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Know the Health Effects ofMarijuana

It’s a good idea to be aware of some of the effects marijuana can have on your health. If you have any questions about it, your doctor can be a great resource.

  • Respiratory Issues

    Marijuana smoke irritates the lungs. Heavy marijuana smokers (daily or near-daily use) can have many of the same health problems that tobacco smokers have. These include a daily cough, bronchitis, mucus and wheezing.

  • Lung Troubles

    The cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke are also in marijuana smoke. Heavy marijuana smoking is strongly associated with tissue damage in the airways of your lungs. We need more research to determine if this tissue damage increases the likelihood of developing lung cancer.

  • Mental Harm

    Heavy use of marijuana can damage your memory. This damage can last a week or more after the last time you used. In adults, regular marijuana use (at least weekly) is associated with depression. It may also be associated with other mental health problems, such as anxiety and psychosis. Marijuana, especially in high doses, can cause temporary psychosis (not knowing what is real, hallucinations and paranoia) while you are high.

  • Secondhand Smoke

    Secondhand smoke from marijuana has many of the same cancer-causing chemicals as secondhand smoke from tobacco. That means you shouldn’t smoke around children, pregnant women, or anyone who doesn't want to be exposed to secondhand smoke.

  • Youth Health Effects

    It can be harmful for youth to use marijuana. Visit our Youth Health Effects page for more information.