Is cannabis safe to use long-term?

31 December 2019
Find out the positive and negative effects of using cannabis long-term
31 December 2019
9 min read
Is cannabis safe to use long-term?

With cannabis becoming freely available everywhere, it’s natural to ask if cannabis is safe to use long-term. Many of us wonder about this. Used as a healing herb for many centuries, marijuana or cannabis has always been questioned; however, the stigma seems to be slowly fading.

Sure, you feel amazing as soon as you smoke a joint or a blunt. The short-term effects make you creative and relaxed. To put it simply, you’re happy. But, what about the long-term effects? Is cannabis safe to use long-term?

Well, we’ll tell you. But, remember that there are both positive and negative effects if you use cannabis heavily. If you’re an occasional or light user, you don’t need to worry. However, if you’re using it every day, this article is for you. Let’s take a look at both the positive and negative effects.

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Positive effects of using cannabis long-term

1) Slows down aging

Many people assume that cannabis affects the brain. Actually, it does. But, the effects are more on the positive side. You all know that your memory declines slowly and steadily as you age. You start forgetting things. That’s because your brain deteriorates to a certain extent.

Thankfully, evidence suggests that cannabis can actually reverse the process of aging in the brain! This sounds too good to be true, but this is a fact. Scientists at the University of Bonn tested this theory on mice. The scientists were accompanied by other scientists from the University of Jerusalem.

They noticed that cannabis affected old mice by reversing their age to a much younger state. Although mice and humans are not the same, this opens up many options for the theory to be tested on humans. Plus, this gives a lot of hope for those suffering from dementia. All this is published in a journal named ‘Nature of Medicine’.

Also, another way cannabis helps slow down aging is through the DNA. Cannabis contains powerful antioxidants in the form of CBD and THC. People assume THC to be evil and CBD to be a miracle, but that’s not really true. THC, although it does make you a tad sleepy, is also a strong antioxidant that reduces DNA damage.

Basically, we humans begin to age as and when our DNA gets damaged. It happens slowly, of course. And, that’s why you don’t age overnight. As this process continues, free radicals and other environmental factors affect our DNA and we start aging. CBD and THC work together to reduce this damage. The result is that the process of aging down slows down considerably.

2) Can have an effect on diabetes

Millions of people suffer from diabetes today. Like obesity, it’s almost an epidemic. A number of studies have been conducted on animals to highlight the positive effects of cannabis in curing diabetes, but the great news is that it’s tested on humans too.

According to AAMC or American Alliance for Medical Cannabis, cannabis can help in a variety of ways, especially when it comes to diabetes. Here are a few ways:

  • Cannabis makes blood sugar stable.
  • It suppresses arterial inflammation that is common for those suffering from diabetes.
  • It prevents inflammation of the nerves and eases pain to a great extent.
  • One of the side effects of using cannabis is that it reduces blood pressure. For diabetes patients and those suffering from heart disease, this is a positive effect.
  • It improves circulation and opens blood vessels.

Apart from all this, a study conducted on patients suffering from diabetes in 2016 made scientists take note of the effects of cannabis. Cannabinoids such as CBD and THCV not only reduced the levels of blood glucose but it also increased the production of insulin – a godsend for those struggling with type 2 diabetes.

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3. Can reduce inflammation

Inflammation is the main reason for many diseases to spread. It can cause havoc before you know it. Fortunately, cannabis has shown promise in reducing inflammation to a good extent. CBD has many anti-inflammatory properties and research shows that it reduces chronic inflammation.

A group of researchers from Israel were impressed by the properties of the cannabinoids present in cannabis. They stated that it could even treat many other diseases like diabetes. Thanks to this development, CBD pills were made public in Europe for the very first time.

A study conducted in 2017 by a college in Georgia stated that CBD successfully decreased inflammation. The study was done on animals. Imagine how it can help diabetic patients if this can tested on humans too!

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4. Improves the quality of your life

Now that there are many studies emerging on the effects of cannabis, researchers have found that it helps treat epilepsy. Coming to treating cancer, there are several testimonials of people claiming that it helped them with lung cancer and skin cancer. Of course, cancer is fatal and we need many more studies to prove that it actually helps.

However, ask a cancer patient about how their life changes when they are afflicted with this severe ailment and they will have loads of stories to tell you. It eats them from inside, and that’s why cancer is so deadly.

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Most victims suffering from cancer consume cannabis because it helps them relax, even if it’s for a short while. It reduces pain to an extent – something that’s usually almost impossible when you have cancer.

Cannabis improves the quality of your life in the long-term. Whether it’s just pain or anything to do with daily stress, cannabis does make you feel good. And, that’s because the cannabinoids help produce Anandamide – a chemical produced naturally by the brain to promote bliss.

There are many other positive effects of cannabis even if you use it long-term. However, don’t confuse usage with abuse. No matter what, do not abuse cannabis because too much of anything is too bad even with natural elements like water.

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Negative effects of cannabis in the long-term

1. May effect teens

Cannabis works amazingly well if you use it after you’re an adult. For teens, though, the matter is slightly different. Since the brain isn’t fully developed until you reach the age of at least 19 or 20, cannabis usage when you’re young can affect you adversely in the long-term.

The most common problem teens deal with is addiction. Some people believe that you can never get addicted to cannabis. However, if you can’t live without cannabis, you’re addicted – as simple as that.

The best way to prevent addiction is to prevent cannabis abuse. As soon as you feel you’re abusing it, stop for a week or two and let your body get adjusted. Not only will you feel better when you start again, but you’re not going to get addicted either.

2. Can cause issues if you smoke

Most cannabis users tend to smoke cannabis. Although it isn’t as harmful as cigarettes, it does contain some harmful chemicals that are also present in cigarettes. It doesn’t have a lot to do with marijauna, but it’s because of combustion. Heating and burning anything and inhaling it can cause lung problems.

So, how do we counter this problem? Well, you simply switch to vaping. Since you’re not combusting the herb when vaping, vaping serves as an excellent way to prevent the bad effects of smoking.