What Is Kush? The Side Effects Kush Has On The Brain & Body
There is a lot of information about Kush, and some of it is contradictory, which can confuse people trying to learn what Kush is and what it does.
So, we’ve put together this guide to what Kush is, the side effects it has, warning signs of addiction, and what kinds of treatment options are available to you.
What Is Kush?
The first thing you need to know before we talk about the side effects of Kush and the warning signs of addiction.
In short, Kush is a specific type of cannabis. It’s popular for recreational users because it’s sometimes thought to be stronger than other strains of cannabis. Some people may also like the feeling of Kush better than other kinds of cannabis and may also think it’s easier to smoke.
Kush strains of cannabis are descended from plants from the Kush region, which is on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
However, some people use Kush as a shorthand for all cannabis, especially cannabis buds. People may be more likely to call cannabis Kush if the buds from the plant have bright colors, like purple or orange.
Those bright colors may signify that the cannabis is stronger than usual, which is part of what earns the ‘Kush’ nickname.
Because not everyone knows what Kush is, it’s also used as slang and a way to disguise cannabis use when users are in mixed companies.
That said, Kush is becoming a more well-known name for cannabis, so using the term as slang meant to disguise isn’t as common anymore.
Remember that when you hear someone talking about Kush, they are talking about either cannabis products, especially smoked cannabis, or a specific type of cannabis.
Additionally, some non-Kush varieties of cannabis now use Kush in the name. Some users may also refer to a specific strain or product they are currently using.
What Are The Side Effects Kush Has On The Brain & Body?
Like many illicit drugs, we have some information on what Kush does in your brain and body, but we don’t have complete information or understanding.
That’s because there are strict limitations on the studies that can be done on cannabis and cannabis products.
More science is being done now because some states are legalizing it, and it’s easier to get a study approved than it used to be. However, science takes time, and we haven’t had enough time to understand Kush’s effects fully.
Why does that matter?
Because without a full understanding of Kush and how Kush interacts with your body in different preparations and concentrations, we don’t have a complete list of the possible side effects and consequences.
That means we may discover additional side effects or learn about more long-term consequences to use than we have now.
It’s also worth noting that Kush generally has fewer side effects than other drugs, but that doesn’t mean the side effects aren’t serious or harmful.
Known side effects of Kush use include:
- Blood pressure changes (blood pressure may go both up and down and may change suddenly at different phases of the drug’s active period)
- Extreme fatigue
- Facial flushing
- Red irritated-looking eyes (may happen with or without any discomfort)
- Short-term impairment of memory and cognition (possible long-term impairment being explored)
- May increase mucus production
- Long-term use may increase the risk of asthma and COPD
- Abdominal cramping
Use in pregnancy may also be associated with premature births and babies born underweight or needing additional medical assistance.
In addition to the side effects of Kush, you should also know about the addiction risk that using Kush and Kush products can bring.
Can Kush Be Addictive? What Are The Warning Signs That Someone Is Addicted To Kush?
There is still a lot of debate over whether cannabis products are addictive in the traditional sense that they create both chemical dependence and psychological dependence on the drug.
True chemical dependence on cannabis products is rare because your body usually doesn’t change the number of cannabinoids, the chemicals cannabis products mimic when used, in your body. Your body continues to produce cannabinoids, which reduces the risk of chemical dependence to some extent.
However, whether people can develop a psychological addiction to Kush is less debated. People can feel like they need to use Kush and related products to get through the day, be their best selves, or relax. Some users may also report that they don’t feel like they can sleep without the drug, even if they didn’t previously have insomnia or other sleep troubles.
Psychological addiction like this might be a little different from other forms of addiction, but that doesn’t mean it’s not harmful or can’t get in the way of other important parts of your life and wellbeing.
Cannabis use, of any type of cannabis, has been linked to various mental health problems, both temporary and long term, including:
- Suicidal ideation/attempts
Remember, because the studies into the mental health effects of cannabis use are still ongoing, it’s not always clear whether the drug is causing these problems or whether people with these problems are more likely to use Kush and subsequently at greater risk of addiction.
Regardless of when or why addiction starts, some common signs can help you recognize when you or your loved ones are dealing with an addiction to Kush or other cannabis products.
It’s important to pay attention to your psychological signs and symptoms since Kush is less likely than other drugs to have physical signs and symptoms of addiction.
Here are some common signs worth paying attention to:
- You want to smoke or use Kush products every day.
- You feel like you can’t relax without using Kush.
- You worry about having enough Kush and are willing to purchase from illegal sources if you need to.
- You want to buy more than the legal limit on cannabis in your area (where legal).
- You need to use more Kush than you used to (which can also be a sign of developing a tolerance to the drug).
- You are happier when you’ve used more Kush than you intended to than when you’ve used less than you wanted.
- You feel like you need to hide your Kush use from friends and loved ones.
- You have stolen items or considered stealing items to pay for Kush.
- You feel the need to use Kush at work.
- You feel like you need to use Kush before important events, presentations, or special occasions
- You’ve noticed that your memory isn’t as good as it used to be, or you have trouble remembering what happened while using Kush.
- You feel depressed when you aren’t using Kush.
- You’ve started feeling more anxious or paranoid, whether you’re using Kush or not.
- Kush occasionally makes you feel paranoid, but that doesn’t make you less likely to use Kush in the future.
While there are other symptoms of Kush addiction, this is a good list to get you started.
Remember, if you or a loved one have an addiction, you don’t have to tackle it alone. There are treatment options and support systems out there that can help you.
What Are Treatment Options For Someone Addicted To Kush?
Many options exist if you are serious about overcoming your addiction to Kush. For example, some people can find a support group or get a supportive enough social network to stop using Kush on their own.
However, like most addictions, that’s relatively rare, and having additional resources and support may be important for making a long-term recovery from Kush addiction.
Talking to your doctor is often a good first step. They should know about the addiction treatment options in your area and will be able to suggest a range of options so you can choose the kind of treatment that makes the most sense for you.
If you want the best chance of recovery, are worried that you’ve attempted to stop using Kush before and failed, or need help identifying the reasons for your addiction and why you struggle with using Kush, a more comprehensive treatment plan may be the best option for you.
Often, that means looking for a treatment center that’s ready and willing to help.
Are you serious about overcoming your addiction, or want to give your loved one as many resources as possible to overcome theirs?
Epiphany Wellness treatment center is here for you. Contact us today to learn more about our intake process and programs or schedule your intake.
1. Wilhelm J. What is “Kush” cannabis? Leafly. Published July 28, 2020. Accessed August 18, 2022. https://www.leafly.com/news/strains-products/what-is-kush-marijuana
2. Fookes C. What are the side effects of marijuana? Drugs.com. Published November 17, 2020. Accessed August 18, 2022. https://www.drugs.com/medical-answers/side-effects-weed-3453651/
3. CDC. Mental Health | Health Effects | Marijuana | CDC. Published October 19, 2020. Accessed August 18, 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/health-effects/mental-health.html