Public perception of marijuana has changed for the better since the days of fear-mongering and anti-cannabis propaganda. Research has highlighted the many positive aspects of marijuana, including treating insomnia, reducing anxiety and alleviating the detrimental effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients. With all the positive coverage of marijuana, though, it may be possible to overlook its dangers. Ingesting the psychoactive compounds in marijuana, particularly through smoke inhalation, is not totally harmless. People with certain health conditions should consider whether or how to consume cannabis in a way that protects their well-being.

Mental Illness

The role that marijuana plays in mental health is complex. For some conditions like major depression, marijuana shows promise as a treatment. For others, though, it can trigger serious psychiatric concerns. Schizophrenia is a serious condition which deserves careful consideration in terms of treatment. HelpGuide says that the cause of schizophrenia is not well understood, and treatment for schizophrenia can be difficult. In some cases, people with schizophrenia react poorly to cannabis. Similarly, patients suffering from bipolar disorder should exercise caution when considering marijuana. In general, cannabis is for adult consumption, and young teens should avoid marijuana for now. Psychiatric side effects may be more concerning when underage people are involved. 

Pregnancy

As explained by Thurswell Law, marijuana can lead to premature birth and other pregnancy complications. It is always best to err on the side of caution with any medications or supplements when pregnant. This applies to cannabis as well as to all other prescription and non-prescription substances. The developing fetus does not have the ability to withstand exposure to toxins and chemicals like an adult. Researchers have long recognized the dangers of smoking cigarettes and drinking for an unborn baby, but new research has indicated that cannabis can also be passed on in the womb. Breastfeeding mothers can pass the compounds in marijuana to their baby through their milk, so mothers should avoid marijuana until they have weaned their child off breast milk. 

Lung Disease

Inhaling any smoke combusted from plant material will irritate the lungs, even if you choose cannabis rather than tobacco. Common lung diseases include asthma, bronchitis, sleep apnea and COPD. The smoke from marijuana, like any kind of smoke, triggers inflammation and introduces tiny chemical particles deep into the lung tissue. People with lung disease may want to consider other forms of consuming cannabis.

While marijuana has many positive health effects in healthy people, there are reasons to be cautious. In some cases, you can still benefit from cannabis by making the right decisions for your body.

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