Marijuana

How does Marijuana work?

Marijuana contains chemicals that work by binding to specific sites in the brain and on the nerves.

Are there safety concerns?

The cannabinoid, dronabinol, which is found in marijuana, is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth appropriately as a prescription medication. Dronabinol (Marinol) is an FDA-approved prescription product.

Marijuana is POSSIBLY SAFE when used as a standardized mouth spray (Sativex).

Marijuana is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when smoked or taken by mouth as a plant or plant extract. It is classified as an illegal substance on the federal government level.

Use of marijuana can cause dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, dry or red eyes, heart and blood pressure problems, lung problems, impaired mental functioning, headache, dizziness, numbness, panic reactions, hallucinations, flashbacks, depression, and sexual problems.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy: Marijuana is UNSAFE when taken by mouth or smoked during pregnancy. Marijuana passes through the placenta and can slow the growth of the fetus. Marijuana use during pregnancy is also associated with childhood leukemia and abnormalities in the fetus.

Breast-feeding: Using marijuana, either by mouth or by inhalation is LIKELY UNSAFE during breast-feeding. The dronabinol (THC) in marijuana passes into breast milk and extensive marijuana use during breast-feeding may result in slowed development in the baby.

Heart disease: Marijuana might cause rapid heartbeat, short-term high blood pressure. It might also increase the risk of a having heart attack.

A weakened immune system: Cannabinoids in marijuana can weaken the immune system, which might make it more difficult for the body to fight infections.

Lung diseases: Long-term use of marijuana can make lung problems worse. Regular, long-term marijuana use has been associated with lung cancer and also with several cases of an unusual type of emphysema, a lung disease.

Seizure disorders: Marijuana might make seizure disorders worse in some people; in other people it might help to control seizures.

Surgery: Marijuana affects the central nervous system. It might slow the central nervous system too much when combined with anesthesia and other medications during and after surgery. Stop using marijuana at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.


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