14 surprising benefits and risks of using marijuana, from weight loss to worsened anxiety
Marijuana can be an unpredictable drug with effects that vary based on a variety of factors including your brain's unique chemistry, the type of marijuana used, how much you consume, and your method of consumption.
For example, if you smoke marijuana, you'll feel its effects seconds after you inhale, which typically lasts for another one to four hours. Edibles, however, can take about an hour to kick in with effects lasting up to 24 hours.
Studies on marijuana's effects often show conflicting results, and its status in the United States as a federally illegal schedule one drug makes it difficult for researchers to conduct large, comprehensive studies.
With that said, here's what we know so far about the short-term and long-term effects of marijuana:
1. Causes red eyes
Marijuana typically lowers blood pressure causing blood vessels to dilate, which increases blood flow. "As a result, blood vessels in the eyes expand, leading to red or 'bloodshot' eyes," says Lawrence Weinstein, MD, the Chief Medical Officer at American Addiction Centers.
2. Relieves pain
Studies suggest marijuana moderately reduces pain, particularly nerve pain, muscle spasms, and cancer. Researchers believe this is due to THC binding to multiple receptors within the nervous system and blocking the sensation of pain.
4. Induces euphoria
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