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Side Effects of Smoking Weed and Important Things to Keep in Mind

By October 16, 2018 June 15th, 2023 No Comments
cannabis plant on white teapot vase

Weed is sometimes thought of as being a relatively harmless drug.

While its effects are certainly not as dramatic or pronounced as those of other drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, it does have a range of potential side effects. This article describes some of the more common ones.

Physical Symptoms

Weed use can have a range of physical side effects. Dry mouth and reddened, dry eyes are common. Users may also experience headaches, nausea, dizziness and vomiting if they ingest large amounts. They may also experience impaired body movement or, in some cases, numbness. Over time, smoking weed can also effect heart rate and blood pressure.


Frequent use of weed can make a person feel fatigued and lacking in energy. This may be because it has disrupted their sleep or reduced its quality, or because of the way in which it effects focus. In some cases, it may be related to weed affecting heart rate and blood pressure.

Effect on Lungs

Frequently smoking weed can damage the throat and lungs. It can also effect the respiratory process. There is still debate over whether smoking marijuana can cause lung cancer, but there is some research arguing that it does.

Mental Effects

After smoking weed, people will commonly find that they lack focus and that their mental function is impaired. They may struggle to think clearly and problem-solving may become more difficult. For people who smoke regularly over a period of time, they may find that they experience these effects on an ongoing basis. Frequent use can also effect short-term memory. These effects can impact someone’s work and relationships as they may struggle to fully focus in conversation or on important tasks.

Driving or operating heavy machinery while impaired by weed is illegal and should not be done under any circumstances. It is also important to remember that, even after the initial effects have worn off, frequent use of weed may effect your concentration while driving or assuming other positions of responsibility.

Altered Senses

While high, someone may find that their senses are altered. For example, they may see things in a more pronounced way. Lights may seem brighter or objects may seem more distinct; sounds may seem sharper. Sense of time may also be effected. It is common for people to feel that much more time has passed while they are high than is actually the case. They may also feel the inverse of this.

Anxiety and Irritation

Someone who uses weed regularly may find that their mood is altered by their habit. A common example is when a person becomes irritable or anxious when not smoking. The amount a person smokes and the length of time they have smoked may make these effects more pronounced. These are symptoms of withdrawal from weed, and may indicate a dependence on the drug. People with mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression may also have these conditions effected by weed use.


As noted above, frequent use of weed may lead to a dependence. Weed’s addictive potential is also sometimes understated. We recently published a comprehensive guide to quitting weed.

The potential for addiction is particularly high for people who use the drug for specific purposes, such as to relax, sleep, concentrate or socialize. Many people also use weed for its medicinal purposes, but it is also important in these cases not to develop an unhealthy dependence. Once a dependence has been formed, a user may find that they have difficulty sleeping, relaxing, focusing or managing pain without weed. They may also feel anxious or agitated at the prospect of being unable to smoke for a period of time, and may avoid events or commitments that would prevent them from smoking. At this point, they may require professional support to stop using.

Concurrent Disorders

For people who have mental health issues, smoking weed regularly may effect these issues. Someone with a mental health disorder who also has a dependency on a substance or behaviour is said to have concurrent disorders. Someone dealing with depression or anxiety may find that regularly smoking weed exacerbates these issues. They may also find that attempting to stop using weed effects their mental health. Some people may use weed to cope with the symptoms of a mental health disorder, which may lead to a dependence.

There is some research to suggest that smoking weed can cause psychological effects such as hallucinations, delusions and flashbacks. This is still some debate around this. There is also an established connection between weed and psychosis. While it is unusual for people to experience psychosis as a result of weed use, there is an established connection.

Weed Addiction Treatment

If you are concerned about your own or a loved one’s weed use, professional support is available. Evidence-based methods such as individual therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and group counselling have proven effective in treating weed addiction. These methods allow people to identify the underlying causes and consequences of their addictions and to develop methods for dealing with them. Contact Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres Today for more information.

Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres

Trafalgar Addiction Treatment Centres

We offer residential and outpatient rehab treatment programs for addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders.

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