Currently people can still apply for a medical marijuana license in 23 states and Washington, D.C. Is that a good thing? Rather than focus on the political or “moral” implications, we figured we’d look at the science of pot smoking. And like most things you do, smoking pot comes with pros and cons.
PRO: WEED MAKES YOU HAPPY
By attaching to cannabinoid receptors — nerve centers in the brain that control pleasure, thought, memory, coordination and perception — THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) stimulates the brain and prompts the release of dopamine, which is a chemical associated with pleasure. Another way to write that sentence: Weed makes you happy.
CON: GETTING HIGH MAY MAKE YOU SAD
A few studies have linked, ahem, chronic pot smoking to increased levels of anxiety and depression. However, some of these studies have been called into question because the participants were already leading crappy lives.