Undergoing a Weed Detox

Undergoing a Weed Detox | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Marijuana is a drug from the cannabis plant. The mind-altering effects come from THC, a compound present naturally in the plant. Although marijuana is not believed to be nearly as addictive or destructive as many other substances of abuse, there is increasing evidence that frequent use can result in some level of dependence. For this reason, professional intervention is sometimes required to help individuals get clean and remain in recovery over the long-term.

Effects of Marijuana

Smoking, vaping, or oral consumption all yield similar effects, though they are not the same for everyone. Depending on the method of administration, effects usually onset after 30 minutes to one hour of use and can last for several hours.

Effects commonly include the following:

  • Increased senses
  • Altered sense of time
  • Feeling humorous
  • Relaxation
  • Mood changes
  • Decreased body movement
  • Impaired thinking
  • Poor memory

Ingesting too much marijuana can cause people to experience hallucinations, delusions, and even psychosis. These symptoms may also occur in individuals who are predisposed to them, including those who have schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

According to NIDA, long-term term adverse effects related to chronic marijuana use are of concern. Especially when used by adolescents, weed can impair thinking, memory, and essential learning functions that establish connections in the brain. Researchers are still trying to determine if any long-term damage comes from marijuana use. However, examples of lowered IQ in adults have been observed who started using weed when they were young.

Marijuana Dependence

Previously, researchers did not think marijuana was addictive. However, in recent years, that view has changed a bit. Levels of THC in weed have steadily risen, thereby making dependence and other adverse effects more likely. According to NIDA, as much as 30% of marijuana users may develop some level of dependency, and people who begin using it before age 18 are up to seven times more likely to develop an addiction than those who first use it as adults.

Although dependence does not necessarily equal addiction, it is possible that it will lead to it. When a person is dependent, their body is accustomed to the substance’s presence. He or she is more likely to engage in compulsive drug-seeking and using, which is the hallmark sign of addiction.

There are both physical and psycho-emotional side effects associated with using marijuana. Physical symptoms can include breathing issues, elevated heart rate, nausea, and vomiting. People who use marijuana for a prolonged period may be at a heightened risk for depression, anxiety, hallucinations, paranoia, disorganized thinking, and suicidal ideations.

While no known amount of marijuana will result in a lethal overdose, it is certainly possible to experience severe and disturbing symptoms, such as anxiety and paranoia. Also, people do occasionally end up going to the ER after having a psychotic reaction to marijuana. Likewise, dizziness that leads to nausea and vomiting can facilitate the need for medical treatment.

Undergoing a Weed Detox | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Weed Detox

Withdrawing from weed comes with a handful of withdrawal symptoms that can make it difficult to quit. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Sleep problems, especially insomnia
  • Negative mood, possibly anger
  • Decreased appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Cravings to use the drug
  • Headaches
  • Excessive sweating
  • Stomach pains
  • Shakiness
  • Fever
  • Dehydration

There are currently no approved medical approaches to treat a person withdrawing from marijuana, but many detox programs can treat individual symptoms and provide emotional support. Behavioral therapies have been successful in helping people to achieve sobriety and stay clean. And in a detox program, medical professionals can prescribe medications that relieve specific withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches or nausea, to aid in the detox process.

Risks of Detoxing Without Help

Perhaps the most significant risk of undergoing a weed detox on your own is relapse. When you choose to detox with the support of health professionals in a safe and secure environment, you are much less likely to relapse, and getting through this early stage is sometimes all it takes to help people avoid reverting to using.

Also, detoxing at home may not provide you with the emotional support you need to help you navigate potentially adverse thoughts and feelings that may develop during withdrawal. Addiction specialists, therapists, and counselors can help during this process, and medication may be prescribed to reduce symptoms of depression or anxiety.

Getting Treatment for Marijuana Dependence

As noted, withdrawal symptoms associated with discontinuing marijuana are usually relatively mild. However, without professional treatment, relapse rates during this period are high. If you have attempted to quit weed multiple times and have returned to using, undergoing weed detox and a rehab program may be the right approach to try.

If you are ready to take the next step toward long-lasting sobriety and wellness, contact us today and find out how we can help!

Top 10 Negative Effects of Marijuana

Negative Effects of Marijuana

Top 10 Negative Effects of Marijuana – The number of states that permit the use of medicinal and recreational marijuana has been steadily increasing. For this reason, in many areas of the country, people have easy access to it. Despite this new, more relaxed state legislation, and a copious amount of criticism, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has chosen to keep marijuana classified as a Schedule I drug.

This scheduling indicates that the drug has a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical purpose. While many people would argue that the latter is false, the truth is a bit more complicated than that. Any potentially addictive substance will likely be associated with some adverse effects. Moreover, it is these effects that prompt users to quit using marijuana and seek professional help.

A significant downside to the DEA’s decision is that it does nothing to promote research aimed at examining the possible side effects of marijuana use. Because the federal government classifies marijuana as having no medicinal value, funded studies related to its use and potential health impact are few. Even without much research, experts do know that marijuana use is not without side effects related to a person’s health and well-being.

The Top 10 Negative Effects of Marijuana

1. Addiction

Experts have long debated whether marijuana is chemically addictive. There is little doubt, however, that even if this isn’t the case, cannabis most definitely has the potential for emotional or psychological addiction. Young people and those who use marijuana long-term may be at a higher risk for some level of dependence. Addiction is also characterized by compulsive drug-seeking, despite the incurrence of adverse consequences.

2. Memory Loss

One study from 2016 followed more than 3,000 American marijuana pot users over a 25-year period. They found that people who used the drug on a daily basis for five years or longer had poorer verbal memory in middle age than occasional or non-smokers.

3. Social Anxiety Disorders

A committee selected by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine examined data related to the use of marijuana. They found that that regular use can result in mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia.

4. Paranoia

The University of Oxford conducted a study that found that THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, can cause paranoia as a result of a person’s altered sensory perceptions. Most users experience this symptom at one time or another.

Negative Effects of Marijuana | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

5. Heart Damage

Although marijuana is stereotyped as a “mellow out” drug, it can also elevate a person’s heart rate for as long as three hours. One study revealed that people who use marijuana are “26% more likely to have a stroke at some point in their lives than people who didn’t use marijuana.”

6. Lung Problems

According to the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute (ADAI), marijuana contains chemicals similar to those in tobacco. The institute reports that long-term use increases the risk of severe respiratory problems. These may include airway inflammation, wheezing, and coughing up mucus from the respiratory tract.

7. Low Testosterone

High levels of THC, which can be found in many of the more recent strains of marijuana, may cause the body to generate lower levels of testosterone. Low testosterone can result in lethargy, weight gain, and a reduced sex drive, among other side effects. Fortunately, testosterone levels should return to normal after marijuana use is stopped.

8. Appetite Problems

Cannabinoids affect cells in the brain responsible for appetite. These cells, which generally will report fullness to the brain, are altered and, instead, produce feelings of hunger. These feelings can result in overeating, poor dietary choices, and weight gain. Also, some regular smokers state that they experience a lack of appetite unless they’re under the influence of marijuana. This effect, over time, could eventually lead to weight loss and inadequate nutrition.

9. A Decrease in Motor Skills

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that “marijuana significantly impairs motor coordination and reaction time.” This effect is usually a detriment and can be dangerous, especially while driving or operating machinery. It can be a factor in other types of avoidable accidents as well.

10. Poor Decision-Making

There’s no question that the use of marijuana can cause a user to think differently than they do when they’re sober. This change may result in the user making poor decisions, such as driving while high or eating too much food.

Treatment for Marijuana Addiction

Although marijuana is accepted as being much safer than alcohol and other drugs, it can still result in many health problems. Most marijuana users will acknowledge that they have experienced some or many of these adverse side effects at one point in time.

Harmony Treatment and Wellness offers comprehensive partial-hospitalization and outpatient treatment programs that help people free themselves from substance abuse. Our center employs evidence-based services, including psychotherapy, counseling, group support, and more. We aim to provide patients with all the tools they need to experience a full recovery.

If you are trying to quit using marijuana and find yourself struggling, contact us today! We can help you break the cycle of drug abuse and addiction for life!

Marijuana and High Blood Pressure

Marijuana and High Blood Pressure | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

Marijuana and High Blood Pressure – High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a prevalent condition and one that is associated with many more severe problems. Fortunately, a person with this problem can reduce their blood pressure by making certain lifestyle changes. But, should those changes include refraining from the use of marijuana?

What Is High Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure is a condition in which the force of the blood pressing against the walls of the arteries is higher than it should be. When a person has high blood pressure, it means there is repeated, excessive pressure against the wall of their arteries. By some estimates, one-third of people in the U.S. over age 20 and two-thirds of people over age 65 have hypertension.

Symptoms of high blood pressure don’t usually appear until levels are very high. They can include headache, nausea, dizziness, and blurred vision.

When hypertension is left unaddressed, it can lead to severe health problems. When blood is pressing excessively on artery walls, it can induce damage to the blood vessels. This effects then contributes to cardiovascular disease, and it can damage vital organs.

Heart attack, heart failure, and stroke are all possible complications of high blood pressure that can be fatal. Other adverse effects of high blood pressure include aneurysms, blot clots, kidney disease, and metabolic syndrome.

There are many risk factors associated with high blood pressure, including the following:

  • Advancing age
  • Family genetics/history
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Being physically inactive
  • Tobacco and alcohol use
  • Eating a diet high in salt/sodium

Treatment options for people with high blood pressure depend on its severity. For instance, for those with slightly elevated blood pressure, basic lifestyle changes may be enough. For moderately high blood pressure, a doctor may prescribe medication for use in addition to lifestyle changes. With severe hypertension, a person may have to visit a cardiologist who will develop a treatment plan.

Marijuana and Blood Pressure

Research has firmly established a link between drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes on blood pressure—and it’s not beneficial. But what about marijuana? One 2016 study found that “recently active cannabis use” was linked to an increase in systolic, but not diastolic blood pressure.

Researchers concluded the following:

“A modest association between recent cannabis use and systolic blood pressure” was identified among a large sample of U.S. adults, and that “…there [is] a need for pre-clinical, clinical and prospective population-based research on the cardiovascular effects of cannabis use.”

In fact, a small study from 1991 may support this contention. The researcher reported that “marijuana-associated alterations in systemic blood pressure resulted in vasospasm, leading to strokes in [two] patients.”

Of note, there are differences regarding marijuana and its short-term effect on blood pressure versus long-term changes. When a person first uses marijuana, they will typically experience a moderate elevation of heart rate and blood pressure. Following this effect, their blood pressure will fall again.

Furthermore, when a person has developed a tolerance to marijuana after using it long-term, they will usually stop experiencing the rise in blood pressure after consumption.

Marijuana and High Blood Pressure | Harmony Treatment and Wellness

With all that being said, some conflicting evidence has associated marijuana with long-term cardiovascular risks, including higher blood pressure. But, in this case, does correlation equal causation? For example, the use of marijuana can increase appetite and reduce inhibitions. Those who use it chronically may make poor dietary choices, consume fattening edibles, and, a result, gain weight, which can increase blood pressure.

Chronic marijuana smoking, like tobacco smoking, can also be detrimental to cardiovascular health. This effect can make intense exercise more challenging. Marijuana use can also decrease a person’s motivation, causing them to be less active in general.

The Verdict

So, does marijuana use really cause high blood pressure? There has been some evidence to support this idea, but overall, it is not terribly conclusive. More research needs to be conducted.

Most certainly, however, blood pressure may increase briefly after use, especially among those who are new or casual users. Although this is temporary, those who already have hypertension may be at risk for acute complications.

In the end, if you are abusing marijuana and trying to maintain good health, you must realize that this drug does come with some health risks. Marijuana use is not as risky as the abuse of other drugs or alcohol, but as with any substance, it can result in side effects, dependence, addiction, and lead to adverse health consequences. If you experience cardiovascular issues after using marijuana, stop using it, and consult your doctor.

Treatment for Marijuana Addiction

Harmony Treatment and Wellness is a specialized addiction treatment center that offers comprehensive programs and evidence-based services beneficial to the recovery process. Using clinically-proven treatments, such as psychotherapy, counseling, and group support, we provide clients with the tools they need to recover from drug or alcohol addiction.

If you have tried to quit smoking marijuana in the past but failed, we can help. Contact us today to discuss treatment options so you can get back to living the fulfilling life you deserve!

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