"I keep finding conflicting evidence that says it is close to harmless, with other websites saying it is quite dangerous. I fail to understand how it could be dangerous when it is neuro-protective, but I am still unsure. Thank you for your help!"
This is a very good question and one that I think a lot of people might ask themselves if they have not used cannabis previously. I will say I am not a doctor and this answer represents my opinion based on the research I have done in the past, my experience within the industry and the patients we serve.
I will say that I do not believe marijuana use in general is dangerous, when used responsibly. In my opinion, here are the areas where marijuana use IS dangerous:
- During pregnancy. Research came out this year that shows that using marijuana during pregnancy leads to more pre term labor.
- Using marijuana under age. Research shows that cannabis effects the developing brain adversely.
- Using marijuana and operating heavy machinery-including a car.
- For some people excessive cannabis use can lead to an increased heart rate and depending on your situation that may not be good (that said, I have never heard of a person on cannabis having a heart attack).
It is also interesting to note that the Gateway Drug theory, where cannabis leads to heavier drug use, has been debunked. Read more here: https://www.hellomd.com/health-wellness/573a52b0e80d140008000067/myth-busting-marijuana-how-the-gateway-theory-holds-no-clout
Your question asks about the 'dangers'. Are there other possible side effects? Yes. Some may include increased anxiety (for some), lethargy, etc.
I hope this helps!