What Are the Side Effects of Smoking Marijuana?

Everyone knows that cannabis will provoke a sense of euphoria (translation: “get you high”), but like any good thing, that sensation can come with a few side effects. But decades of misinformation have left a lot of people confused about what, exactly, those are. So what are the side effects of smoking weed?

For the most part, the side effects of weed are rather mild and almost all are entirely harmless in the long run. Let’s take a look.

The Side Effects of Smoking Weed

There are nine common side effects to smoking marijuana:

  • Dry Mouth

The most common, and the most correctable. It's important to stay hydrated before, during, and after you smoke. Gum is another way to combat dry mouth and encourage your salivary glands to do their thing.  

  • Dizziness

Another commonly reported effect is dizziness, especially among new smokers. But this tends to go away with repeat use. 

  • Increased Appetite

We’ve all heard of the munchies, and while this won’t help you if you’re on a diet, people who are coping with appetite loss due to chemotherapy often benefit from this effect.

  • Memory Impairment

Short-term memory loss is a common occurrence, and studies have shown that it may be more severe in adolescent smokers. But for most long-time stoners, a few lapses in memory pose no major deterrent. 

  • Loss of Motivation

Smoking weed can make you lazy, period. But there are also many highly motivated people who are also daily smokers. It really depends on the individual. 

  • Depression

While weed can combat depression, frequent cannabis use can be a sign of depression to come. There is some question about whether this is caused by weed itself, or if people who tend to experience depression are also just more likely to self-medicate. 

  • Paranoia

Paranoia has long been associated with weed, and while studies have certainly shown smoking can cause it, we know that THC doesn’t physically cause anxiety. Researchers have theorized that paranoia is the byproduct of the unusual mental state brought on by cannabis.

  • Withdrawal symptoms

Roughly 40% of regular smokers who try to quit report experiencing symptoms like irritability, loss of appetite, and difficulty sleeping. While the jury isn’t in on what exactly causes these effects, they are all strong indicators of withdrawal.

  • Lung Problems

Inhaling any kind of smoke into your lungs is going to come with risks, such as bronchitis, wheezing, or coughing. To combat this, doctors recommend using a vaporizer. 


Right now, cannabis can only be legally purchased through dispensaries or online retailers, but that could change if a group representing corner stores across America gets its way. The lobbying arm of the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) is preparing to fight for the ability of their members to sell weed once it becomes federally legal in America. NACS doesn't have support for federal cannabis policy reform on their official agenda, but that doesn't mean they don't want a piece of the pie if the industry is legalized nationwide.

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