Weed Health

Is Smoking Weed Bad For You?

Kushmapper Learning Center

One of the most common forms of enjoying marijuana is by smoking it. Whether it’s in a joint, pipe, bong, or another device that uses heat to combust plant matter, it’s one of the easiest, most accessible ways of getting high. Many people wonder about the concerns this can have on the body, as it’s true that smoking anything has risks. Research does show that cannabis smoke has far fewer hazards than cigarette smoke, but before you smoke, you should know all the potential risks.

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Learn About The Risks & Benefits Of Smoking Weed

What Are The Risks Of Smoking Weed?

Smoking as a consumption method comes with inherent risks. Whenever you combust and ingest plant material, it forms toxins called polyaromatic hydrocarbons. Polyaromatic hydrocarbons exist in both tobacco and cannabis smoke and exposing yourself to those toxins is one of the risks of smoking weed.

As such, all smoke is harmful to the lungs. Because most cannabis smokers inhale more deeply and hold their breath longer than cigarette smokers, they may be exposed to a higher amount of carbon monoxide per inhale compared to tobacco. However, research shows that there are fewer toxins in cannabis, and smoking it doesn’t carry the same risks as smoking cigarettes. As well, most users do not smoke weed nearly as often as the average cigarette smoker. To date, there’s been no link found between cannabis and cancer.

Some of the risks don’t come from the smoke. For some users, the THC in marijuana can increase their heart rate, which can pose a danger to people with heart conditions and, depending on the severity of the condition, may lead to an increased risk of a heart attack. If you have a heart condition, consult your doctor before consuming any cannabis products.

Frequent use of THC over a long time increases the risk of cannabis dependence, which is an addiction that can be diagnosed as cannabis use disorder or problematic cannabis use. Youth and young adults are more likely to experience harm from cannabis because the connections in their brains develop until they are 25. The earlier you start consuming cannabis, the more harm it can do to the brain.

Why Do I Feel Sick When Smoking Weed?

Feelings of sickness caused by smoking weed can seem counterintuitive – after all, it’s a popular anti-nausea remedy – but some users may find it makes them feel sick. Many of these effects are due to how the weed is being smoked: if a consumer inhales too much at once or too fast, or has trouble smoking anything, then smoking weed can cause them to feel sick.  

If cannabis makes you throw up, you may have cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS). This is a condition affecting regular marijuana users, and it can lead to recurring episodes of nausea, abdominal pain, and vomiting. While research is ongoing, the likely cause of CHS is when one of the more than 100 cannabinoids triggers receptors in the gut and stomach, making your body think it’s sick. Episodes of CHS generally last 24-48 hours, and for some, severe symptoms can lead to dehydration and weight loss. 

Anyone suffering from CHS may find relief from symptoms by taking a hot shower, but the most effective long-term treatment is the cessation of marijuana use.

Are The Psychoactive Properties Of Weed Bad For You?

The psychoactive effects of marijuana come from the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). While it is used by some for therapeutic purposes, there are short- and long-term physical and mental health effects that can be harmful. While cannabis may make you feel relaxed and happy, you could experience unpleasant, unwanted or negative effects on your brain and body. Short-term effects on the brain include confusion, sleepiness or fatigue, delayed reaction, impaired memory and concentration, and the possibility of anxiety, fear and panic.

More and more evidence suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) may help dampen some of the psychoactive effects of THC. If you are concerned with how THC may affect your mind, choose a CBD-dominant or hybrid strain.

Frequently Asked Questions About Weed Health & Risks

Though it is not as harmful as smoking cigarettes, and most people’s marijuana consumption habits are not as frequent as smoking cigarettes, weed is not without its toxins and carcinogens. Like any combusted plant material, marijuana smoke contains carcinogens and toxins that can harm the body. It can also activate and amplify mental disorders.

Many of these effects are due to how one smokes weed. Inhaling too much smoke at once or doing it too fast, or if you have trouble smoking anything, smoking weed can cause them to feel sick. If it is causing vomiting and severe digestive distress, you might have a rare condition called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS). If the effects are persistent, do not smoke more marijuana in an attempt to curb nausea.

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