The Effects of Marijuana

Feb 17, 2012
The M&M M by uscfan1 a Youth Voices pool photographer on Flickr.

I have recently been doing research on the effects of cannabis. I want to make it clear that in this research paper I will be stating a lot of opinions from a cannabis user. All the quotes and some facts will be from a Wikipedia article on the long term effects of cannabis use I will also be backing up the Wikipedia article with other Web sites for proof.

The reason I have choose this topic is because marijuana is the most used drug in the world which is stated on the American Council for Drug Education’s Web site: “Cannabis can trigger heart disease, bi-polar disorder, depression, mood swings or schizophrenia.”

When I read this, I was shocked because I wasn't able to understand how these illnesses can be connected to smoking weed. These claims are also backed up on the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s Web site,, where they state: “The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that a few minutes after inhaling marijuana smoke a person's heart starts beating more rapidly.“ When they said that after inhaling you heart starts to beat faster, I realized that this was a fact because people I know have experienced that feeling plenty. That Web site also stated: “The heart rate goes from the normal 70 to 80 beats per minute to 90 to 130 beats per minute or more, which may significantly raise blood pressure.”

At first I didn't understand why these diseases would be connected but by saying that it increases your heart rate, it made sense how it can cause heart disease. When I read about “bi-polar, depression and mood swings,” I understood those completely from my experiences with friends.

When you smoke a lot you usually find reasons why you need to smoke. For example, if a user were to get mad he or she would say, “I need a blunt.” Mood swings happen when one minute you’re mad, and the next minute you smoke, and you're happy. One thing that I’ve noticed is that bi-polar disorder is based on mood swings so why do they state that you can get both when they are actually connected. Another thing this article claims is: “When smoked, the short-term effects of cannabis manifest within seconds and are fully apparent within a few minutes, typically lasting for 2–3 hours.”

So one of the short term effects of smoking marijuana, which is one of the most important is the actual high itself they say lasts for 2-3 hours which is also stated on, but with all honesty if you smoke consistently especially multiple times a day, your time period of being high decreases maybe an hour maybe two. I think if you smoke once a day it is more likely for your high to stick around for long then if you do it all day, every day. I honestly think that it all depends on you and your tolerance for THC. is simply a bunch of different people talking about their own experiences with weed and how long they stay high. I just decided to add this because it shows how different it is for people and I think that I should back up my opinion as well, which was also stated in the “Long-term effects of cannibis” article in Wikipedia where they state:

“A 2005 literature review of the use of cannabis in mental health patients found that the drug can have very different effects on different patients. Clinical studies and survey data have found that cannabis increases food enjoyment and interest in food.”

This statement caught my attention automatically. I know that anyone who has smoked, even if it was once, has gone through this. This is one of the most common symptoms that I can confidently say happens to almost everyone who has smoked. This has been given a very common phrase: “The munchies.” It has been scientifically proven that there is something in marijuana that increases interest in food.

“Many people noticed Increased appetite, and better music appreciation.” This quote comes from a Web site,, that quickly caught my attention because we all know that people catch the munchies but some people may not notice how much they enjoy or observe music when they smoke marijuana. A lot of people I know like to listen to music even more when they smoke. They feel like they get into the song more than usual, and if it’s a song they’ve never heard before they feel like if they are paying closer attention. They seem to automatically know what the song is about and they can catch on to the emotion of the song quickly. So I guess it does make them bipolar because their mood can easily be changed when they’re high by some thing big or small.


Long-term effects of cannabis. (2012, February 5). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 18:35, February 15, 2012, from (1990) American Council for Drug Education. Basic Facts About Drugs: Marijuana. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 15 Feb 2012]. (1960) Does Marijuana Cause Heart Disease? | LIVESTRONG.COM. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 15 Feb 2012]. (1950) How long do you stay high from marijuana. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 17 Feb 2012]. (2010) How long do you stay high? - [online] Available at: [Accessed: 15 Feb 2012]. (2006) Marijuana side effects and benefits, risk. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 15 Feb 2012].


The Effects of Marijuana

aseele's picture
Submitted by aseele on Sat, 2012-02-18 13:56.

Dear Stephanie:

I was really captivated by your post, "The Effects of Marijuana," because in today’s world many people seem to smoke marijuana, and even more so the teens. I never smoked before, but I always wonder what are the effects of that give people such a crave and necessity for it.

One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: "...I wasn't able to understand how these illnesses can be connected to smoking weed. " I think this stands out because I didn’t know that smoking Marijuana could to lead to many other illnesses either. I was aware that smoking can lead to possibly lung cancer, but not illnesses like “ heart disease, bi-polar disorder, depression, mood swings or schizophrenia.” I always thought that Marijuana was probably was one of the least harming drugs because some people use it as medical drug to treat cancer.

Another sentence that I felt stood out was: " I think if you smoke once a day it is more likely for your high to stick around for long then if you do it all day, every day. ." This stood out for me because it finally clicked in my head why people crave for Marijuana more and more. But it’s pretty comprehensive that if you smoke a lot your body is going to thirst for the high you get from the Marijuana, and if you smoke a lot then the high is going to get weaker and weaker because the high is not satisfying your needs. This then leads the Marijuana to dominate your body and have you asking for more and more.

Your post the “Effects of Marijuana” reminds me of something that happened to me. One time I was watching 90210 and one of the character smoking weed. In my head I said “this is a great show because it’s influencing teens like myself to smoke” sarcastically. But as the show progressed the character was smoking because he was undergoing chemotherapy. It a little awkward knowing that people smoke because of stress and chemotherapy, and instead of the marijuana better them it’s just putting them in more risk of other illnesses. The high is a temporary deceiving satisfaction that can hurt you int the long run.

Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next, because this was a great post to read. I think you supported your post with enough facts.