The Health Effects of Marijuana on Humans
Marijuana has been used as a drug since the beginning of
time, yet there are still many mysteries about its health
effects on humans. Marijuana, or cannabis sativa, is a
preparation of the crushed flowers and buds of female hempGood Paper. 4 pages long B+
plant. The existence of the plant has been reported as
early as 1500-1200 BC. in China, and cannabis has been
described as an analgesic as early as 200 AD .
Since then, an overwhelming number of studies have attempted
to explain the physical and psychological effects ofGood Paper. 4 pages long B+
cannabis on humans.
Physically, cannabis is relatively harmless. Studies
have observed interesting results, including that it causes
structural changes in the brain, depresses male sperm
counts, causes chromosome damage, lowers testosterone
levels, and damages the lungs. Most of these claims,
however, have been unreplicated in humans or have been
contradicted by other work.
This section will address each
of these reported negative side-effects.
Various studies have claimed that cannabis destroys brain
cells. However, several other studies found no structural
or neurochemical atrophy in the brain at all. Furthermore, it
should be noted that Heath's work was sharply criticized for
avoiding safeguards of bias and reporting 'changes' that
occur normally in the mammalian brain.
Wu et al. found a correlation between cannabis use
and low sperm counts in human males. This is misleading
because a decrease in sperm count has not been shown to have
a negative effect on fertility and because the sperm count
returns to normal after cannabis use has stopped..
Another claim made was that cannabis causes chromosome
breakage. The primary source for this are studies that were
conducted by Dr. Gabriel Nahas in the early 1980s.