Is smoking weed everyday bad for you?

Published Jan 25, 2019 04:39 p.m. ET

 How often should I smoke weed? An all too common question that stoners for generations have pondered. With all the media hype is it as bad as they say it is? Well, we’re here to give you straight up facts on the benefits and the drawbacks of daily consumption, and just how long it takes for any adverse effects to leave your system. To do this properly, we will need to break down into two groups which consist of two different methods of ingestion.

Smoking

While smoking anything is going to have at least some negative effects, for many, it is the only method of ingesting cannabis they are comfortable with. While smoking cannabis can have drawbacks such as producing phlegm that coats the lungs increasing the possibility of a consistent raspy cough and general irritation of the lungs in a regular or daily user. When daily users quit, it takes approximately 72 hours for those symptoms to lessen. Those who smoke less than 3 times a week don’t seem to feel those adverse effects, so if you're not smoking all day every day, you should be relatively safe from a cough. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean you are safe from the other possible effects such as headaches, anxiety, panic attacks, or nausea. When smoking marijuana, your body processes the THC and CBD immediately. THC and CBD both have clinically proven positive abilities such as calming a person, treating pain and inflammation and treating other conditions like muscle spasms, and fibromyalgia. For those looking for immediate relief, smoking is the way to go, but smoking is the least healthy option overall and probably not best to partake in seven days a week. The effects of smoking on the brain lasts for no more than 72 hours, but generally it’s closer to 2-6 hours as the effects are fully felt by a user. It can take up to 30 days for THC to leave your system after just smoking once. Vaping is similar to smoking but with the addition of glycerin, a compound that releases carcinogens, that when heated that have the potential to cause long-lasting negative effects.

Eating or orally ingesting

Edibles and THC or CBD oils fall under this category. Both are ingested orally. Neither is burnt and neither come loaded with the chemicals in smoke or vape juices. Regularly eating marijuana products is often recommended to those who require THC or CBD for medicinal purposes and is safe to do every single day without any of the smoke-related adverse effects. The only downsides to this method are that it will stay in your system longer (sometimes months) and will take more time to “kick in,” ingesting orally requires your body to process the THC via the liver, which can affect some prescription medications. The effects will last much longer, with many reporting still feeling the effects up to 12 hours later. This includes brain function. If you were to eat edibles or ingest THC liquid orally every day, you would likely “feel fuzzy” most of the time. Users would need to completely stop using for at least one week before the negative effects that are apparent as far as brain function completely wear off. The good news is they do die down eventually. Orally marijuana may not always come with a buzz. For buds to give you the psychoactive benefits when ingested, they must go through a process called decarboxylation which requires heating the marijuana until it activates the THC. This means that you can ingest marijuana by grinding it into smoothies or milkshakes or using fresh leaves and bud as an addition to salads. While it may not sound appealing to everyone, cannabis plants come loaded with fiber, antioxidants, and protein alongside a variety of minerals and vitamins. Making it an official super-food and a perfect addition to any diet. Of the many ways to ingest marijuana, eating or ingesting it orally has the least harmful long-term effects.

At this time there is no evidence that points to any long-term side effects from using marijuana lasting beyond a few days. It has not proven to be cancer causing, likely due to the fact it comes with no added chemicals like cigarettes. Marijuana has shown that it can be responsible for killing some brain cells when smoked, but the amount affected and the effect they have on the user thus far are negligible. The worst confirmed quality so far is that it has shown to be slightly addictive, being compared to a coffee drinkers’ dependence. So, if you were to use for a long-extended period and suddenly stop you can get a bit uncomfortable, there are no stereotypical withdrawal symptoms like we see with drugs such as opioids or antidepressants. Overall the regular consumption of marijuana is considered safe. While there is still much work to be done, as far as current research goes, it isn’t as scary as some of us have been led to believe.

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