Smoking marijuana or "weed" affects the body in both positive and negative ways, from the physical to the mental. Though much is still being learning from studying the drug, there are several certain facts on its effects that have been determined.
THC, the component in marijuana that produces a "high" feeling, acts upon the brain's cannabinoid receptors to produce its effects. Usually within 10 minutes after smoking marijuana, smokers often experience bloodshot eyes and dry mouth, as well as the urge to eat.
Many smokers report that their short-term memory becomes impaired after smoking. Your sense of time may be altered also, and reaction time slows.
Some smokers will experience anxiety or paranoia when they partake in the drug. Over prolonged periods of smoking, users have reported an increase in respiratory illnesses.
Effects on Women
Female marijuana users have experienced irregular menstrual cycles. Pregnant women who smoke marijuana have given birth prematurely or have had babies with low birth weights and other health problems.
Effects on Men
Males who smoke marijuana before puberty delay its onset. A reduction in sperm production has also been reported in heavy marijuana smokers.
Marijuana is being used more often to provide relief both to cancer and to AIDS patients, giving them an appetite when other medications prevent them from eating or keeping food down. The drug also has the ability to relieve smokers of pains and aches that could otherwise be debilitating.