Even though marijuana remains illegal under Federal law in the U.S., nearly two-thirds of U.S. states now have some form of legalized marijuana. While these laws are likely to make cannabis use more accessible, there are still health and safety concerns related to heavy and long-term use. One study reveals that marijuana use among men could increase the chance of certain types of cancer.

How Prevalent is Marijuana Use?

According to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 33 percent of respondents ages 18 to 25 reported past year marijuana use. That figure drops to 11 percent for respondents ages 26 and older.

One study published in the journal Addiction finds that marijuana use among adults ages 26 and older increases in states where there are less stringent cannabis regulations. Specifically, near-daily use in this age group increased by 2.36 percent in states with less regulated marijuana programs.

Not only does this increase the chance of developing a marijuana use disorder but also raises concerns about the long-term effects of cannabis. One concern relates to a higher risk of certain types of cancers among male marijuana users.

New Study Reveals Increased Risk of Certain Cancers Among Marijuana Users

While smoking marijuana joints poses of same lung cancer risks as tobacco cigarettes due to similar toxins, there are other concerns. Even if a marijuana smoker avoids combustible forms of the drug, there are still dangers.

There are several studies placing a possible link between marijuana use and cancer. Specifically, these studies address prostate and testicular cancer among male users of the drug.

A large study of U.S. men ages 15 to 49 was inconclusive when linking marijuana to several types of cancers, except for prostate cancer. The study found that, among participants who were not cigarette smokers, those who smoked marijuana had a higher risk of prostate cancer.

There have also been three major studies linking cannabis use to a higher risk of testicular cancer. The latest study, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, finds that heavy use of marijuana leads to significantly higher risks of developing testicular cancer. “Heavy use” is defined as using cannabis 50 times or more during a lifetime.

What Are Some of the Other Long-Term Effects of Marijuana Use?

Heavy use of marijuana can result in a long list of negative consequences. You may suffer from some damaged relationships and have work or school issues tied to excessive use or unhealthy behaviors. Unfortunately, a marijuana use disorder can also negatively impact your health. Some of the long-term effects of marijuana use include:

  • Cognitive health. Long-term marijuana use can lead to cognitive impairment.
  • Cardiovascular health. The chemicals in marijuana can impact your cardiovascular system and increase the risk of a heart attack.
  • Respiratory health. Depending on the method of delivery, marijuana use can damage the lungs.
  • Cancer. There are studies linking heavy marijuana use to certain types of cancer.
  • Addiction. When used excessively over time, you could become addicted to this drug.

Get Treatment Now for a Marijuana Use Disorder

It is a common misconception that marijuana is harmless and not addictive. The substances that are being produced today are much more potent than even a decade ago. Not only is cannabis something that is ripe for misuse, but it can also have some dangerous consequences when misused or used to excess.

If you are unable to control your marijuana use or are suffering adverse effects from heavy use, The Orlando Recovery Center can help. Our comprehensive addiction treatment program addresses all aspects of a substance use disorder so that you have the best chance at success in recovery.

Contact us now to learn more about your options for admissions to one of our programs.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.