If you are prescribed medical marijuana for any medical conditions, your physician will explain everything there is to expect. They will naturally tell you about medical marijuana and its benefits, but they should also warn you about some of the side effects, especially if you need to take marijuana for a long period of time.
● Increased Heart Rate – Cannabinoids are the compounds in cannabis responsible for the high and for alleviating many ailments. These compounds also cause your blood vessels to expand, which increases your heart rate. This can lead to complications in case of poor cardiovascular health, but this can be a beneficial effect as well. For patients with high blood pressure, the expanded blood vessels cause blood pressure to lower. This, coupled with marijuana’s properties as a relaxant, also makes it effective at reducing stress.
● Drowsiness – One use of marijuana is to relieve anxiety and depression, one symptom of which is insomnia. Indica strains of cannabis are usually the go-to choice for patients with sleep disorders. These strains are the most likely ones to put you to sleep if you suffer from these disorders. In the long-run, you need not worry about any adverse effects. There are some short-term effects that can impair your ability to drive or operate heavy machinery, for example, so take precautions when taking your medication.
● Hunger – One well-known side effect of marijuana is a feeling of hunger, which is caused by chemicals that bind themselves to receptor sites that increase your appetite. While this can lead to weight gain and overeating, there are positives, especially for patients undergoing chemotherapy, or who have AIDS. These conditions can cause loss of appetite to the point of malnutrition, which can impede the body’s ability to heal. Aside from using cannabis to promote healing, it also stimulates the appetite to help keep your body healthy.
● Dry Mouth – Cannabis, or more specifically cannabinoids, can produce dry mouth. Cannabinoid receptors are present in your body to interact with cannabinoids and communicate their effects to the rest of the body. The submandibular gland in your mouth that produces most of your saliva is one such receptor. When cannabinoids interact with this gland, this causes it to produce less saliva, resulting in dry mouth. Though there are no long-term effects, you can reduce the dryness in your mouth by staying hydrated and avoiding substances that dry your mouth out further (e.g. tobacco and alcohol).
● Slow Reaction Times – Marijuana can have an effect on your reaction time, resulting in delayed reactions to stimuli. Researchers speculate that cannabis speeds up your internal clock, which makes it feel as if everything around you is slowed down. This can make it dangerous to operate machinery at work, even if you have never exhibited signs of slowed reaction times.
● Giddiness – One common side-effect of marijuana use is a feeling of giddiness. This can cause a sense of intoxication, which can impair your ability to work normally. It is possible to consult with your physician to adjust the dosage when you take your medication to avoid any feeling of giddiness when you need your faculties. It should be noted that marijuana is a treatment for anxiety disorders, which can be aided by the giddiness brought about by marijuana.