Pot. Will it Help or Hurt Me?

Pot. Will it Help or Hurt Me?
Marijuana can elevate heart rate, lower blood pressure, dilate airways to the lungs, and suppress the urge to vomit. There can be long term memory impairment with a lowering of IQ, poor job and academic performance, and greater risk of depression later on in adulthood. Individuals from traumatic backgrounds are at higher risk

by MusicAlliance.com

The primary psychoactive component of marijuana, in all its forms, is delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol, abbreviated as THC. Cannabinoids interact with a specific receptor found throughout brain regions responsible for cognition, memory, reward processing, pain perception, and motor coordination.

Numerous factors influence the experience, including the user’s mental state before consumption, the environment, and expectations. Marijuana induces shifts in perception, making users more attuned to others’ emotions, intensifying music enjoyment, and inducing an overall sense of euphoria. Conversely, it can lead to agitation in unfavorable situations—around strangers or while concealing its use—often referred to as paranoia. Mixing marijuana with other substances like alcohol may result in dizziness and disorientation.
Marijuana induces various physiological changes. It can elevate heart rate, lower blood pressure, dilate airways to the lungs, and suppress the urge to vomit. Additionally, it may cause bloodshot eyes, dry mouth, dizziness, and heightened appetite. Temporary memory loss can also occur, dissipating as the drug’s effects wane.

Marijuana generates feelings of euphoria, relaxation, altered perception, distorted time perception, and intensified sensory experiences, such as eating, watching movies, or listening to music. In social settings, it might prompt contagious laughter and increased talkativeness. It impairs short-term memory, attention, motor skills, reaction time, and proficient tasks. Common unfavorable effects of occasional marijuana use include anxiety and panic reactions. These experiences often lead users to discontinue consumption. More seasoned users may occasionally encounter these effects after a larger-than-usual dose of THC. Marijuana smoking or THC ingestion elevates heart rate by 20-50% within minutes to hours, with effects lasting up to three hours. Blood pressure increases while seated and decreases while standing.

Is there a connection between marijuana use and panic or anxiety attacks? Can marijuana induce paranoia? This section explores the relationship between marijuana and panic or anxiety disorders, shedding light on these concerns.

Acute Effects

Anxiety and panic: Impaired attention, memory, and psychomotor skills while under the influence.

A potential rise in accident risk :when operating a vehicle while intoxicated by cannabis, particularly when combined with alcohol.

Elevated risk of psychotic symptoms: among those predisposed due to personal or family history of psychosis.

Depressive Reactions: In novice users, and rarely in regular users, marijuana might trigger reactive or neurotic depressions.

Panic Reactions: Panic reactions, often termed “bad trips,” are the most prevalent adverse responses to marijuana. These episodes may escalate to incapacitation. Approximately 50% of US marijuana users have experienced this adverse reaction at some point
Cognitive Effects: Longer marijuana use correlates with more pronounced cognitive impairment.
Anxiety Reactions: Acute anxiety is the most common unsettling response to marijuana. Users may become fearful of dying or losing their sanity, with growing anxiety possibly leading to panic. Unlike psychosis, this lacks hallucinations. The anxiety response, akin to a delusional disorder, is a milder version of the unsettling LSD experience known as a bad trip. True nightmarish experiences are rare under marijuana’s influence, owing to its lower potency compared to hallucinogens or psychedelics, along with users’ increased ability to manage its effects.
LSD and other psychedelic drugs’ usage is often followed by flashbacks—recurrences of emotions and perceptions from the drug-induced state. These usually last seconds and aren’t necessarily distressing. In some cases, flashbacks become persistent, known as post-hallucinogen perception disorder. While primarily associated with psychedelic drugs, marijuana smoking might trigger flashbacks in their users. Some reports suggest marijuana-induced flashbacks can occur even without prior psychedelic drug use.

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