputation for being forgetful; and it turns out this stigma might not be a myth. Northwestern University scientists found former pot smokers had developed brain abnormalities in regions associated with short-term memory. Study participants also demonstrated reduced performance on memory-related tasks. Even more unsettling is the brains of pot smokers were abnormally shaped and looked smiliar to brains damaged by schizophrenia. (That’s not to say that smoking weed causes schizophrenia.)
4. It Hinders Creativity
Artists, musicians, and other creative types sometimes credit marijuana as their source of inspiration. However, a study from the Netherlands seems to prove otherwise. Volunteers who were given marijuana with high THC content were not able to come up with as many solutions to a problem as those given a placebo. So, uh, you might want to put down the marijuana during your next brainstorming session.
5. It Could Help Heal Broken Bones
It’s not all bad news for pot smokers. A study from researchers at Tel Aviv University found weed may help bones heal stronger and faster. Cannabinoid cannabidiol, which is found in cannabis leaves and stems, helped mice recover from broken bones more effectively. Researchers believe the substance helps minerals get into the bone tissue, making bones stronger, sturdier, and less likely to break in the future.