Is Cannabis Safe? Potential Health Threats

The short-term health threats seem to be non-existing, so far and the long-term health risks vary, mainly by age.


When we look at the potential health threats of any prescription medication, we must always evaluate the health of the individual that it is prescribed to. Cannabis is the same in this sense, and while it doesn’t pose many health threats to an individual with relatively good health, it could possibly worsen problems for those who suffer from diseases that react to changes in the endocannabinoid system.

Keep in mind the endocannabinoid system is found throughout the entire body, having cannabinoid receptors in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. This means that wherever an endocannabinoid receptor is located, cannabis can influence it, and any disease linked to this system will be affected by cannabis. Whether that reaction between cannabis and the disease is negative or positive remains to be clinically evaluated and fully understood, but here’s what we’ve come to understand thus far.

The short-term health threats seem to be non-existing, so far. Upon consuming, one might experience dry mouth, bloodshot eyes, an increase or decrease in appetite, a bit of short-term memory impairment, either slight lethargy or even a jump in energy, as well as more rare but more serious symptoms such as anxiety, paranoia, increased heart rate, dizziness, or headache. While these symptoms slowly but surely go away on their own as the high from cannabis wears off, it may alarm someone that already suffers from one of these symptoms by worsening it. In these cases, the only remedy is to wait and allow the high wear off, subsequently followed by reevaluating the dose or whether cannabis is a choice treatment option.

Long-term health risks vary, mainly by age. As we grow, a lot of physical and biochemical changes occur in the body, and they are dependent upon each stage in life. If we begin consuming at a young age, around puberty, there’s an increased risk of altered brain development, psychological addiction, bronchitis if the plant is smoked, possible bone-loss, and even possible psychiatric disorders. The last risk of developing a psychiatric disorder seems to only occur in persons with a predisposition to them.

However, adults that begin consumption should pay attention to the health issues they are already facing. If you have a heart condition, keep in mind cannabis often does increase heart rate. If you have a lung condition, it’s far safer to take cannabis as an edible rather than smoking it. If you knowingly have a predisposition to psychiatric disorders, you may want to stay away from the plant. It all depends on the individual and what is being treated as well as what symptoms you don’t want worsened.

Otherwise, the best way to steer clear from the notion that cannabis causes lung cancer is by consuming edibles. Any condition associated with the lungs, bronchial tubes, and mouth are mostly due to the smoke and fire-hot air we inhale rather than the plant itself.