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Hi, folks. My classmate uses cannabis more and more often. In the beginning, he used it only in the evening, when he gets out. Now, he uses it every day. I am afraid this will have an impact on his health. What are the side effects of cannabis? I would appreciate if someone could tell me something more.

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Hello. Many young people use cannabis. Short term effects can be somatic and psychological. Most common somatic effect is dry mouth. Some people complain on increased heart rate. They have “red eyes” due to congestion of conjunctival blood vessels. Psychoactive effects are usually described best in a sentence where they say “they feel high.” However, I have noticed that people, who use cannabis for a longer period of time, have problem in participation in normal conversation. Some experts claim this can lead to depersonalization and derealization. These are some serious side effects. However, official long term side effects haven’t been described yet. If this is a close friend of yours, you should try to talk to him.
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Hello. Thanks for replying to my post. You are right. I have noticed that this guy has difficulties in making sentences and answering directly to questions. He is not a close friend of mine. He just has some classes with me. I will try to talk to professors and let them know they should contact his parents.
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I have had a lot of first hand experience with cannabis and cannabis products. With frequent cannabis use, THC (the active psychoactive ingredient in cannabis) slowly builds up in the blood stream to pharmacological serum levels, so even when one is not high he is under its influence and only after a sustained period of abstinence, in excess of a month, will it be completely broken down by the liver.

All drugs have side effects and cannabis is no exception. Side effects can be minor or major and some can be short term or long term. Minor side effects like dry mouth or confusion go away quickly but major side effects, like paranoia and anxiety, can last for months or, if the affected individual continues to use cannabis, many years. One of the more common long term side effects seen amongst habitual users is underachievement. Another is weight gain. A dangerous aspect of cannabis intoxication, when one is actively high, is temporary impairment of judgement. Under the influence of cannabis, people have done stupid things they would otherwise never do, or have exposed themselves to specific hazards that are normally safe and manageable (like operating a chainsaw or driving a car, for example) but can have catastrophic consequences in a split second.

Cannabis has proven to be a useful drug for people suffering specific ailments but it can be dangerous for others, in particular people who may have a disposition for anxiety disorders (common) or especially people who have an underlying, undiagnosed disposition for schizophrenia (uncommon).

If your friend is experiencing personality changes or a diminished capacity to function or enjoy life, however small, he should flush his stash down the toilet and chalk this one up to another learning experience. If he continues to use he may be ok but he may also find himself in crisis emotionally and psychologically and he may find it difficult to stop even if he wants to. No, it's not physically addicting, but the longer it is a part of your everyday life the more it becomes like a dear friend and the more difficult it is to say goodbye.

The good news: The more serious side effects of cannabis, like panic attacks and other anxiety disorders, will gradually subside and will finally disappear with time. They are not permanent. However, it can take weeks, months or even longer to become normal again.
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A clarification on that last point. Side effects will gradually subside and finally disappear with time with complete abstinence.
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