OCT 27, 2022 8:37 AM PDT

Cannabis Side Effects to Look out For

WRITTEN BY: Helaine Krysik

Experts agree that cannabis is associated with providing several important medical benefits, such as relief from pain and nausea, and in some cases anxiety. That said, there are side effects related to heavy THC usage; side effects that the user should be aware of.

While the below list is not complete, these are the highlights:


Smoking or vaping, especially weed, comes with risks to the lungs. Over time, smoking or vaping cannabis can injure the lining in the airways, causing ongoing health issues such as bronchitis and chronic cough.

Brain function

Although many users claim that THC makes them concentrate better or become more creative, research shows that prolonged, heavy THC usage is associated with memory loss, ADHD, and cognitive problems.

Driving while impaired

Like that of alcohol, driving under the influence of cannabis can harm the user’s timing, movement and coordination, which is associated with a higher risk of car accidents, injuries and fatalities.

Erectile dysfunction

Extreme THC usage over the long term can lead to ED and an imbalance of the user’s hormones, leading to poor sperm quality and low counts.

Increased risk for diabetics

THC can cause the user’s blood sugar levels to drop immediately after consumption; a drop that can last for several hours, posing higher health risks for diabetics.

Bottom line

It’s important to note that most of these side effects and health risks are more associated with heavy cannabis usage. Light and/or social users typically won’t experience these issues, especially if the dosing is within moderation.

Even when consuming cannabis for medical purposes, the user should be aware of any potential side effects, just like with other types of medication. Additionally, users should always be mindful of combining cannabis with other medications in case they clash, and they should probably check with their healthcare provider before doing so.


Sources: NIH, Mayo Clinic, CDC

About the Author
Bachelor's (BA/BS/Other)
Helaine is a cannabis industry writer and marketing consultant. She has been active in the Illinois cannabis industry since 2020, and writes for a variety of national publications.
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