While there is little doubt that it can be dangerous to use cannabis and drive a car or go to work, debate has raged for years over the health impact of cannabis, particularly mental health. So what does the particular science say?
Before all of us get into what the science and research says, it’s important to realize that cannabis is a popular drug. In many countries it’s the most widely used illicit drug and this is the case in many parts of the world. In some areas its cultivation is allowed and it’s really part of our culture. It seems to get become common place for politicians to admit to trying it at least once, to show that they are more human!
But trying it and using it regularly are two different things, and it is more frequent users that are putting themselves most at risk. Because there’s little doubt that the use of cannabis can be bad for mental health and may cause a wide range of issues.
Credible studies have found cannabis use connected with issues such as:
Psychosis, hallucinations and delusions. Add baffled thinking, disturbances in emotions and behaviour, and muffled speech to this list.
Schizophrenia, which is a specific psychotic sickness that we’ve all heard about. There is evidence that marijuana can cause schizophrenia in people that are already at risk of the illness. Most people who are at risk of schizophrenia tend to be not aware they are, making a basic cannabis joint every now and then more of a risk than you may think.
It’s also commonly thought that marijuana use can cause depression, although there is no clear evidence of this particular. What the evidence does say is that people who use cannabis are more likely to be depressed than patients who don’t, but the precise link is not known. It might simply be because of a common myth that cannabis makes people happier, but the change can actually be true.
Cannabis users can also experience issues such as anxiety, panic attacks, lack of inspiration, tiredness and difficulty focusing.
Cannabis use is also one factor in suicides in the younger generation.
So what does this proof mean? Should you try cannabis? If you’re a regular user in case you stop?
Like any drug — including legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco — there is a risk in the utilization of cannabis.
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