Thank goodness for the continuing, relentless and seemingly unstoppable liberalization of medical marijuana laws that are sweeping across the United States (and to a lesser extent, the globe) at this moment in history. This period in time will forever be remembered as a genuine renaissance in which medical cannabis reestablished itself in its rightful place at the epicenter of human medicine.
There are a huge wealth of benefits to MMJ use. The magical herb relieves pain, stimulates appetite, stabilizes mood, calms muscle spasms, eases glaucoma, promotes relaxation and sleep, alleviates psychological and physiological tension, remedies nausea, and is even showing great potential to do damage to cancerous cells.
As more and more people are availing of the myriad of benefits that their California medical marijuana card brings, it is important to also create an awareness of the potential negative side effects of MMJ use. Like with everything (including water, exercise and even sex) too much of something, even something very good, can be bad.
The following is our list of six potential pitfalls to be aware of if you are a regular user of medical marijuana.
Constant ‘Munchies’ May Lead to Weight Gain
One of MMJs great benefits is that it stimulates appetite. A good appetite is invaluable for optimal health. But the other side to this coin is that weed can also promote overeating.
The ‘munchies’ are a very real thing. Food and drink tastes especially good when you are under the influence of medical cannabis, and when you couple that with a generally stimulated appetite (and perhaps a somewhat reduced capacity to be disciplined), gorging is always a distinct possibility.
Overeating can be combated by shopping wisely before you ingest any MMJ – buying only healthy foods. You may regret this when you are high, but you will thank yourself the next time you weigh yourself!
If You Smoke Medical Cannabis, You’ll Be Susceptible to Smoking-Related Health Problems
Smoking cannabis, especially if you roll your joints with some tobacco, is not good for your lungs. It can lead to shortness of breath, emphysema and even lung cancer. A good start to combating this threat is to roll joints using only pure cannabis, which means you will smoke less and get a more potent hit of medical marijuana.
Being Under the Influence of MMJ May Cause You to Appreciate (and Even Become a Big Fan of) Music You Would Otherwise Hate
Marijuana induces an altered state of consciousness, and in this altered state, things that are not all that interesting to the ‘sober you’ can seem altogether fascinating. Music that you would otherwise have no interest in, if heard when you are in this altered state, can sound amazing.
This can lead to ‘imprinting’ – which is when you essentially form an irrational attachment, or ‘fetish’, for a song and have a compulsion to listen to it all the time, even when sober. This can lead to a feeling of helplessness and also to embarrassment in social situations. There is no known cure for this. Prevention is your only hope.
Edibles Take Longer to Kick In and Can Be Very Strong, So Beware
It is a common mistake if you are a rookie (or even a seasoned MMJ user who is new to edibles) to eat some weed, in the form of a brownie for instance, and then to sit there twiddling your thumbs for an hour feeling zero effect. Then you eat some more and… BOOM, you get obscenely higher than you’ve ever been in your life five minutes later, as both doses erupt inside you at the same time.
Watch out for this. Edibles are often very strong indeed, and they usually take anything between 30 minutes to an hour to kick in. Be patient.
Medical Marijuana Can Disrupt Your Sleep Patterns
Marijuana use, especially if the strain is high in CBD, can induce sleep. If this happens early in the day and you pass out on the sofa for a few hours, it can be difficult to sleep at your proper bedtime in the evening. It’s a form of weed-induced jet lag. Also, particularly strong MMJ can lead to a very heavy, dead, dreamless type of sleep that can leave you feeling slightly dazed the next day.
A good way around this is to only use very high CBD strains if you have a condition which makes it hard for you to sleep. Otherwise, use strains with more reasonable levels of CBD.
Using Medical Cannabis Can Make You Lazy and Unproductive
Apparently, The Beatles worked busily on their best albums while baked on marijuana. That must have been some weak weed! All joking aside, some people can be productive and busy while under the influence of medical cannabis, but many people can not.
The very relaxed state that (particularly a high-CBD strain) of weed will bring on is not conducive to productivity. The highly altered state of consciousness and heady high brought on by a THC-rich strain can make you feel energetic and creative, although the art you create when high unfortunately does not always cut the mustard when you take a look at it sober the next day.
A good way to avoid this pitfall is to only smoke later in the day, after you’ve done your important work, or if you need MMJ all day, then try to smoke a lighter strain. Also, try to stay moving so you can avoid getting trapped on the couch watching Judge Judy with a packet of Oreos and a block of cheese.