"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:
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!