Many celebrities have a story about unfortunate side effects from smoking marijuana.
Jennifer Lawrence says that at Ellen DeGeneres’ 60th birthday bash: “I entered a different universe ... Security is grabbing me, because what I hadn’t realized is I am grabbing this woman by the shoulders, shaking her, screaming ...” And Kirsten Dunst says that while filming “Woodshock” the crew substituted real weed for stage weed: “I was a total mess.”
Those are party-pot problems, but even folks who use medical marijuana for pain management, to ease glaucoma or to soothe nausea associated with chemo are at risk for significant negative side effects. Marijuana can have serious interactions with 21+ different drugs and moderate interactions with 286+, says RxList.com. It can also trigger anxiety and paranoia, according to a study published in the Journal of Cannabis Research.
Researchers at the University of Washington discovered that more than half of 1,500 students surveyed had experienced anxiety and/or paranoia while using cannabis. Coughing fits, chest/lung discomfort and body humming (weird!) affected a subset of students 30% to 40% of the time.
Short-term repercussions aren’t the only newly discovered side effects: Lab-based research shows THC (marijuana’s active ingredient) keeps fertilized eggs from maturing by interfering with gene expression. And, yes, smoking pot does increase the risk of serious infection with COVID-19.
If you experience pot’s negative side effects or are trying to get pregnant or just stay healthy, talk to your doctor about using Food and Drug Administration-approved medications for glaucoma and chemo nausea, or alternative treatments such as meditation, massage and acupuncture for chronic pain.