The 1936 anti-drug propaganda film Reefer Madness is pretty damn funny, until you realize that we still live in fairly prohibitive times.

Photo: Wikicommons

Photo: Wikicommons

There’s plenty of literature out there today with the sole purpose of making you think that marijuana is dangerous. So it’s important to fact check everything and really understand the pros and cons of smoking weed.

Blazing 420 comes with a few health risks for everyone. Although nobody has ever died from using weed — ever — pot can do a few other things to your body, such as:

-Increase your heart rate and blood pressure
-Mess with your REM sleep, the deepest cycle
-Dry out your mouth and your eyes (although we already knew that)
-Escalate your mild anxiety to a full-blown panic attack
-Affect your brain development if you’re not yet an adult

Other conditions have been tied to marijuana use, but these are the main ones. Which certainly says something about the cost-benefit analysis of cannabis.

Just because weed is linked to some health problems doesn’t mean that you can’t still indulge. In fact, why not get healthier in other ways — hit the gym for heart health, meditate for better sleep, and invest in some good eye drops?

The jury’s still out on whether weed is good or bad for your lungs. While it’s closely tied to bronchitis in heavy joint smokers, a recent study found that smoking weed regularly actually improved some people’s lung function. (Though that’s probably just a result of taking huge bong rips and holding them in for what feels like ten minutes.)

All in all, for most people, the benefits — medicinal and general — of weed outweigh the risks.

As usual, be sure you’re in the right place, and it’s the right time, before you smoke.

Join the Conversation