The legalization of marijuana in Canada has been a gift to those looking to self-medicate with alternative medicine. Cannabis has forever been prized for its healing effects on the human body. However, its long-standing status as an illicit drug has gotten in the way of scientific studies. Now that it’s legal, those studies can go forward unhindered to back up eons of claims to the healing powers of cannabis.
Of course, there is such a notion as too much of a good thing. While it has a vast repertoire of positive effects, marijuana has potentially harmful effects to be aware of too. For anyone looking to order cannabis online in Canada, it is important to educate yourself about the impact of marijuana on your body before diving into self-medicating. Taking care of your major systems (heart, lungs, and brain) is of top priority - let’s take a look at how marijuana affects these systems.
Cannabis and the Heart
Your heart works tirelessly to keep you alive and your body well-saturated with blood and oxygen. It is of utmost importance to care for your heart and be aware of how cannabis interacts with its function.
Healthy Effects on the Heart
How you consume cannabis, and the type you choose will have varying effects on your heart. The cannabinoid CBD is beneficial for heart health in both direct and indirect ways. CBD has been shown to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and relax the arteries, all of which assist in longevity.
Indirectly, CBD helps reduce stress and anxiety, which are both hard on the heart in the long run. Some studies even suggest that marijuana may be able to treat heart disease by working with the endocannabinoid system.
Harmful Effects on the Heart
While CBD has its benefits, it’s counterpart, THC, has been shown to have potentially adverse effects on the heart. Increased blood pressure and rapid heartbeat are known effects associated with getting high, as well as constricted blood vessels. These effects are of particular concern to people with pre-existing heart conditions, as they could be aggravated by consuming cannabis and lead to greater issues, such as heart attacks or strokes.
The method of consumption matters for heart health as well. Smoking cannabis (or anything, for that matter) increases the concentrations of carbon monoxide in the body. The heart, in particular, can respond to this with irregular rhythms and chest pain or tightness. Consuming edibles high in CBD might be a more advisable way of consuming cannabis for a person with heart conditions.
Cannabis and the Lungs
Optimum lung function is vital to your everyday health. If cannabis is part of your daily regime, read on to ensure you are taking proper precautions to safeguard your airways!
Healthy Effects on the Lungs
While it may seem contrary to common sense, THC is actually a bronchodilator - meaning it opens up the airways by relaxing the bronchi. Smoking marijuana can have this effect, though edibles or tinctures make more sense in consideration of lung health.
This is great news for asthmatics, who can have crippling spasms that are often treated by steroid inhalation. Some studies suggest that marijuana can increase lung capacity, possibly by decreasing inflammation in combination with its broncho-dilating effects.
Harmful Effects on the Lungs
When you order cannabis online in Canada, most of the variety is in the form of flower. But unless you’re planning to bake it up into edibles or steep it for a tincture, you’ll have to smoke it. Which, over time, can have negative effects on the lungs.
Unlike tobacco, smoking cannabis rarely, if ever, leads to lung cancer. However, it can lead to chronic conditions, like excessive mucus production and bronchial congestion. Conditions such as asthma can be worsened over time by habitual smoking.
Cannabis and the Brain
Your brain is the organ most affected by marijuana use. The type of cannabis you consume and genetic or environmental predisposition to potential side effects are things to consider when it comes to preserving brain health.
Healthy Effects on the Brain
One of the most broadly applicable aspects of marijuana is its ability to reduce stress and anxiety. In particular, CBD is tremendously effective for these afflictions, which an estimated 3 million Canadians suffer from. It can also be useful for the treatment of psychosis, with fewer side effects than prescription medication. CBD has also proven to counteract the effects of THC, which is good news if you get a little too high!
Because marijuana alters the way the brain works, its usage can be exploited to help with certain medical conditions. For example, weed works in several ways to induce hunger (aka The Munchies).
This particular aspect is useful for people suffering from health conditions that inhibit their desire to eat, like appetite suppression from chemotherapy. Consuming marijuana can help patients maintain healthy eating habits. This is just one example of the potentially applicable beneficial effects marijuana can have on brain function!
Harmful Effects on the Brain
Cannabis is often painted as a sunny, harmless, non-addictive herb, but that isn’t the complete truth. In particular, teenagers are vulnerable to unfavourable brain changes from consuming cannabis, including long-term adverse developmental effects (such as a lowered IQ or difficulties with memory).
For those with a predisposition to psychosis or other mental health concerns, THC can be a trigger. In the short term, THC can spark episodes of anxiety, panic, or extreme confusion, which can have traumatizing effects on the user.
Do The Benefits Outweigh the Risks?
The helpful and harmful effects of marijuana all depend on your state of health to begin with. When you order cannabis online in Canada, be sure to choose products that reflect your needs and take any healthcare concerns into consideration. Remember, in all aspects of your life, to consume everything in moderation for a healthy, balanced, mindful existence.