The pros and cons of using marijuana

Published Jan 29, 2019 02:45 p.m. ET

 With legalization in full swing, educational materials on the subject are incredibly hard to sift through. With many doctors, scientists, and researchers aggressively opposing pot due to personal beliefs rather than scientific ones. It can be difficult to tell what fact is and what is fiction. It is important to note that very little real research has been done due to ethical reasons, and of course, the fact marijuana was illegal not long ago. There are now various studies that point to the conclusion that there is very little evidence to show that ingesting marijuana causes cancer or kills brain cells. In fact, one study done at The University of Kentucky just this past year seems to indicate that after 72 hours, there are very few residual effects found in users. Here we will answer some of the most popular questions surrounding marijuana use and list the pros, cons and side effects for each method of ingestion.

FAQ’s

  1. Does weed kill brain cells? Cannabis and brain cells. While the jury is still out on this one, there has been scientific evidence to show that inhaling any sort of smoke can, in fact, kill brain cells, as it deprives the brain of oxygen. What is debatable is whether smoking a joint is kills so many brain cells that anyone could notice since your brain is always creating new ones, or not.
  2. How many people has marijuana killed? Can weed kill you? This one is simple, while THC in incredibly mass amounts has shown the potential to be harmful, the amountit would require to kill you or even to put your health mildly at risk would be so large it is physically impossible to consume. There are absolutely no deaths on record that have been caused by consuming marijuana.
  3. What are the common side effects of consuming marijuana products? Common side effects include but are not limited to, bouts of nausea, panic attacks, sleepiness or falling asleep (those around you may not be able to wake you).
  4. What is the average cost of a gram of cannabis?While this varies greatly depending on your source, the average price for a gram of weed typically ranges from $5-13 per gram.
  5. How old must you be to purchase cannabis? In Canada, each province sets the minimum age to purchasewith the majority being 18, and only Quebec and Alberta setting the minimum age to 18.

Different Methods of Ingesting

Smoking
Smoking includes those who use bongs, joints or any other method that burns dried cannabis flower to inhale it.
Pros:

  • The cheapest method of ingesting marijuana. Since marijuana buds are the base of all cannabis-infused products, it takes the least preparation. Since it’s the raw product, it is cheaper to buy than other cannabis products. The paraphernalia required for smoking is cheap and comes with the least moving parts, making maintaining your smoking apparatus less expensive than any other method.
  • Easiest for beginners with the majority of paraphernalia only needing to be cleaned and not prepared in any way.
  • Fast acting effects. The effects of marijuana come on fast and hard when smoking, giving the maximum benefits as fast as possible.

Cons:

  • Least healthy method. Since smoking anything is proven to cause lung irritation this is the least healthy method. Smoking marijuana can cause phlegm build up even in occasional smokers. After discontinuing use the phlegm will clear up, but it will likely always be present in heavy smokers of marijuana.
  • Smell. Smoking is the smelliest way of ingesting marijuana making it hard for the user to keep their use discreet.
  • Shortest buzz. Smoking will come on the hardest but tend to last much less time than some other methods.

Vaping
Vaping includes THC oils in e-cigarettes and vape pens that create a cloud of vapor.
Pros:

  • Easily controlled dose.
  • Marijuana vape products last longer
  • Least smell. Easy to indulge while remaining discreet. No one knows what's in a vape unless they filled it and vaped tends to come as close to scent free as possible without added flavoring specifically for the smell.

Cons:

  • Most expensive method. Vaping almost always requires some form of tincture or concentrate which can be difficult for a user to make at home. Since vape juices take the most preparation of any other methods, it tends to be the most expensive.

Eating/Oral use
Edibles are just one form of eating. There are also oils and tinctures that are meant to be taken orally either under the tongue or by rubbing along the gums.
Pros:

  • Easy to make yourself. Buds can be mixed into edibles, smoothies or decarboxylated quickly and easily at home before adding to other recipes.
  • Longest lasting effect. Since eating marijuana is the slowest way to absorb the psychoactive components of THC and the healing effects of CBD, the effects can last upwards of 12 hours taking up to 6 for the user to even notice.
  • Most versatile. Edibles appeal to an entirely different crowd than other methods of ingesting. Mainly marketed to those who are medicating or who do not smoke or vape and are looking for an alternative.

No matter which method you choose to try, remember each one offers an entirely different experience. Enjoying the effects of one doesn't mean you will necessarily enjoy another. While contemplating, keep in mind your sensitivity to marijuana products from past experiences and always begin with the smallest dose you can. This will give you more control over the effect and give you a better shot at not experiencing any of the negative side effects that can be exacerbated by over consumption of cannabis products.

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