According to the United Nations, 158.8 million individuals globally, 3.8% of the planet’s population, indulge in cannabis. As weed becomes increasingly legal for both medical and recreational purposes in more and more states, public support is also rising. Pew Research reports that 7 out of 10 Americans already view liquor as more hurtful to an individual’s well-being than cannabis.
Pot is best known for its euphoric impacts and giving smokers the infamous munchies, yet there are various effects on both mind and body while an individual is high. The perceptible high originates from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The majority of THC’s impact occurs in the mind as the compound associates with the cerebrum’s cannabinoid receptors. Here are 8 effects that cannabis smokers tend to experience when they are high.
- Failed Body Parity
THC upsets two parts of the brain — the cerebellum and basal ganglia — which manage balance, coordination, stance, and response time. As these mind zones become altered, smokers of weed have a harder time walking and generally become clumsier.
- Hindered Capability to Drive
Even though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has assessed impairment to be greater when driving under the influence of alcohol, they also found THC disturbs sections of the brain related with coordination and response time, and thus driving high is also illegal. Although many people feel they can drive safely while high on marijuana, driving under the influence of pot is treated as a DUI; identical to drunk driving and all other forms of DUI under California state law. It is not legal to use cannabis in a car even if it is parked; even if you are the passenger.
Long Beach’s GreenlightLB emphasizes that driving high is not legal, noting that THC can remain in your system for 2 weeks, whereas the law states that driving with any amount of THC in your body is not legal.
- Feeling Euphoric
THC causes a brain chemical called dopamine to be discharged. Dopamine is a piece of the cerebrum’s reward framework, so a surge of dopamine action makes one feel euphoric, which is the reason many become attracted to weed. There are side effects to this euphoric surge, such as making it harder for heavy users to find satisfaction from other otherwise fulfilling encounters that now don’t measure up to the dopamine reaction.
- Nervousness, Neurosis, and Frenzy
Extreme tension is one of the most common symptoms of cannabis use — around 20 and 30 percent of smokers report they experience feelings of nervousness, distrustfulness, doubt, and frenzy after smoking. These reactions derive from the proportions of THC and CBD (cannabidiol) in various strains. There are two noteworthy classes of weed — indicas and sativas. Indicas give more of a tingly body high, while sativas animate the mind more than the body. Depending on the class of weed, the experience reached may be progressively euphoric and jazzed, while others are more anxiety-inducing.
- Red Eyes
Reddening of the eyes after smoking cannabis happens because THC lowers blood pressure, which in turn causes blood vessels and capillaries to dilate. The ocular capillaries dilate, increasing the flow of blood to the eyes; reducing intraocular pressure. The increased blood flow creates the redness.
- Cotton (Dry) Mouth
Cannabinoid receptors located in the brain and beneath the bottom of the mouth are responsible for producing nearly three-quarters of saliva. When THC binds to these receptors, the salivary glands stop receiving messages from the nervous system resulting in a reduction in the production of saliva.
The powerful surge in appetite felt after smoking or ingesting marijuana, colloquially known as the munchies, comes as THC increases sensitivity to scents and flavors by using naturally occurring neural networks to convince the brain that it’s starving. The munchies result from THC associating with the cannabinoid receptors in the nerve center, which administers essential physiological capacities like thirst, hunger, rest, temperament, and sex drive. A study with mice found that weed flips a mind circuit typically in charge of stifling cravings, activating the compulsion to pig out on snacks. For medicinal users that have trouble eating due to chemotherapy, this munchies surge can offset the weight loss that typically comes during treatment.
- Rapid Pulse
A typical pulse is 70 to 80 beats per minute. Subsequent to smoking cannabis the pulse increases by 20 to 50 additional beats per minute, and typically subsides after about 20 minutes.
These eight effects are common medical side effects, so if you feel like any of them, it is not an unexpected result of using cannabis. Nonetheless, if experiencing any of these is making you uncomfortable, consider indulging in lighter doses. Remember, you can always add more, but you can’t reduce your intake once you have taken too much.