Cannabis use has both short term and long term impacts on our health, and these can be seen in the form of physical, cognitive, and psychological and emotional impacts.
Short term impacts
In low doses:
- After using cannabis you may see an increase in feelings of anxiety, depression or stress
- Sensory changes such as pain relief and a sense of calm and euphoria.
- These sensory changes can lead to feeling like that you don’t know where you are or are unaware of your surroundings. You might also feel sleepy and lose your sense of time.
- Response times can get slower, which is why activities like driving while high, where alertness and quick response times are necessary, become so dangerous (and illegal).
- Often people have poor memory and ability to learn, and difficulty in thinking, solving problems, and paying attention
- They will also often have poor muscle coordination and judgment
- Many people experience food cravings
- People can also see an increase in their cardiac pulsations and blood pressure.
In high doses:
- People can also experience dizziness, migraines and vomiting.
- Users may experience paranoia, hallucinations, or delusions, anxiety attacks, or panic attacks.
- People may also feel depressed.
- Memory can be impacted, making it harder to remember things.
- Long-Term Effects
- Long-term, repeated use of cannabis can have serious consequences on mental and physical health, especially if you are using it before your brain has fully developed, which happens around the age of 25.
- Because the THC in cannabis alters the brain and its functions, while the brain is still developing, it can cause damage that is irreversible.
- Frequent cannabis use has a lasting influence on receptors in the part of the brain essential for cognitive activities. This means people who use a lot can see a substantial reduction in their attention span, significantly slower reaction times compared to a person who has never used the drug, and loss of memory.
- Frequent users may also have a harder time recognizing emotions because THC diminishes activity in the part of the brain that is necessary to identify emotions.
- Emotionally, frequent cannabis use can cause feelings of apathy and lack of motivation.
- For people who are genetically predisposed (have a family history of psychosis-related illnesses), frequent cannabis use can cause schizophrenia or psychosis.
- The immune system can be impacted over time, making people more vulnerable to contracting common illnesses.
If you would like to download a PDF of our infographic to share with others, please feel free.