Are there side effects of cannabis? When one thinks of cannabis, most people think of the psychoactive effect caused by the active ingredients in marijuana or weed. It is also well known that people use medicinal cannabis to combat acute or chronic pain, such as in the treatment of cancer.
But when used recreationally, do people ever consider the negative effects of cannabis? Although scientific research shows that there have been no deaths as a direct result of cannabis use, and the risks of cannabis are relatively mild, unpleasant side effects can occur for some people. We list the 5 most common side effects here.
If you use marijuana regularly, you probably will be familiar with the first side effect: dry mouth. This side effect occurs especially when smoking a joint and when using cannabis with a high THC concentration.
Why is this? Dry mouth occurs when the THC binds to receptors in the glands that produce saliva. THC then causes less saliva to be produced, giving you a dry mouth. The lower the dose of THC is, the less intense the “dry mouth feeling” is.
When you smoke a joint or eat an edible, cannabis raises your blood pressure. Thus, blood is pumped through your body with a higher pressure the moment you are high or stoned. As a result, more blood ends up in blood vessels through which normally less blood flows.
You can clearly see this in your eyes. Do you have red bloodshot eyes? Then you are dealing with a side effect of cannabis. If the bloodshot eyes really bother you, you can use eye drops to reduce irritation.
You know the feeling: you’ve just smoked a joint, and the next thing you know, you’re going through the cupboard looking for something to eat. You don’t really care what it is; the strangest combinations suddenly taste like a 5-star dinner. This well-known experience is called the munchies.
THC is mainly responsible for the increased appetite. It interacts with the endocannabinoid system, triggering the “feeling of hunger”. However, if you use CBD exclusively, such as for medicinal purposes, you will not be affected by this.
Another well-known side effect of cannabis is nausea and vomiting. You may have experienced a bad trip, or accidentally taken too high a dose of cannabis, after which you began to feel unwell. This side effect occurs mostly in users who are experimenting with the dosage of THC, and the method of ingestion.
If you have already taken the high dose of THC, all you can do is wait for the cannabis to wear off. Be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Headaches and dizziness
Have you ingested more cannabis than your body is used to? Or does the cannabis have a high THC content? Then you may also experience headaches or dizziness.
These side effects are more likely to occur when smoking a joint. However, if you eat an edible, the side effects take longer to appear and may last longer.
The severity of side effects
Not everyone experiences side effects. However, if side effects do occur, in most cases they are mild and diminish within a few hours with the high.
Still, it is possible for stronger side effects to occur when using cannabis with a high THC content. Whether a person suffers side effects, and how strongly a person suffers side effects, depends on a number of factors in addition to the weed, including THC tolerance, gender, and other body characteristics.
For most people, using cannabis and the high that comes with it is a pleasant experience. Still, it is important to be aware of potential risks so you can recognize them in time and limit the dose of THC.
Want to know more?
Do you have more questions about the side effects of cannabis? Or are you curious which dose and strain of cannabis suits you best? Then stop by and speak to one of our experts at The Border. We are located at the edge of the Amsterdamse Bos, between Amsterdam and Amstelveen!