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Posted 09/07/2022 in Culture by HappyMD

Side Effects of Secondhand Cannabis Smoke

Side Effects of Secondhand Cannabis Smoke

Side Effects of Secondhand Cannabis Smoke

Studies reveal that dried flowers and leaves of marijuana plants have various psychoactive properties. You may experience a ‘high’ feeling after smoking or ingesting it. Ingesting or smoking marijuana also comes with a wide range of effects. But, does secondhand smoke have some effects?

Secondhand cannabis smoking results when an individual who doesn't smoke inhales or takes in smoke from a smoker who inhales it. Many individuals are usually concerned about secondhand smoke risks.

Read through the article to understand more about the effects of secondhand cannabis smoke on individuals. Furthermore, the article explains the possible risks this smoke might have.




Can You Get High?


Research shows that despite the possibility, an individual is unlikely to get high by inhaling secondhand cannabis smoke. Contact high is the popular high a sober individual can experience when spending time near smokers or someone under the influence of recreational marijuana.

However, the chances of getting high after inhaling this smoke increase if you spend time close to the user or smokers. You can easily get 'high' or experience the different effects of inhaling this smoke. Furthermore, this risk increases if the smoker uses cannabis products with a high tetrahydrocannabinol percentage or level.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is one of the cannabinoids which are special compounds in marijuana plants. This component in marijuana is responsible for the psychoactive or mind-altering effects of marijuana. Experts reveal that a high THC level or percentage results in a more potent effect. Most studies link THC to the different effects or the high feeling of taking marijuana products with high percentages or levels.

The likelihood of having a “high” feeling around a person smoking or smoking increases drastically with no or poor ventilation. Poor ventilation makes you inhale more smoke from the marijuana user, which results in the feeling of being high.

Therefore, you must have closer contact with the smoker to result in contact high. Furthermore, the individuals must be using highly concentrated cannabis smoke for longer in a poorly ventilated room or area.


Possible Adverse Effects


Inhaling secondhand cannabis smoke results in a wide range of side effects. Nevertheless, these adverse effects may range from one individual to the other due to various factors. Below are the common possible side effects of inhaling secondhand marijuana smoke:


● Dry mouth


● Red, itchy, or burning eyes


● Headache


● Coughing


● Rapid heartbeat


● Increased appetite


● Anxiety


● Euphoria


● Restlessness


● Paranoid nauseous


● Tiredness


● A sensation of time slowing


● Lightheadedness


Research shows that you may experience slight impairments in your motor and memory skills after exposure to high marijuana smoke levels. These effects increase when you spend more time in a non-ventilated area. Remember, the effects become adverse and dangerous when operating machinery or driving.


Additional Risks


Besides the above risk, exposure to this smoke also causes additional risks. These risks may affect your health, cognitive development, social & career life, or physical life. Let’s look at the possible additional risks that result from inhaling secondhand smoke:


Drug tests


Some employers or workplaces require all employees to have regular drug tests. Drug tests are vital to ensure the employees are fit and drug-free. The drug tests have varying sensitivity, where the results may turn out to be possible despite not consuming marijuana directly. Thus, experts blame the positive results on inhaled secondhand marijuana smoke.


Researchers conducted a certain study that tested nonsmokers' urine samples after spending approximately one hour closer to individuals smoking cannabis. The study recorded positive THC results in individuals who spend time close to cannabis smokers in rooms or areas with inadequate ventilation. The results were based on a common ‘utilized cutoff concentration.’


Nevertheless, the marijuana strength and lack of proper ventilation greatly affect these results. Furthermore, the researcher took the tests over a specified duration after the participant inhaled the secondhand marijuana smoke. Therefore, extended exposure to secondhand cannabis smoke results in a positive marijuana drug test, which may result in various issues at your job places.


Cardiovascular health


Despite the wide range of knowledge on the adverse effects of inhaling secondhand cigarette smoke, experts understand very little about the different health risks. Various studies link marijuana smoke to various health complications, such as respiratory, circulatory, and health issues.


In 2016, researchers conducted a study to check the adverse effects of secondhand smoke in rats. After one minute of exposure to marijuana secondhand smoke, researchers found an increase in the blood flow, resulting in impairment of the rat’s femoral artery after 90 minutes. Compared to cigarette smoke, the femoral aerie response lasted only 30 minutes.


These findings reveal that smoke can adversely affect your cardiovascular system, especially the heart. Therefore, as a non-smoker, you can prevent or control these effects by avoiding close contact with individuals smoking highly concentrated marijuana in a poorly ventilated location or room. Nonetheless, you must wait for further results to make any conclusions on smoke’s effect on your heart.


In children


Researchers also carried out a study to check the adverse effects of marijuana’s secondhand smoke in 83children having smoking parents or guardians. The study revealed that more than 50% of these children showed biological evidence of being under cannabis exposure.


Despite lacking concrete evidence linking secondhand smoke to different childhood health issues, the results are alarming. The known harmful effects of the chemicals in the smoke make these findings alarming. Most studies link these chemicals to various effects that cause adverse side effects on the different body systems.


Like tobacco cigarettes, studies show that cannabis cigarettes have various tars and toxins. Due to the high content of toxins and tars, researchers believe that cigarette and cannabis secondhand smoke results in similar health risks. However, further studies will reveal the extent of health risks.


Effects of Marijuana on Physical Health


You get ‘high’ or experience the different effects of cannabis after a long time of exposure to secondhand smoke in an enclosed environment or area. Marijuana has a wide range of effects on the different body systems, including psychological, physical, health, etc. Let’s look at the common physical health effects of marijuana:


● Lung irritation


● Increased phlegm for regular smokers


● Risk of developing bronchitis


● Irritants such as carcinogens can accidentally burn the mouth or throat.


● Weakened immunity due to the adverse tetrahydrocannabinol (the main psychoactive chemical)


● Increased heart beats


● Increased blood flow or pressure results in red eyes


● Alleviates glaucoma symptoms over a short period


● Aggravates existing lung problems, like asthma, when you come in contact with the smoke


● Interferes with tumor growth


● Affect the fetal development during the early and late pregnancy stages


● Interferes with barons development, especially in teenagers or children


Despite the numerous adverse effects marijuana smoke causes, you can use weed for different medical purposes. Below are the potential health benefits of using marijuana appropriately.


● Reduces inflammation


● Kills or reduces pain resulting from various health or medical conditions


● Reduces nausea in chemotherapy patients


Effects of Marijuana on the Psychological Health


Studies show that taking marijuana regularly may result in various psychological health or mental issues. However, these psychological health effects may vary between individuals due to various factors, like the frequency of usage, age, etc. Let’s look at the common psychological effects of using cannabis:


● Increase thirst and appetite levels


● Memory issues, such as memory loss


● Varying depression symptoms, which may vary depending on the users


● Decreased or increased anxiety symptoms, which may vary between the users


● Impaired judgment, which makes it more difficult to think clearly or come up with the appropriate solutions


● Feeling ‘high’ due to the releases of dopamine after taking the marijuana


● Delayed reactions or responses to stimuli


● Hallucinations or temporary paranoia


● Long-term use results in withdrawal symptoms


● Addiction and high tolerance


Taking marijuana comes with numerous potential psychological effects. Before taking the drug, it’ll be vital to understand the different effects and how they can affect your body systems. However, researchers are continuously getting into the depth of individuals' different psychological effects of using medical marijuana.


How Marijuana Affects Younger Individuals


All states restricted children or younger adults under 18 years from using marijuana. The restriction is due to the adverse side effects the drug causes on the kids' mental health. Furthermore, when an expectant mother uses cannabis, the components may affect the growth and development of the unborn.


Studies reveal that the child may have or develop concentration or memory issues during their early development stages after birth. The complications may occur during the early developmental stages or later in life, leading to cognitive issues or physical challenges.


Furthermore, exposing breastfeeding mothers to marijuana smoke is harmful to the baby. The marijuana component exposes the baby to potentially adverse effects. Thus, breastfeeding mothers must avoid using marijuana or exposure to marijuana secondhand smoke. Stopping the use or avoiding exposure to medical cannabis smoke will be vital to keep the baby safe and prevent any developmental complications.


Studies show that marijuana greatly impacts brain development in teenagers and older children. These effects can lead to various cognitive issues, such as impaired problem-solving skills, concentration, and memory loss. However, these effects vary between the children based on the frequency of exposure or usage.


Researchers carried out a study to find out the health, cognitive, and physical effects of marijuana on younger adults under 25 years. The finding revealed that individuals or young adults below 25 years using cannabis had various learning and memory issues.


Long-term Effects of Using Marijuana


Marijuana has a wide range of effects, ranging from long-term to short-term. The long-term effects of this drug vary due to various factors, like the user’s frequency of usage and age. Let’s have a comprehensive overview of the long-term effects of using marijuana:


What factors affect the long-term effects of using marijuana?


The effects of marijuana vary between individuals due to various factors. Besides the age and frequency of usage, there are numerous additional factors that influence the long-term effects of using cannabis. These factors include:


● How the individual uses or consumes cannabis


● How often the individual uses the different products


● Age or stage of life


● The dogs or quantity of marijuana the individual uses


The above factors affect the long-term effects and their severity on the user. Below are the common potential long-term effects of using marijuana:


● Respiratory system complications, like lung irritations


● Memory loss


● Memory and concentration issues for unborn kids whose mother used cannabis


● Risk of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome wrestling in nauseous and vomiting


● High risk of developing lung cancer


Marijuana usage has a wide range of long-term and short-term effects on the body's systems. Despite some proponents arguing that the drug is a modern-day solution to numerous health issues, research shows that cannabis’s negative effects outweigh the potential benefits.


Over the past decades, most states in the US have legalized different forms of marijuana, including recreational marijuana. However, before you use these products or get exposure to secondhand smoke, it’ll be vital to understand its physical, psychological, and health effects.


Wrapping Up


Current researchers indicate that individuals with limited exposure to secondhand cannabis smoke in a properly ventilated room or environment are unlikely to experience any effects. Nevertheless, scientists will have to conduct additional studies to determine the secondhand cannabis effects an individual can present.


Furthermore, individuals with respiratory system challenges like asthma may be prone or vulnerable to the adverse side effects resulting from inhaling the smoke. Nevertheless, we still don't have scientific backing for the theory.


Generally, you're unlikely to have harmful side effects after being in contact with the smoke. Nonetheless, it'd help if you were cautious when spending time around marijuana smokers due to the adverse health risks.


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