Medical marijuana fact

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					THE FACTS                Shasta County Public Health
                                                                  Health Effects

                          Marijuana harms people’s health.
                          When a person smokes                       Potential Benefits
                          marijuana, problems begin            Smoking or eating herbal
                          immediately and last for up to       marijuana is not approved by the
                          three hours. When you eat or         U.S. Food and Drug
                          drink something that has             Administration (FDA). However,
                          marijuana in it, the effects begin   the FDA has approved the use of
                          30 minutes to an hour later and      pills containing THC (the active
                          they last about four hours. When     ingredient in marijuana) as one
                          someone uses the drug regularly,     option for:
                          they may experience more
                                                                 Cancer patients undergoing
                          severe and longer-lasting effects.
                                                                 chemotherapy who have
                                                                 persistent nausea and
Effects of short-term (“acute”) use
    Most feel euphoria (a pleasant feeling), although a
    small number feel unpleasant feelings                        People with AIDS wasting
    Slowed reaction time and decision-making; lack of            syndrome who have no
    judgment, impulse control and coordination;                  appetite
    changed perception and attention; drowsiness –             Other symptoms and diseases
    all of which can lead to motor vehicle crashes
                                                               should be treated with other
    Problems with short-term memory                            non-marijuana, FDA-approved
    Increased heart rate and blood pressure, which             medications.
    can lead to increased risk of heart attack and
    other heart problems
Effects of long-term (“chronic”) use
    Shortness of breath after exercise, chest tightness, wheezing, coughing (one joint has the
    same effect as 2-5 tobacco cigarettes)
    Bronchitis, emphysema and lung cancer
    Problems with memory, learning, thinking and problem-solving, which often lead to
    difficulties at work and in school
    Numerous mental health problems, including addiction in some
    Lower sperm count
    Increased infections (especially lung)