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Published Aug 03, 22
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The Facts About Recreational Marijuana - Health Encyclopedia in Epsom



g., genetics, family environment).6 NIDA’s Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, a major longitudinal study, is tracking a large sample of young Americans from late childhood to early adulthood to help clarify how and to what extent marijuana and other substances, alone and in combination, affect adolescent brain development. Read more about the ABCD study on our Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development (ABCD Study) webpage.

Higher THC levels may explain the rise in emergency room visits involving marijuana use. The popularity of edibles also increases the chance of harmful reactions. Edibles take longer to digest and produce a high. Therefore, people may consume more to feel the effects faster, leading to dangerous results. Higher THC levels may also mean a greater risk for addiction if people are regularly exposing themselves to high doses.

Physical Effects Marijuana smoke irritates the lungs, and people who smoke marijuana frequently can have the same breathing problems as those who smoke tobacco. These problems include daily cough and phlegm, more frequent lung illness, and a higher risk of lung infections. Researchers so far haven't found a higher risk for lung cancer in people who smoke marijuana.8 Marijuana raises heart rate for up to 3 hours after smoking.

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Older people and those with heart problems may be at higher risk. One study found that about 20% of pregnant women 24-years-old and younger screened positive for marijuana. However, this study also found that women were about twice as likely to screen positive for marijuana use via a drug test than they state in self-reported measures.9 This suggests that self-reported rates of marijuana use in pregnant females is not an accurate measure of marijuana use and may be underreporting their use.

This concerns medical experts because marijuana use during pregnancy is linked to lower birth weight10 and increased risk of both brain and behavioral problems in babies. If a pregnant woman uses marijuana, the drug may affect certain developing parts of the fetus's brain. Children exposed to marijuana in the womb have an increased risk of problems with attention,11 memory, and problem-solving compared to unexposed children.12 Some research also suggests that moderate amounts of THC are excreted into the breast milk of nursing mothers.13 With regular use, THC can reach amounts in breast milk that could affect the baby's developing brain.

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Read our for more information about marijuana and pregnancy. Regular, long-term marijuana use can lead to some people to develop Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome. This causes users to experience regular cycles of severe nausea, vomiting, and dehydration, sometimes requiring emergency medical attention.14 Reports of Deaths Related to Vaping The Food and Drug Administration has alerted the public to hundreds of reports of serious lung illnesses associated with vaping, including several deaths.

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Many of the suspect products tested by the states or federal health officials have been identified as vaping products containing THC, the main psychotropic ingredient in marijuana. Some of the patients reported a mixture of THC and nicotine; and some reported vaping nicotine alone. No one substance has been identified in all of the samples tested, and it is unclear if the illnesses are related to one single compound.

They are also asking people and health professionals to report any adverse effects. The CDC has posted an information page for consumers. Mental Effects Long-term marijuana use has been linked to mental illness in some people, such as: temporary hallucinations temporary paranoia worsening symptoms in patients with schizophrenia—a severe mental disorder with symptoms such as hallucinations, paranoia, and disorganized thinking Marijuana use has also been linked to other mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts among teens.

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Are there effects of inhaling secondhand marijuana smoke? Failing a Drug Test? While it's possible to fail a drug test after inhaling secondhand marijuana smoke, it's unlikely. Studies show that very little THC is released in the air when a person exhales. Research findings suggest that, unless people are in an enclosed room, breathing in lots of smoke for hours at close range, they aren't likely to fail a drug test.

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Getting High from Passive Exposure? Similarly, it's unlikely that secondhand marijuana smoke would give nonsmoking people in a confined space a high from passive exposure. Studies have shown that people who don't use marijuana report only mild effects of the drug from a nearby smoker, under extreme conditions (breathing in lots of marijuana smoke for hours in an enclosed room).17 Other Health Effects? More research is needed to know if secondhand marijuana smoke has similar health risks as secondhand tobacco smoke.