Cannabis used under medical supervision as a medicine can serve us, but long-term smoking of marijuana, which we “prescribe” ourselves, is associated with risks. 

These include, but are not limited to, memory impairment, learning ability, slowing of reflexes, decreased reproductive capacity in men, and the researchers have also found an association with the risk of stroke and heart attack.

Cannabis is one of the oldest crops used by mankind for thousands of years. It developed on the southwestern slopes of the Himalayas, from where it spread practically all over the world. Marijuana has been proven by our ancient ancestors, from prehistoric gatherers and hunters to Neolithic farmers. It is even mentioned in the Bible and the ancient Indian Vedas.

Marijuana has been used for millennia for its healing and ‘spiritual’ effects. In Europe, Greeks, Nordic and other nations have historically used cannabis to relieve labor, injury or toothache. Hysteria in the postmodern era turned it into a dangerous drug. Only in recent years has the medical use of marijuana finally reappeared in various diagnoses. 

Although its use is not without risk, we know that its social harm is lower compared to alcohol. However, there is evidence that regular use of marijuana can have negative consequences for human reproduction.

Damaged sperm

Last year’s research at Boston University showed worrying results that marijuana consumers may have severe reproductive problems.

The study involved 1,400 couples who decided to conceive a child. The findings were quite serious. It has been shown that men who indulge in marijuana consumption at least once a week expose their partners to up to twice the risk of miscarriage.

The main reason for these abortions was probably sperm degeneration due to cannabis smoking. Although the damaged sperm can fertilize the egg, its defects prevent the proper development of the fetus and an abortion will occur.

Abstinence in front of a child

Research has shown that cannabinoids play a vital role in the formation of new sperm, and any disruption of the sperm production system leads to impaired male fertility.

Abortion can occur more often with regular marijuana users. However, conception often does not occur at all, as both sperm motility and their ability to survive are reduced. Therefore, we recommend regular smokers to protect themselves against conception and to start trying to have a child only after a certain period of abstinence.

Beware of vascular diseases

According to American researchers from the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Bethesda, USA, regular smoking of “grass” may be associated with the development of vascular diseases – heart attack and stroke.

With the consumption of marijuana, the protein in the blood increases, which is associated with the development of these diseases. 

This so-called apolipoprotein C-III is supposed to prevent enzymes from breaking down fats, which in turn leads to their higher concentration in the blood. But more fat in the blood can then lead to clogged blood vessels.

The research, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, carried out eighteen long-term cannabis smokers who smoked up to three hundred and fifty marijuana cigarettes a week. Twenty-four volunteers, who never smoked “grass”, were compared. A big difference was found in their tests: smokers had high levels of apolipoprotein C-III.

It is not yet clear whether, after abstinence from cannabis use, consumers will “compare” their health with abstainers, or whether the effect is long-term.

According to a study in Molecular Psychiatry, it is also not possible to apply the conclusions to occasional consumers, because the measured sample was really passionate marijuana smokers.

Depression, anxiety, panic

Recreational cannabis smoking, according to some experts, brings about the same health complications as moderate alcohol consumption, but the risks should not be underestimated. It turns out that “grass” users may be more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, panic or psychosis. 

However, the manifestations and their extent are individual and depend on innate predispositions. According to research, women are up to twice as likely to have negative symptoms.

Impaired memory and may cause psychosis

As with any medicine, some individuals may experience side effects from Cannabis, which in some cases can be fatal. The most common manifestations of long-term marijuana cigarette smokers are impaired short-term memory and ability to learn. 

This is especially true for young people who use the substance before the end of their body’s development. In rare cases, the onset of schizophrenic disorders may occur. This is why its use is not recommended for people who have been diagnosed with some form of psychosis.

Although the list of side effects may seem a little scary, in reality they are very rare and usually short-lived and mild. 

Only very sensitive individuals suffering from pressure and psychological problems should be careful. As everywhere, it is good to follow the golden rule of “everything in moderation”.