Mental and Physical Consequences of Marijuana Use [Infographic]
By: Lakeview Health Staff
Published: December 19, 2016

Public opinion on marijuana consumption has become increasingly favorable, as statewide votes declared marijuana use legal in some states. However, public opinion doesn’t necessarily take into account the often overlooked negative effects of marijuana consumption. Marijuana can cause physical and mental consequences that impact users, their future children, and their social relationships.

Marijuana Use Can Decrease Your IQ

The jury is still out on whether adult marijuana consumption causes permanent cognitive damage. For adolescents, however, the evidence is clear. Heavy adolescent marijuana use, while the brain is still actively developing, can reduce IQ up to eight points. Unfortunately, quitting marijuana consumption won’t help users regain those points in the future.

Marijuana Can Increase Cardiac Risks

After consuming marijuana, the heart rate will continue rising for up to three hours. While this may not seem like a significant side effect, it can be devastating for some. Those who are already at risk for strokes or heart attacks will be under more stress after consuming marijuana. The elderly, in particular, are more likely to suffer from cardiac arrest hours after using the drug.

Nearly One-Third of Marijuana Users Become Dependent

Marijuana may not have as many physically addictive properties as other substances like heroin or cocaine. However, dependencies can still develop. 30% of marijuana users will abuse the drug or develop a dependency. This can make stopping difficult, and it can lead to addiction.

Even Secondhand Marijuana Smoke Can Impact the Cardiovascular System

One of the most worrying consequences of marijuana consumption is how secondhand marijuana smoke can impact individuals. Even if you’re not smoking, just being around marijuana smoke for a single minute can impact your cardiovascular system for a staggering 90 minutes. Blood vessels change with this minimal exposure, impairing cardiovascular function as well as circulation.

Marijuana Consumption During Pregnancy Can Impact Newborn’s Weight

Using marijuana throughout pregnancy can impact a newborn’s birth weight. Heavy consumption throughout pregnancy can lead to lower average birth weights of 277 grams, which is nearly 10 ounces. This can be particularly problematic for babies born prematurely. Lower birth weights can lead to added health risks. Marijuana use brings with it a number of substantial physical and mental consequences. If you’re struggling to break a dependency of marijuana, Lakeview Health in Jacksonville, Florida, can help. Don’t ignore these negative effects of marijuana use. Call us today at 866-704-7692 to start planning for a substance-free future.