The debate about marijuana rages on, with the world splitting over the question: is marijuana healthy or not?
It's being treated like alcohol was during the Prohibition Era, but thankfully there's a lot of science to provide insights into the truth about the effects of pot smoking on humans.
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States like Washington and Colorado have no doubt begun a trend, and we can probably expect to see marijuana legalized in more and more states as the years pass.
But, for a BodyRocker/DailyHIITer like you - or just someone concerned with their fitness - is it smart to avoid marijuana, or could it be as harmless as alcohol is in moderation?
Does Smoking Weed F**k with Your Body?
Here are some ways that smoking weed can f**k with the human body:
Learning Impairments --
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association
found that smoking marijuana did impair learning abilities. Heavy smokers were more impaired than light smokers, but even a small amount of smoking can reduce your ability to learn. According to another study published via Science Direct
, smoking marijuana can have direct negative effects on the brain tissue.
Lung Damage --
Smoking 3 or 4 joints can do the same amount of damage to your lungs as 20 cigarettes, or so a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine
found. Not only was there more respiratory damage done to the lungs of those smoking pot, but the symptoms of acute and chronic bronchitis were noticeable as well. Essentially, smoking weed can cause the same damaging effects as smoking cigarettes.
Heart Problems --
Marijuana has been linked to atrial fibrillation, also known as a fluttering heart (not the romantic type) or abnormal heart beat. This was discovered and published way back in 2000
. Another study published on Science Direct
found that regular weed smoking can cause ventricular tachycardia (rapid heart beat) and coronary no-flow.
Reproductive Issues --
If you don't want anything to mess with your "little swimmers", stay away from pot - or so says a study published on Science Direct.
The cannabinoids in marijuana inhibit the respiration of sperm, reducing the chances that they can impregnate the egg.
These are scientifically proven results of smoking marijuana, but there are more side effects that I have personally noticed:
- Dehydration -- It's damn hard to get to the gym when your mouth feels like it's stuffed with cotton, and that hangover-like headache behind your eyes definitely makes it hard to exercise.
- Lethargy -- Smoking marijuana is definitely going to cause you to feel relaxed, but perhaps a bit too relaxed? The effects may last into the next day, and you'll find that it's all but impossible to get your workout in when you want nothing more than to spend all day watching TV.
- Binge Eating -- The "Munchies" is a very real thing, and you find yourself eating without really knowing it. You can end up consuming hundreds of extra calories, all because your brain is not quite in control of your body.
Does Weed and Fitness Mix?
I know a lot of people in great shape that still smoke pot, but my personal opinion is that regular weed smoking is a bit like regular cigarette smoking or overdrinking.
While it is enjoyable to smoke marijuana from time to time (I'd recommend it for any fiction writers), it's probably something that's best to avoid - for a number of reasons:
- Dehydration makes working out damned hard.
- The physiological effects of marijuana on your heart and lungs can increase your risk of health problems.
- You don't want to be high while bench-pressing 250 pounds or more!
- You want to pay attention to what you're doing, and that's one of the hardest things to do while high.
They say that God rested on the 7th
day, and so should you! If you are taking a day off, I don't see why you can't enjoy a little bit of alcohol or even a smoke or two. But, for the days of the week when you're going to hit it hard, the evidence points at avoidance as the best option for those serious about fitness!