Secondhand smoke may not seem all that bad. But it can have a major impact on your blood vessels, according to researchOpens a New Window. from the American Heart Association. After rats inhaled secondhand smoke for one minute, their arteries carried blood less efficiently for at least 90 minutes. When they were exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke, however, their blood vessels recovered after 30 minutes.“While the effect is temporary for both cigarette and marijuana smoke, these temporary problems can turn into long-term problems if exposures occur often enough and may increase the chances of developing hardened and clogged arteries,” said study author Matthew Springer, Ph.D.
2. It may increase testicular cancer risk
Smoking weed may increase your odds of getting testicular cancer, researchers at the University of Southern California found. In the studyOpens a New Window., men who had testicular germ cell tumors were more likely to report previously using marijuana than those who didn’t have the tumors. While the findings were interesting, more research needs to be done to determine if there was a causal relationship between cancer and marijuana use, a doctor for the American Cancer Society said that .
3. It impacts short-term memory
Stoners get a bad reputation for being forgetful, but it turns out the stigma might not be entirely myth. In one study, Northwestern University scientistsOpens a New Window. found that former pot smokers had developed brain abnormalities in regions associated with short-term memory, and performed slightly worse on memory-related tasks. Even more unsettling: The brains of pot smokers were found to be abnormally shaped and looked similar to brains damaged by schizophrenia. (That’s not to say that smoking weed causes schizophrenia, of course, and obviously a lot of research still needs to be done on the topic.)
4. It hinders creativity
Artists, musicians, and other creative types sometimes credit marijuana as their source of inspiration. However, a studyOpens a New Window. from the Netherlands seems to prove otherwise. Volunteers who were given marijuana with high THC content were not able to come up with as many solutions to a problem as those given a placebo.
5. It could destroy brain cells
All those jokes about stoners killing their brain cells? They might have some merit, according to a 20-year studyOpens a New Window. on smoking pot, which suggests that lighting up could decrease cognitive function, in addition to an increased risk of psychotic symptoms and disorders.