Weed Health

Who Can’t Smoke Weed?

Kushmapper Learning Center

When you inhale marijuana smoke into your lungs, the psychoactive ingredient THC is broken down and released into your bloodstream. This cannabinoid and other compounds – some of which are toxic – go throughout your circulatory system to your organs and brain. It can impact just about every part of the body, which is why some people with certain physical and mental illnesses can’t smoke weed.

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Learn About Who Isn't Able To Smoke Weed

Who Really Shouldn't Ever Smoke Weed?

Those with developing brains, like children and teenagers, should not smoke cannabis because of how THC affects their developing brains. Medical professionals are still researching the effects marijuana can have on the brain, but studies show that marijuana can affect the formation of connections in the brain. It can hurt parts of the brain that are responsible for concentration, memory, sensory perception, pleasure, and coordination. Regular consumption can also lead to reduced cognitive function.

There is some debate about whether or not pregnant women should use marijuana. The current research leads most specialists to recommend that pregnant women do not use marijuana. Some studies suggest that cannabis use may be linked to problems with attention, memory, problem-solving skills, and behaviour problems in their children.

Frequent (daily or near-daily) and high dose usage can cause feelings of disorientation, unpleasant thoughts, and feelings of paranoia or anxiety. In users with certain mental disorders, even casual use can make their symptoms worse; as such, they should not try marijuana.

Mental Illness And Marijuana

The use of cannabis might make exacerbate symptoms of psychosis in people living with schizophrenia. It’s a condition that can manifest itself as many different symptoms, including delusions and hallucinations, which are collectively labelled as psychosis and are triggered by different things. One common trigger includes casual marijuana use to relieve other symptoms like anxiety. 

Bipolar disorder is a condition described by extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression), and the rate and severity differ from person to person. Marijuana may help some patients, but it could also hurt. Someone with bipolar disorder should never smoke marijuana without talking to their healthcare provider.

Research shows mixed results related to depression, and medical marijuana can be a treatment option for those with major depression, the most severe form of the condition. But while there is no proof that marijuana causes depression, those who have been diagnosed with it might find their treatment goes more positively without it. Depression is a condition that varies greatly, and as such, successful treatment varies greatly, too!

What Health Conditions Make It Impossible To Smoke Weed?

Those with lung conditions should not smoke marijuana, though they might find it impossible. While there is no concrete connection between smoking marijuana and lung cancer, it can create and inflame respiratory problems for frequent smokers. Marijuana smoke, like any other plant matter, includes a variety of toxic chemicals like hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, and ammonia. These can irritate and aggravate existing problems in the bronchial passages and lungs, causing bouts of prolonged coughing, wheezing, and inflammation of airways. 

Marijuana is also unsafe for those with heart disease. When you smoke marijuana, THC moves quickly from the lungs into your bloodstream and throughout your body. Using the drug rapidly increases your heart rate, increasing by up 50 beats per minute, a state that continues for up to three hours. If you have heart disease, this could raise your risk of a heart attack. For those who already have problems with their heart, overusing marijuana could have serious consequences. 

Users with heart and lung conditions should always discuss any substance use with their doctor. Those with lung conditions who want to enjoy weed should turn to edibles (and should talk to their doctor before taking it).

Frequently Asked Questions About Who Should Smoke Weed

Many types of people are susceptible to harm from the effects of marijuana: fetuses in pregnant women, young people and teenagers, those with serious mental illnesses like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and major depression, and those with heart and lung conditions. For some, like pregnant women and teenagers, it’s not advisable to smoke, while others literally cannot smoke without putting their bodies at serious risk of a cardiac episode. If you suspect that smoking weed would put you at risk, talk to your healthcare practitioner.

Heart and lung conditions make it not just inadvisable to smoke weed – they can make it impossible. Marijuana smoke can create and inflame respiratory problems for frequent smokers or those with lung disease. The psychoactive properties of THC can increase heart rates to levels that can raise the risk of cardiac arrest. Serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder can also make getting a positive outcome from smoking weed impossible!

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