Since cannabis became legal on October 17, have you wondered about the side effects of weed? Specifically with regard to yourself and your own experiences, or alternatively, in response to others’ inquiries?
Put broadly, the flowers and chemical compounds of a cannabis plant are used for their effects on the mind and body. They’re used for medicinal and recreational purposes alike, and have been lauded for their relief of anxiety, pain, and their impact on the medical industry.
The side effects of cannabis use often depend on the person – cannabis affects all of us differently. Before you use cannabis, it’s important that you understand–as with any medicine–that there are risks of adverse side effects.
In the interest of our safety-first approach to cannabis, here are a few key side effects you need to know about before you use cannabis, originally outlined on Canada.ca:
- Cannabis can impair your ability to safely drive or operate large machinery.
- Cannabis can affect your short-term memory and ability to learn new things.
- Cannabis can affect your mood, feelings, and mental health.
As you read, keep in mind that these side effects are attributed to THC-heavy cannabis.
Side effect 1: Anxiety and paranoia
While THC can relieve anxiety in small doses (for instance, you can use THC edibles), your risk of increased anxiety or paranoia goes up with your dose. For those genetically predisposed to anxiety, cannabis can have a more adverse side effect.
Side effect 2: Increased hunger
Cannabis specifically stimulates the parts of your brain that have to do with hunger, which may leave you feeling a little peckish.
Side effect 3: Dry mouth or eyes
Also known as “cotton mouth”, cannabis can make your mouth feel dry and sticky. This is due to your saliva glands’ response to cannabis in your bloodstream.
You may also experience dry or red eyes. This is because cannabis can lower your blood pressure, causing the blood vessels in your eyes to dilate, of which can make your eyes appear red or irritated.
Side effect 4: Lethargy
Cannabis that’s high in THC can cause you to feel increased lethargy, particularly if you prefer indica strains. These strains have been known to have sedative effects and are recommended for nighttime use.