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Have you ever wondered what smoking weed does to your body? Cannabis is most famous for it’s mind-altering, psychoactive effects. Yet, this natural medicine produces a multitude of effects throughout the body and mind. Compounds in the plant tap into a large regulatory network called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Through this network, cannabinoids work their magic and provide a one-of-a-kind bodily experience.

What does smoking weed do to your body?

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Cannabis has a wide range of effects on the body. The primary psychoactive in the plant, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can interact with systems in the body that control sleep, turn off pain signals, increase appetite, and boost mood.

Here are seven things that smoking weed does to your body:

1. Lowers blood pressure

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There’s a reason so many glaucoma patients are often fond of cannabis. The herb is a vasodilator, meaning that it opens blood vessels which allow blood to flow through your veins a little more easily.

Interestingly, the infamous red eye often seen in cannabis consumers is because of these vasodilating effects.

2. Raises heart rate

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Though cannabis lowers blood pressure, it also increases heart rate. Heart rate can be elevated for up to three hours after consuming cannabis. It increases heart rate in a manner similar to difficult exercise, and medical research suggests that this increases the likelihood of having a heart attack.

However, the spike is largely harmless. To this day, no deaths from cannabis have ever been reported.

3. Heightens sensory experience

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The vasodilation effect of cannabis can cause the pupils to dilate as well. This means that colors may look a little brighter, the sunlight may look just a little more beautiful than normal, and patterns may seem more interesting. Great for taking outdoors and into the fresh air, cannabis heightens sensory experience.

In a recent rodent study published in Nature Neuroscience, researchers found that the herb may improve your sense of smell and taste. This not only makes it easier to find and enjoy food, but it’s also a lovely reminder to live in and appreciate the present moment.

4. Increases appetite

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Some of the active compounds in cannabis, including THC, are known to kick-start the metabolism and spur appetite. At the same time, cannabis encourages the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that allows you to focus and feel pleasure. Eating tasty food also releases dopamine.

So, cannabis not only causes your stomach to growl but also makes food extra pleasurable to eat. Sounds like a win-win all around.

5. Lowers body temperature

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Have you ever noticed that you become cold more easily after consuming cannabis? Well, as it turns out, the herb can lower your body temperature.

Research suggests that one reason this happens is through the activation of TRPV receptors on cells. These receptors are thought to help the body determine temperature, feel pain, and react to mechanical stimulus.

6. Improves libido

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In a recent review, researchers from the Czech Republic examined the preclinical and human data on cannabis and sexual function. After analyzing the available studies, the team found that 70% of cannabis consumers experienced some form of pleasure enhancement during sex.

7. Increased deep sleep

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Researchers have shown that cannabis can increase the amount of time you spend in deep sleep. Deep sleep is the restorative phase of the sleep cycle when the body repairs damage accumulated throughout the day.

Cannabis can extend the amount of time you spend in deep sleep. This means that, after a little herb, expect to find yourself drifting off into a long and heavy slumber.

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Anna Wilcox

Anna Wilcox is a Pacific Northwest native with a passion for cannabis and natural health. Contact her on Twitter @delilahbfield.
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