What are the long-term effects of marijuana use?
This is a really reasonable to ask. When you’re using any medication, whether it’s marijuana or even prescription or over-the-counter meds, on a regular basis, it’s important to know the effect it’ll have on your body over the long-term.
So let me dive into some research with you. But, before I do, I want to tell you that there were some findings in this study that took me by surprise. So make sure you stick around til the end to find out what those findings were.
In this study published in 2016, the researchers followed 1037 participants from age 18 to 38, so basically for 20 years.
Over these 20 years, the participants used marijuana on a daily basis for an average of 2 years.
Over the same 20 years, they smoked 20 tobacco cigarettes a day for an average of 6 years.
When these participants turned 38, the researchers looked at or for:
- any form of Gum Disease
- Lung Function
- Systemic Inflammation (by checking levels for one of the most reliable indicators of inflammation – C-Reactive Protein),
- Waist Circumference,
- Cholesterol Levels,
- Triglyceride Levels,
- Blood Pressure,
- Glucose Control (by checking Hemoglobin A1C Levels – a blood test used to screen for, diagnose, and monitor Diabetes)
- Body-Mass Index (a measure of body fat based on height and weight)
Basically, they found that long-term cannabis use was associated with only one health problem and that was gum disease.
Now, that’s in stark contrast to long-term tobacco use, which was associated with worse health when it came to gum disease, lung function, systemic inflammation, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and glucose control.
Here’s the really surprising bit, the researchers found that the cannabis users had slightly smaller waist circumference and a lower body-mass index. They also had better cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as better glucose control.
Not what you’d expect huh?
Alright, so I hope that helps to address your concerns about the long-term effects of marijuana use.
- Associations Between Cannabis Use and Physical Health Problems in Early Midlife A Longitudinal Comparison of Persistent Cannabis vs Tobacco Users
If you have more questions for me, post them in the comments section below, I’ll be more than happy to answer them in the next video/blog.
I’ll catch you next time!