Normal life with MMJ?
Is it possible to take cannabis every day (even multiple times) and still get in with normal activities? A significant proportion of medical marijuana users struggle with maintaining the balance of life while having to take their medicine. This is the case with many different illnesses and medicines; a large proportion of prescription drugs have some kind of side-effect. Nausea, constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, and depression are all relatively common side-effects of prescription drugs. MMJ is no different. MMJ is not your typical medicine, but also comes with it’s fair share of side-effects, which can be construed as good or bad depending on your personal situation.
What are the side-effects of MMJ?
As MMJ becomes increasingly legalized throughout the United States, the health benefits and number of chronic diseases and disorders cannabis can be used to treat are being revealed more and more. MMJ has been shown to have benefits for patients suffering from cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and cachexia just to name a few. But what are the main side-effects of MMJ usage? A study by Shvartzman et al. (2016) found that around 77% of patients taking MMJ reported minor side-effects. Around 60% of patients reported ‘dry mouth’ and ‘hunger’ as negative side-effects, 44% reported ‘high moods’ as a negative side-effect, 32% reported ‘red eyes’, 29% ‘fatigue’, 23% ‘sleepiness’, and 13% reported ‘blurred vision’. None of these side-effects are generally considered to be ‘requiring medical attention’, which, if that was the case, would mean the medicine would not be prescribed.
These are all relatively minor side-effects, and should not discourage anyone looking for alternative medicine. Many users are concerned about the possible long-term effects of daily cannabis use. The current research leaves a lot to be desired. Long-term scientific studies on the side-effects of MMJ use are few and far between, but this is starting to change with the increasing legalisation of cannabis. Some studies show that there are similar neurological characteristics shown by long-term cannabis users. This includes a shrinking of the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) region of the brain. This area of the brain is involved in decision-making and mental processing. This may in part be counterbalanced by an increase in neuron connectivity in long-term users. The results remain unclear. Another hypothesis is that there is a greater neurological change in individuals who begin using the drug at an early age, while the brain is still growing. This is the reason it is sensible to have laws regarding the minimum age for MMJ prescription.
How can MMJ contribute to a healthy lifestyle?
We all know how much some strains of cannabis can make us want to eat anything and everything we set our eyes on. Recent research from the University of Bordeaux has enlightened the scientific community on why this could be. The olfactory bulb is a part of the brain which reacts to smell and taste. Researchers found that consuming cannabis has a significant influence on the olfactory bulb, leading to increased desire to eat. Foods smell richer and are tastier when using cannabis. This can cause difficulties for someone trying to cut down their food intake or this on a diet. The important thing to note is that all foods smell and taste nicer when using cannabis, not just junk food. One way to counter the munchies if an individual is on a diet would be to make sure your shelves are stocked with healthy snacks rather than typical junk foods like crisps and chocolate. Fresh fruit also tastes delicious when using marijuana.
Many users of MMJ report being more sluggish and lazy when they are medicating. Users may find it difficult to become motivated, and/or stay motivated when performing repetitive tasks. However, these users should be aware that different strains of cannabis have different effects on the human body. Indica strains are more likely to make the user sedate and calm, whereas Sativa strains will make the user more buzzed and active. If you are struggling with motivation while using MMJ, consider switching strains to one which is more towards the Sativa end of the spectrum. One of the best strains for motivation is Durban Poison; an uplifting and energetic Sativa strain that has been called the ‘espresso’ of cannabis strains.
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