Marijuana has a reputation as being a pretty harmless drug at the end of the day. People can use marijuana, enjoy the feeling they get and then go back to their normal life. While it is a relatively safe option as far as drugs are concerned, there are still some long term side effects of marijuana.

For starters, any type of smoking is not great by any means for a person’s physical health in the long term. That is because there are still toxic chemicals that come with smoking marijuana. Things such as ammonia and hydrogen cyanide are being inhaled every single time a person lights up, and that can lead to some chronic issues sooner rather than later.

Most regular marijuana smokers develop some type of persistent cough that becomes more prominent as they age. They can also be difficult to breathe in general, which is all linked to the smoke that is being inhaled.

The heart is susceptible to some health problems as well. Since THC can increase the heart rate of an individual, those who already have a history of heart disease in their family might find it very difficult to deal with this extra bit of speed as they age. It can lead to something extremely serious such as a heart attack.

The chest area obviously has some chances of developing long-term effects from marijuana. However, a lot of people like to link memory loss to consistent marijuana use. It has actually developed into a problem as well, especially when looking at research being done by those who have studied people smoking for decades.

Marijuana affects the region of the brain that is in charge of short term memory. That means that marijuana can temporarily prevent the brain from figuring out a way to develop memories and learn new things if it is used on a consistent basis. Even more eye-opening is the fact that a person can develop false memories if they use marijuana pretty consistently. Since the brain is always developing, the sooner a person starts smoking on a consistent basis, the more likely they are to have long-term issues into their adult life.

Smoking marijuana can change a person’s brain so much that it actually evolves into a different shape. This can be a very scary thing to see when a doctor pointed out, but the hippocampal region of the brain can look abnormal.

Simple cognitive tasks can also be affected by the use of marijuana, either in the short term or the long-term. Although it is very rare to have serious issues in this regard, it still is a higher risk than not using marijuana at all.

One side effect that is very serious involves nursing mothers. They need to be especially careful with marijuana use not only when nursing, but when they are pregnant as well. This can really mess with a child’s memory, as it is going to early development stages. It is pretty much a given that those who are going through a pregnancy or breastfeeding should stay away from any type of recreational drug.

Finally, there is something to be said for developing a habit and using marijuana as a crutch. It is definitely a side effect for some people, even if marijuana itself is not addictive. Some people really start to depend on marijuana to help them get through difficult days, tough times or even something as simple as helping with sleep. It might not seem like harmful side effects, but things start to add up. Nobody wants to be too dependent on any type of recreational drug.