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Health Effects of Cannabis

There are risks associated with cannabis use. While there are some limitations to what we know about the health effects of cannabis, there are some well-documented risks, including:

  • cognitive, psychomotor and memory impairments
  • hallucinations and impaired perception
  • impaired driving and injuries (including fatalities)
  • mental health problems (including psychosis)
  • dependence
  • pulmonary/bronchial problems

Long term, frequent cannabis use also appears to be associated with a syndrome of cyclical vomiting (Cannabis Hypermesis Syndrome). The syndrome is characterized by abdominal pain that is relieved by hot showers or baths. Cessation of cannabis use appears to be the best treatment.

There are also risks associated with accessing cannabis from unregulated sources where the quality and purity of the product cannot be guaranteed. Availability of edible cannabis products has also led to increased emergency department visits and hospitalizations of children that have consumed cannabis products.

There are also specific health risks for young people and people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

The safest way to avoid the health risks associated with cannabis is to abstain from use. For people who do use cannabis we suggest looking into other ways to reduce the risks associated with cannabis.

The following resources provide additional information about the health effects of cannabis:

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids