Side Effects Of Marijuana On Your Mind & Body

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on August 19, 2023

The side effects of marijuana on the mind can include difficulty learning and memory problems. Some of the side effects of marijuana on the body consist of an increased appetite, coughing, and bloodshot eyes.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the dried leaves of the cannabis plants such as cannabis sativa or indica is known as marijuana. This plant contains the psychoactive delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that creates a number of effects.

Marijuana is a Schedule I drug as classified by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). It has a high potential for abuse.

Whether a person partakes in recreational use of the drug or any form of marijuana abuse, the side effects of cannabis may cause a number of health effects.

Side Effects Of Marijuana On The Mind

THC is the active ingredient in cannabis which binds itself to cannabinoid receptors in the brain. When this occurs, dopamine is released and causes a person to experience a pleasurable high with sedative effects.

Short-Term Effects

Some of the short-term side effects of marijuana use, according to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), include:

  • difficulty concentrating
  • cognitive impairment
  • enhanced sensory perception
  • distorted perception of reality
  • loss of sense of time
  • difficulty problem-solving
  • trouble learning

Long-Term Effects

Long-term side effects of cannabis use may lead to an increased risk of developing a mental illness. Symptoms of anxiety or depression may become more severe, causing serious mental health concerns.

In fact, those suffering from schizophrenia who use marijuana may have a higher risk of developing psychosis or serious hallucinations. For those partaking in marijuana substance use, consider consulting a local Ohio health professional such as a psychiatrist.

For young adults and adolescents, marijuana can create cognitive impairments. Young people may find themselves struggling with memory problems and being unable to think clearly.

Women who are pregnant should avoid cannabis use, as it may interfere with the brain development of the child.

Side Effects Of Marijuana On The Body

Marijuana, whether it be flower or edibles, may impact the physical health of a person who abuses the drug, including in both the short- and long-term.

Short-Term Effects

Even short-term effects on the body may consist of:

  • bloodshot eyes
  • drowsiness
  • blood pressure fluctuations
  • increased heart rate
  • increase in appetite
  • coughing
  • sedation

Long-Term Effects

Although an increase in blood pressure may occur in the short-term, a decrease in blood pressure may take place after prolonged use.

Due to an increase in heart rate, those who abuse marijuana have an increased risk of experiencing a heart attack.

Marijuana smoke can create lung infections due to how the smoke can irritate the lungs, resulting in a chronic cough and other respiratory problems. Those who vape the drug may experience similar effects.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Chronic use of cannabis or taking large doses of the drug can lead to withdrawal symptoms or cannabis withdrawal syndrome when you stop use. 

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), some of the withdrawal symptoms of marijuana can include:

  • anxiety
  • sleep disturbances
  • increased heart rate
  • restlessness
  • depression
  • tremors
  • sweating
  • stomach pain
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • change in appetite

Medical Marijuana

While the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t legalized marijuana, some states offer medical marijuana which is therapeutic in treating chronic pain, epilepsy, and other health problems.

Legislation has been passed in several states which allow cannabidiol or CBD oil, which may have some medical benefits.

Although medical marijuana may be an effective option for managing various ailments, adverse effects over the long-term may still occur. 

If you or a loved one live with marijuana addiction, please contact us to speak with one of our healthcare professionals today.

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse
  2. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus
  3. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus
  4. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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