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Is Marijuana Good for You? The Answers May Surprise You

The jury is still out on the wide-ranging health benefits of marijuana, though some studies have shown surprising results.

Now that recreational marijuana use is legal in some states, studies investigating the short- and long-term health effects of lighting a fatty are everywhere.

Here’s a roundup of some of the scientifically documented advantages:

Sound too good to be true? Of course it is. As with any drug, there are risks associated with weed use. Here are a handful of the known ones, as indicated in a recent literature review:

  • Marijuana can impair short-term memory. Yup, the forgetful stoner is a real thing.
  • Impaired coordination. This is why you should never, ever drive while stoned. Smoking weed can increase your risk of injury.
  • High doses can lead to anxiety, paranoia, and psychosis.
  • Long-term and especially daily use can cause addiction. Approximately 9% of marijuana users become addicted.
  • Marijuana is associated with increased likelihood of dropping out of school among adolescents. Adolescent use was also linked to altered brain development, and cognitive impairment and lower IQ.
  • It can contribute to a diminished sense of achievement and overall life satisfaction.
  • Marijuana use may increase your risk of mental health disorders such as schizophrenia in persons who are predisposed to those disorders.

So, will smoking a little pot every now and then cause you to keel over in your early fifties? Probably not. Can hitting a bong six times a day impact you in the long term? Unless you suffer from one of the health conditions listed above, it’s probably not the best idea ever.

Maybe there simply is no definitive answer as to whether pot is good or bad for you. The key is to weigh the advantages and disadvantages, and make a choice that makes sense for you.

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