Marijuana Can Cause These Dreadful Side Effects, Experts Say – Eat This, Not That

Medical Marijuana is a topic of much debate, but taking this drug has been well proven to have several health benefits like relieving anxiety, managing nausea, treating glaucoma, seizures and more. That said, everyone reacts differently to marijuana and there can be unexpected side effects. Dr Jagdish Khubchandani, MBBS, Ph.D., professor of public health at New Mexico State University, says, “Marijuana side effects depend on dose, frequency, and duration of use. Given legalization in all states, for social or experimental purposes, people may not experience side effects.” He adds, “However, people can become addicted and see side effects with increased use or long-term habitual abuse at higher doses. These side effects can have a range of manifestations.” Keep reading – and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure signs you’ve already had COVID.


Dr Khubchandani says: “People taking certain types of medications (e.g. psychiatric and other) should exercise caution as marijuana may increase or decrease the effect of certain prescription drugs leading to treatment failure or extreme side effects. In the same way, mix other types of drugs, alcohol and smoking tobacco with marijuana can cause short or long term side effects. For example, smoking tobacco and marijuana increases the risk of exposure to chemicals (eg, carbon monoxide) and tar that can cause cancer.”

Depressed man with problems sitting alone with head in hands on bed and crying

According to Dr. Khubchandani, “While marijuana has been used for chronic pain and some psychiatric conditions, studies suggest a risk of depressive or manic symptoms and psychosis depending on the dose and type of marijuana. As the chemicals in marijuana affect neurotransmitters and brain chemicals, they can alter how our brain works. Individuals should be cautious if they have a psychiatric illness and should not experiment with marijuana as it may aggravate the symptoms of the illness.”


“Long-term smoking marijuana can cause breathing difficulties or increase the risk of COPD, asthma, bronchitis or pneumonia,” says Dr. Khubchandani. “The chemicals in marijuana smoke irritate lung tissue and cause inflammation of the airways. These effects can be seen without simultaneously smoking tobacco, but are certainly worsened if people smoke both cannabis and tobacco.”

Tired african american man having headache after hard day, feeling exhausted

Dr. Khubchandani says: “A variety of studies have suggested that marijuana can impact many parts of our food pipe and pathways ranging from effects such as nausea, vomiting, inflammation of the pancreas, liver toxicity. These effects may manifest as acute intoxication, immediate side effects, or long-term damage to these organs. Although symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, dry mouth are indicators of toxic effects from heavy or chronic abuse, the underlying causes can be very serious (eg liver failure, pancreatic dysfunction). Cannabis chemicals impact the brain and organs such as the liver (e.g. metabolism of cannabis chemicals) and these effects are systemic.”

Doctor examines MRI of patient's head, neck and brain

Dr Khubchandani explains: “Several studies have now suggested that heavy and chronic marijuana use may influence our thinking ability and our brain’s ability to encode, recall and recognize information which may worsen with progressively higher doses and increasing years of marijuana use. marijuana with the aging process. Brain imaging studies suggest alterations in brain structures (for example, shrinkage of certain key areas of the brain) with marijuana abuse. In addition to thinking and Memory, marijuana can in the short term cause hallucinations, confusion, drowsiness and disorientation.”

Heather Newgen

Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather is currently a freelancer for several publications. Read more

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