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article imageMarijuana abuse may cause 'man boobs', cancer and other things

By Chris V. Thangham     Jul 22, 2008 in Health
Dr. Ken Spaeth, physician and Research Fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, advises that pot smoking might cause "man boobs," sperm damage, cancer and other complications.
Dr. Spaeth, in his regular advice column, said frequent smoking of marijuana affects short term as well as long term health. He said it impairs cognitive function (thinking coherently), stunts psycho-motor skills and sedation.
Chronic marijuana abusers have the following chronic problems:
* Lung problems. Studies have shown three to four joints a day results in breathing problems comparable to pack-a-day cigarette habit.
* Gynecomastia: Marijuana use impairs sperm levels and reduces testosterone levels leading to impotence, losing interest in sex and causing Gynecomastia ("man boobs").
* Cancer: Marijuana produces a host of known carcinogens and toxic compounds when burned. Frequent pot smoking causes pre-cancerous lung lesions, which may lead to full blown cancers later.
* Mental Illness: Chronic pot users is associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia, but there is no confirmation on this relationship.
* Gums: Pot smokers are more likely to get gum disease.
* Dependence: It is tough to get out of pot smoking because of physical and mental dependence. Dr. Spaeth says it takes a month to get out of habit.
Dr. Spaeth said although marijuana may cause the above problems there are approved medical uses for it, provided one gets a proper prescription from the doctor. Smoking pot once or twice may not cause a significant problem but chronic abuse will lead to increased health risks.
If you have any questions about marijuana use, you can contact Dr. Spaeth at
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