Cannabis use: Health benefits and risks you need to know

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Cannabis is a plant that has been used for medicinal and recreational purposes for thousands of years.

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the health benefits and risks of cannabis use, particularly in light of the increasing legalization of cannabis in various parts of the world.

In this review, we will explore the potential health benefits and risks of cannabis use.

Health Benefits of Cannabis

Pain Relief

One of the most commonly cited health benefits of cannabis use is pain relief.

Cannabis contains chemicals called cannabinoids, which interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system to reduce pain and inflammation.

Medical cannabis has been shown to be effective in treating chronic pain associated with conditions such as multiple sclerosis, neuropathy, and arthritis.

Mental Health

Cannabis has been shown to have potential mental health benefits. THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, has been shown to have anti-anxiety and anti-depressant effects in some people.

CBD, another cannabinoid found in cannabis, has been shown to have anti-psychotic effects and may be effective in treating conditions such as schizophrenia.


Medical cannabis has been shown to be effective in treating seizures in people with epilepsy. In fact, the FDA has approved a cannabis-derived medication, Epidiolex, for the treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy.

Nausea and Vomiting

Cannabis has been shown to be effective in reducing nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy treatment.

Health Risks of Cannabis


One of the biggest risks associated with cannabis use is the potential for addiction.

Cannabis use disorder (CUD) affects approximately 9% of people who use cannabis, and it can have negative impacts on a person’s health, relationships, and ability to function in daily life.

Impaired Driving

Cannabis use can impair a person’s ability to drive, making it a risk to public safety.

In fact, a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that cannabis use was associated with an increased risk of car accidents.

Mental Health

While cannabis may have potential mental health benefits, it can also have negative effects on mental health.

THC can cause anxiety and paranoia, and it may exacerbate symptoms of conditions such as schizophrenia.

Cannabis use has also been associated with an increased risk of developing depression and anxiety disorders.

Respiratory Problems

Smoking cannabis can lead to respiratory problems, such as chronic bronchitis and lung cancer. However, the risk of developing these conditions may be lower for cannabis smokers than for tobacco smokers.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Cannabis use during pregnancy and breastfeeding can have negative effects on fetal development and infant health.

Cannabis use during pregnancy has been associated with a higher risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, and developmental problems in the child.


While there are potential health benefits associated with cannabis use, there are also risks that need to be considered.

For some people, cannabis may be a safe and effective treatment for certain conditions, but for others, it may do more harm than good.

It is important for individuals to consult with their healthcare provider before using cannabis for medicinal purposes, and for policymakers to ensure that cannabis use is regulated in a way that minimizes harm to individuals and society as a whole.

If you care about cannabis, please read studies that CBD from cannabis may inhibit COVID-19, and cannabis linked to 3-times higher death risk in high blood pressure.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about gum disease linked to impaired lung function, and results showing new drug combo could improve survival in lung cancer.

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