When smoked or vaporized, the effects of marijuana can be felt in seconds or minutes. When ingested orally, effects can be felt in as little as half an hour. The primary effects of cannabis are felt due to the chemical compounds in the plant, in particular, cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
There is currently much debate regarding the long-term side effects of marijuana use. Many studies have concluded that there are no negative long-term side effects of using cannabis.
However, other studies have shown just the opposite.
Chronic, long-term cannabis use may lead to negative side effects such as depression, short-term memory loss, and changes in brain development for adolescents. It is not yet clear which claims are true, but as more and more research into cannabis is approved, answers will become clearer. It may also be true that the long-term side effects of cannabis use vary greatly from person to person.
While the long-term negative side effects of cannabis are basically still unknown, there are many short-term side effects that are commonly experienced by many cannabis users. Here is a quick list of some of the minor negative side effects you might experience when using marijuana:
Dry mouth is possibly the most commonly experienced side effect of smoking cannabis. It is quite simply a feeling of reduced moisture in the mouth and is often an unpleasant or uncomfortable experience. This side-effect disappears within a couple of hours and can be avoided by staying hydrated and drinking water while using cannabis. Cough drops and hard candies are also often used to alleviate dry mouth.
Paranoia is occasionally cited as a side effect of using cannabis, especially when too much has been consumed by an inexperienced user. These feelings can be described as feelings of panic, anxiety, or fear and usually go away as the effects of the cannabis subside. Some cannabis users report feeling paranoia more frequently than others.
Hunger, or an increased desire to eat, is a common effect of marijuana use. Often referred to as “the munchies,” this increased appetite can be perceived as a negative side effect for some. However, the appetite-enhancing effects of cannabis are also often used in medical treatment to increase nutrition intake.
Perhaps the most stereotypical side effect of cannabis use, this simply occurs due to drying out of the eyes and reddening of blood vessels.
In extreme cases (generally when too much has been consumed), cannabis can cause extreme nausea and even vomiting. These cases are rare and usually attributed to over-consumption.