People With This 1 Disease Should Never Smoke Marijuana

If you have any of these health conditions, you might qualify for medical marijuana. Using the drug to relieve symptoms of disease isn’t anything new. Even some of the world’s most successful CEOs have admitted to using it. The more it’s used, the more researchers can study its true effects.

Marijuana is supposed to be good for your physical and mental health. It turns out even though it’s often advertised to treat many of these conditions, it might actually make your symptoms worse. You might need to stay away from it if you have any of the diseases listed below.

8. Post-traumatic stress disorder

Couple fight hard

It may increase PTSD symptoms. | oneinchpunch/iStock/Getty Images

Research suggests that some patients with PTSD present with worse symptoms of the condition after marijuana use. In some, but certainly not all, cases, there were also increases in violent behaviors.

It may not be the drug itself making the symptoms worse, though. It’s possible that it simply “canceled out” the benefits of other simultaneous PTSD treatments.

Next: Certain parts of this condition might get worse.

7. Schizophrenia

Woman scared

Is what you see really there? | iStock.com/Image Source

People living with schizophrenia might present with many different symptoms, including delusions and hallucinations. These are symptoms labeled as “psychosis” and are triggered by different things. Marijuana use, even in an attempt to relieve other symptoms like anxiety, might make symptoms of psychosis worse in some people.

Next: Severe mood swings might not respond well to this drug.

6. Bipolar disorder

Anger management emotional intelligence concept

Is marijuana making things worse? | iStock.com/SIphotography

Bipolar disorder impacts a person’s mood and behavior. They often cycle through periods of intense mania and depression, though the rate and severity differ from person to person. Marijuana could help, but it could also hurt.

It’s possible that some people might notice their symptoms getting worse while using the drug. This isn’t necessarily the case for everyone, but it’s a possible side effect to keep in mind when choosing a treatment.

Next: Marijuana can ease pain, but perhaps only the physical kind.

5. Major depression

Sad woman

Depression may increase. | Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images

Depression impacts thousands of people worldwide. Major depression, the most severe form of the condition, has many possible treatments — medical marijuana being one of them.

It could make your depression symptoms worse. This does not mean that marijuana “causes” depression. Those who have previously been diagnosed with this or other mental health conditions may benefit from using it, but many might be better off avoiding it. It all depends on the individual.

Next: Some people with this condition find it helpful; many do not.

4. Anxiety

man hiding

Anxiety may increase with drug use. | iStock.com/ David Woolley

It’s impossible to say that marijuana is all good or all bad. Look at its effects on people with anxiety, for example.

In many cases, marijuana use improves symptoms and helps people navigate their everyday lives despite their struggles with mental health. In many others, however, the exact same drug has the opposite effect, sometimes even inducing panic attacks.

Next: This might be the most overlooked reason to avoid marijuana.

3. Addiction

Man smoking marijuana cigarette

Marijuana can become addictive. | iStock.com/Pe3check

Many people praise marijuana for its non-addictive qualities. However, physicians would strongly disagree with such a statement. “There’s no question at all that marijuana is addictive,” Dr. Sharon Levy, the director of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, told Boston Globe.

Right now, only one in 11 young adults who smoke weed will develop an addiction. However, with more potent products beginning to enter the market, the addiction rates will increase. With health care that doesn’t consider marijuana use a serious addiction, people may have nowhere to turn.

Next: Don’t even think about smoking marijuana if you have this condition.

2. Lung disease

smoking a joint

Marijuana smoke can irritate your lungs. | Pedro Pardo/AFP/Getty Images

Although there is no conclusive evidence that marijuana causes lung cancer, it does create a series of respiratory problems in frequent users, such as a prolonged cough, airway inflammation, and wheezing. According to the University of Washington’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, marijuana smoke contains harmful chemicals that are in similar range to those in tobacco smoke. Since marijuana requires a deeper inhalation than cigarettes, it leaves about five times the carbon monoxide concentration and three times the tar in the respiratory tract compared to cigarettes.

Next: Could marijuana help — or hurt — this part of your body?

1. Heart disease

heart monitor in a hospital.

There are opposing studies. | Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images

Have heart trouble? In addition to marijuana’s possible effects on mental health — both positive and negative — it might not be a safe substance for people with heart disease.

Using the drug rapidly increases your heart rate, and might even weaken the heart muscle over time. For those who already have problems with their heart, overusing marijuana could have serious consequences. You should always discuss any substance use with your doctor if you have any health conditions.

Next: What’s the final verdict on marijuana and your body?

Is marijuana bad for your body?

man smoking marijuana

Here’s what you need to know. | Raul Arboleda/AFP/Getty Images

Like any other substance, marijuana affects every person differently. It might change your life for the better, but make someone else’s life much worse.

There are a number of side effects no one talks about, including addiction and its possible effects on your heart. While it might not cause everyone problems in controlled amounts, you can get hooked on anything — and the consequences could be deadly.

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Additional reporting by Julia Mullaney.