What Are Some Potential Side Effects of Marijuana and How to Prevent Them?

Let's not forget that marijuana is a medicine, and as with any medicine comes side effects. Of course, marijuana can induce relaxation, euphoria, and creativity but they aren't the only ones. Here is a list of common side effects of marijuana and some ways to prevent them. 

 

1. Dry Mouth

 

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Why: Dry mouth or "cottonmouth" is a very common side effect of marijuana, and it refers to the decrease in saliva production. The reason for this is because our tongue holds cannabinoid receptors, these receptors are located where the saliva is made, thus causing us to feel cottonmouth regardless if marijuana is smoked or ingested in an edible. According to the journal of Addiction Research & Theory, over 79% of marijuana users have stated that they experience dry mouth. 

How To Prevent: Drink water, chew sugarless gum, and have a glass of chocolate milk!

 

2. Red & Dry Eyes

 

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Why: THC is the compound in marijuana that causes you to feel "high", this compound decreases your blood pressure and that in turn causes the arteries in your eye to expand and fill with blood. This correlates directly to the percentage of THC in the strain that you're using. For example, you may smoke a high THC strain one day and have super red-eyes and a low THC strain on the next and have no red-eyes at all. There are many variations to why one could have red-eyes after smoking. 

How To Prevent: Regular use of marijuana could help develop resistence to redness in your eyes. The use of eye drops can also be useful. 

 

3. Increased Appetite "The Munchies"

 

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Why: According to a Yale Study, "The “munchies” appear to be driven by neurons in the brain that are normally involved in suppressing appetite." Lead researcher of the study, Tamas Horvath, "It's like pressing a car's brakes and accelerating instead. We were surprised to find that the neurons we thought were responsible for shutting down eating, were suddenly being activated and promoting hunger, even when you are full. It fools the brain's central feeding system."

How To Prevent: Use higher CBD or THCV strains. 

 

4.Paranoia and/or Anxiety

 

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Why: In a 2015 study for Oxford Academic, researchers found that individuals who already struggle with paranoia and/or anxiety will be predisposed to it after using marijuana. It seems to be that THC in small doses will actually help to reduce anxiety, but larger doses of THC (like in edibles) causes higher paranoia and/or anxiety levels.

How To Prevent: Smaller doses of THC, comfortable location, and a higher CBD strain.  

 

5. Sleepiness

 

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Why: Mycerene is the aromatic compound in marijuana. It is also what distinguishes indica strains from sativas. According to an article by Herb, "cannabis sampels which contain over 0.5 myrcene produce the "couch-locking" effects of sedative indica varieties. Samples with low myrcene levels produce a more energetic high." 

How To Prevent: Use a sativa strain.