How is eating and drinking foods that contain marijuana (edibles) different from smoking marijuana?
Because marijuana contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), there are health risks associated with using marijuana regardless of how it is used. Some of these negative effects include having difficulty thinking and problem-solving, having problems with memory, learning and maintaining attention and demonstrating impaired coordination. Additionally, frequent use can lead to becoming addicted to marijuana. However, some risks may differ in the way it is used.
Smoke from marijuana contains many of the same toxins, irritants, and carcinogens as tobacco smoke. Smoking marijuana can lead to a greater risk of bronchitis, cough, and phlegm production. Whereas, edibles, which take longer to digest, take longer to produce an effect. Therefore, people may consume more to feel the effects faster. This may lead to people consuming very high doses and result in negative effects like anxiety, paranoia and, in rare cases, an extreme psychotic reaction (e.g. delusions, hallucinations, talking incoherently, and agitation).
What are the effects of mixing marijuana with alcohol, tobacco or prescription drugs?
Using alcohol and marijuana at the same time is likely to result in greater impairment than when using either one alone. Using marijuana and tobacco at the same time may also lead to increased exposure to harmful chemicals, causing greater risks to the lungs, and the cardiovascular system.
Also, be aware that marijuana may change how prescription drugs work. Always talk with your doctor about any medications you are taking or thinking about taking and possible side effects when mixed with other things like marijuana.
What are the health risks of using marijuana?
For more on the health risks and effects of marijuana visit CDC’s web page on marijuana and health effects.
How do I know if I am addicted to marijuana?
Some of the signs that someone might be addicted to marijuana include:
- Trying but failing to quit using marijuana.
- Giving up important activities with friends and family in favor of using marijuana.
- Using marijuana even when it is known that it causes problems at home, school, or work.
Compared to marijuana users who are not addicted, people who are addicted to marijuana are at a higher risk of the negative consequences of using the drug, such as problems with attention, memory, and learning. For more information visit CDC’s section on addiction or the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s pages on addiction science.External