The consequences of smoking weed

One of the leading places among drug addicts in the world is the abuse of drugs from various types of cannabis. Marijuana is conditionally included in the group of “mild” psychoactive drugs. There is a growing consensus in Western society regarding the safe use of “weed”. However, disregard for possible health risks has led to widespread distribution of the product among adolescents. It also makes no sense to deny the negative consequences of chronic intoxication. We will talk about them.

The effect of cannabinoids on the body

Parts of the hemp plant, depending on the cultivar, contain different concentrations of cannabinol aldehydes. These substances determine the intoxicating effect of smoking. In the structure of the overall incidence of drug addiction in Russia, addiction to marijuana ranges from 20 to 30%, but the real indicators are much higher.

Although people all over the world know that smoking is injurious to health they often get addicted to it. And, many of our known people become an enthusiast. They start to make their own cigars using tobacco leaves. Fronto leaf is such a leaf which is used as both the wrapper and the internal ingredient.

For smoking, use “shoals” with marijuana. Sometimes glass tubes, bongs, hookahs are used for inhalation. One cigarette contains about 0.5-1 g of hemp, that is, about 50 mg of tetrahydrocannabinol.

The active substances dissolve well in fats, quickly penetrating with the blood flow through the cell membranes. They accumulate in lipid-rich tissues. The main targets are the brain, lungs, genitals. The psychoactive effect is explained by the fact that cannabinoid receptors located in the central nervous system (CNS) react to marijuana.

Marijuana and marijuana preparations have been successfully used to relieve cancer and AIDS patients, and many patients prefer to use them through smoking, despite the availability of dronabinol (“marinol”) in capsule form. At the same time, pharmacological studies do not show the advantages of cannabis over other, more traditional antiemetic and analgesics. As a result, the prescription of cannabis drugs is an exception, with individual intolerance to traditional drugs.

Consequences of use

It is impossible to draw unambiguous conclusions about the harmlessness or danger of the “grass”. The effects on the body may differ depending on the following factors:

  • dose
  • smoking experience and frequency
  • age
  • personality type
  • social status, environment
  • individual susceptibility
  • genetic predisposition
  • health status
  • taking other psychoactive substances – alcohol, tobacco, drugs, as well as medications
  • burdened heredity for neuropsychiatric diseases

One “joint” provides about 0.5-10 mg of tetrahydrocannabinol into the systemic circulation. Clinical effects occur 6-15 minutes after starting smoking. The peak of activity is after 15-30 minutes. The general effect lasts for 2-4 hours.

Sharp effects

The symptoms of cannabinoid intoxication are described in different ways by consumers. The effect of cannabis preparations is subjective, the following acute consequences of smoking weed are possible:


  • general relaxation;
  • thirst;
  • redness of the whites of the eyes;
  • dilated pupils;
  • slowing down the digestion process;
  • hunger;
  • feeling of warmth in the body, weightlessness;
  • dry mouth;
  • dizziness;
  • swelling of the mucous membrane of the eyes;
  • heart palpitations;
  • violation of coordination of movements;
  • fluctuations in body temperature;
  • headaches;
  • nausea;
  • decrease in psychomotor activity;
  • mild analgesic effect;
  • diarrhea;
  • allergic reactions – rapid onset of edema, rash


  • euphoria of varying severity;
  • a sense of well-being;
  • increased sensitivity to the perception of color, sounds, touch;
  • light nap;
  • confusion of consciousness;
  • impaired concentration of attention;
  • deeper sensitivity to works of art, nature, people;
  • tendency to long-term consideration of any subject;
  • subjectively, the surrounding colors of the bochage are richer;
  • increasing sociability, empathy;
  • talkativeness;
  • cheerful mood, but negative emotions can be aggravated;
  • for the majority, the level of aggressiveness falls;
  • altered perception of time, space;

In susceptible people, a carefree state can alternate with anxiety, anxiety. The ability to control complex mechanisms and vehicles is significantly reduced. Motor excitement is replaced by disconnected thinking. After an episode of smoking, weakness and apathy increase; increased appetite, prolonged sleep. “Hangover” is not typical.


With an increase in the dose, the picture of intoxication is aggravated. Mental disorders come to the fore. Separate intervals of time completely fall out of memory.

In case of an overdose, the harm from smoking “grass” is most pronounced in childhood and adolescence. An increase in the usual amount of marijuana 3-4 times leads to the following symptoms:

  • pupils are sharply dilated, react poorly to color
  • skin and mucous membranes are full-blooded, replaced by pallor
  • there is visible dryness of the lips, mouth
  • voice hoarse
  • heart rate up to 100-120 beats per minute
  • fluctuations in blood pressure
  • increased sweating
  • trembling limbs
  • muscle contraction
  • hyperreflexia
  • nausea, vomiting
  • stupor, stupor, fainting
  • complete loss of coordination of movements
  • thinking is difficult, time flows subjectively slower
  • slurred speech

The grave condition persists for several hours. Consciousness is progressively lost from stupor to coma. In some cases, especially in combination with alcohol, delirium-type hallucinosis and panic attacks are observed. Recovery from intoxication can take up to 2-3 weeks.

Death, even with deep intoxication, is unlikely. The estimated lethal dose of tetrahydrocannabinol for humans is approximately 40,000 times the average single dose, that is, more than 3 g of pure substance. In 2017, an 11-month-old infant died, allegedly due to a marijuana overdose triggered by parents’ smoking.

Long-term complications

Continuous use of cannabis usually threatens the development of tolerance and low dependence. The following consequences of smoking “grass” are described:

Mental effects: 

  • weak addiction;
  • in 10-20% – physical dependence with withdrawal symptoms with a sharp discontinuation of the admission;
  • manifestation of latent psychoses in people with a genetic predisposition to affective disorders (schizophrenia);
  • psychoemotional exhaustion;
  • social self-isolation;
  • apathy, lack of motivation for action, loss of previous interests;
  • recurrent anxiety, typical effects of intoxication outside of smoking – “flashback”;


  • chronic bronchitis;
  • protracted course of respiratory infections;
  • persistent cough;
  • with many years of smoking experience – emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;


  • decreased ability to memorize new information;
  • violation of abstract thinking, learning;
  • deterioration of cognitive and intellectual capabilities;
  • headaches;
  • loss of professional skills;
  • difficulties in performing complex actions;
  • weakened attention;


  • may worsen the course of existing cardiac diseases;
  • smoking is fraught with tachycardia, arrhythmias;
  • toxic myocarditis;
  • violation of vascular tone;


  • change in feelings from sex;
  • fluctuations in libido;
  • violations of ovulation, fertility (fertility);
  • imbalance of sex hormones
  • deviations in bearing the fetus;
  • difficult delivery;
  • early death of infants (“fetal marijuana syndrome”) due to parental smoking;

Chronic intoxication is manifested by constant fatigue, headaches, gastrointestinal disorders, less often the liver suffers (toxic hepatitis). The harm of smoking “weed” for men is expressed – a decrease in testosterone production, delayed ejaculation, a change in the quality of sperm. In the case of combined abuse with alcohol or other drugs, the risk of erectile dysfunction and infertility increases.

Many conclusions are based on small clinical studies, so the question remains open and requires further study. The most proven is the damaging effect of smoke on the respiratory system. Persistent dependence syndrome is formed in less than 10% of cases, the use is more often episodic.


The inconsistency of the available data does not give grounds to consider cannabis as a hard drug that poses a danger to society. The consequences of abuse are best seen from the respiratory and nervous systems, but with occasional smoking, there is no direct damaging effect. The relationship with the occurrence of oncological neoplasms has not been proven.

The greatest danger is adolescent drug addiction, since the outcome of pathological addiction is a delay in psychomotor development.

Asocial behavior at school age threatens to switch to heavier psychoactive substances. Most of the side effects are completely reversible if you stop using marijuana in a timely manner. Smoking is strictly prohibited for people with respiratory and cardiovascular insufficiency, as well as in the presence of mental disorders. At the same time, “weed” is effectively used abroad for palliative care for seriously ill people.