Dr. Oz supports the use of medical marijuana but said weed is addictive and can damage your brain.
Dr. Oz noted that 1 in 6 adolescents who smoke pot eventually become addicted to it, while 1 in 11 adults does.
On the Dec. 4 episode of the Dr. Oz Show ("Is Weed Addictive?") he discussed the physical and mental effects of smoking pot.
"We know pot affects the brain in many ways," said Dr. Oz. "The smoke you inhale can literally change you."
Dr. Oz said marijuana smoke fuels inflammation in your lungs and causes your heart to beat up to 50 times faster.
It also impairs brain function through its main ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which affects the following areas of your brain:
- Reward center.
- Time perception.
While Dr. Oz supports the use of medical marijuana to treat chronic pain, glaucoma, and cancer, he said repeated use can have devastating health consequences.
When you smoke marijuana, THC enters your bloodstream and travels to your brain almost immediately, causing your brain's reward center to release dopamine, which leads to euphoria or a "high." This high is what fuels the addiction (you feel good, so you want to do it again).
But the high only lasts one to three hours and can impair coordination, memory, and decision-making. Research has shown that repeated pot smoking also inhibits learning and impairs a person's ability to form new memories.
While most of these brain-dampening effects can be resolved once you stop smoking weed for a prolonged period of time, long-term brain damage has been observed in chronic pot smokers, including the loss of IQ points.
Like any other drug addiction, cutting back on weed can produce withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, and insomnia. But it's better to quit or cut back on pot before you get addicted, Dr. Oz said.
Dr. Oz Works Out With Joe Manganiello
In a separate segment, Dr. Oz worked out with "True Blood" star Joe Manganiello. Manganiello, who's promoting his book, Evolution, said fitness first begins in the mind. "The mind is the real enemy, not the body," he said.
The strapping 6-foot-5 Manganiello, who has eight-pack abs and weighs a solid 230 pounds, said he was a scrawny kid but turned his body and his life around after deciding he wanted to live up to his full potential.
Joe said repeatedly facing adversity and overcoming failure shaped him into the self-confident man he is today.
Failure became a huge part of my success story. I'm glad I failed. I'm glad I felt that way and decided to do something about it. I never wanted to feel that way again and it drove me."
During his twenties, Joe battled alcoholism and chain-smoked two packs of cigarettes a day, but gave all that up after embracing a healthy, active lifestyle.
Manganiello now follows a high-protein, low-carb diet, avoids processed food, and works out twice a day, six days a week.
While Joe loves french fries, sweet potatoes, waffles and pasta, he's disciplined about his diet most of the time. "I eat to build [muscle]," he said. "Cut the emotion out of food and eat to build."