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Teens reflecting on their poor choices.

The (Not-So-Talked-About) Effects of Being Stoned

Forget about the giggles and the munchies… Here’s what pop culture didn’t tell you about getting high.

We’ve all seen the Hollywood joke: someone accidentally eats a pot brownie and the next thing we see is the character laughing and eating lots of junk food. From Harold and Kumar to Pineapple Express, movies usually show marijuana as being a wacky and relaxing experience. Unfortunately, these scenes give a false idea of what it’s like to be high and that can lead to very uncomfortable experiences that users might not be prepared for…

Short Term Effects of Marijuana

 People under the influence of marijuana experience…

  • Trouble thinking – Marijuana can cause people to “blank out” and forget what they were doing or trying to say.
  • Difficulty concentrating – Marijauna use impacts a person’s focus, especially while driving. It’s important to know that high driving is impaired driving and is just as reckless as driving drunk.
  • Poor memory – Marijuana use can impact a person’s short-term memory, in certain cases causing someone to go an entire day and forget anything they did.
  • Redness of the eyes – The go-to sign of being high, red eyes don’t just look goofy, but they’re dry and irritable as well.
  • Dry mouth – The same receptors in your brain that THC binds with to create the euphoric effect also happens to control your saliva gland, resulting in less saliva production and a dry mouth that can’t be quenched.
  • Loss of movement – Typical of any stoner in a movie, marijuana use can create a loss of movement and causes the user to become “couch-locked” and unable or unwilling to do anything but just sit around.
  • Distorted perceptions of time – Marijuana affects the brain’s sensory input filtering system, causing what is described as “time dilation.” People who are high might think half an hour of time has gone by when in reality only five minutes have passed.
  • Elevated blood pressure – Marijuana temporarily raises your heart rate and increases your blood pressure. Some people who use marijuana can panic when they realize how fast their heart is beating.

People might not be so quick about writing off marijuana as “no big deal” if they were more aware of some of the effects of marijuana. Comedy that includes marijuana rarely depicts how stressful actual marijuana use can really be. Maybe it’s time for Hollywood to start to portray the real-life negative effects of this drug.

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