Cannabis Side Effects
Have you ever given some thought to cannabis side effects? We all know that smoking a fat blunt or chowing down on a space cake will give anyone a good bout of munchies, uncontrollable laughter, maybe get you a bit tired, and a whole lot of pleasing side effects. If you’re a regular consumer, you know all about the side effects generated by cannabis, but did you know that there are certain effects that are quite hard to notice?
We all probably agree that the main effects produced by cannabis are typically quite nice, such as a general sense of well-being, sleepiness, les stress, increased libido, extra creativity etc., depending on the strain. Of course, there are also negative effects – some strains consumed in excess can provoke paranoia, anxiety, short-term memory loss, cotton-mouth etc. These are the most obvious side effects, but what about the not-so-obvious ones?
Cannabis Side Effects
Apart from the many medicinal benefits obtained from cannabis such as treating illnesses like epilepsy, anxiety, chronic pain, preventing cancer cells from spreading etc., it also has a series of secondary effects that can also be considered medicinal. Let’s take a look at a few of them:
Increased Lung Capacity
One of the lesser-known side effects of consuming cannabis is that it can actually increase lung capacity. You’re probably shaking your head right now, because we’re all aware that smoking is bad for your lungs, right? Well, in a study done at San Francisco UC with over 5000 people over a 20-year period investigated each person’s lung capacity and their smoking habits, whether it was just weed or weed mixed with tobacco.
The results were actually quite astonishing: they tested every patient’s lung capacity and found that tobacco smokers were, obviously, way below average, whereas those that smoked weed had actually increased the amount of air their could hold in their lungs, as well as the speed at which they could expel air from their lungs.
Experts say, although it’s not clear yet, that this might be due to the fact that weed smokers have to use their lungs quite a lot and inhale quite sharply, which could actually train the lungs over the years.
Everyone is aware that consuming cannabis can increase appetite quite a bit, causing the famous “munchies” that we all know too well. Did you know that there’s a series of recent studies that state that cannabis decreases the risk of obesity?
In a study done by the Journal of Obesity they analyzed a group of 700 adults and found that cannabis consumers, regardless of their propensity to get the munchies, had an average body fat that was much lower than those that didn’t consume cannabis. This is due to the fact that their bodies were capable of metabolizing sugar much better, and were much more resistant to insulin. These studies were done on a very basic level, and it needs a bit more investigation – it was never clear whether these individuals simply had these characteristics to begin with or if it was fully cannabis related.
How many times have you fallen asleep because you were super high? Cannabis clearly affects the way that we fall asleep, but did you know that it’s scientifically proven to increase the speed at which we fall asleep, which is much faster than those that don’t consume cannabis.
Another interesting snippet of information is that if you consume cannabis before you go to sleep, you won’t experience the REM phase, which is when we dream. This actually had medicinal benefits – there are people all over the world that suffer from nightmares due to anxiety or PTSD disorder. The option to not dream is probably quite favorable to those that have these disorders.
If you’re a regular cannabis consumer and you want to dream again, don’t worry – your brain accumulates information when you’re awake for your Rem phase. If you were to stay awake for 24h and then finally go asleep, your brain gives you the information accumulated since its last REM cycle. This means that if you don’t smoke before you go to sleep when it’s your usual routine, you will have some pretty wild dreams that night.
Cannabis side effects can sometimes be bad, of course, such as short-term memory loss or cotton-mouth, although it has many more beneficial effects than we thought – who would have thought that cannabis can actually increase lung capacity? There are clearly still a lot of effects that Cannabis Sativa can produce that we haven’t even investigated yet. We’re learning more every day!