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Know the Health Effects of MARIJUANA

It's a good idea to be aware of some of the effects marijuana can have on your health. If you have any questions about it, your doctor can be a great resource.

Respiratory/Lung Issues

Marijuana smoke irritates the lungs. People who smoke marijuana daily or near-daily may have a daily cough, bronchitis, mucus and wheezing. Marijuana smoke contains many of the same cancer-causing chemicals as tobacco smoke. Heavy marijuana smoking is strongly associated with tissue damage in the airways of your lungs. We need more research to determine if this tissue damage increases the likelihood of developing lung cancer.

Mental Health

Daily or near-daily use of marijuana can damage your memory. Marijuana, especially in high doses, can cause temporary psychosis (not knowing what is real, hallucinations and paranoia) while you are high.

Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand smoke from marijuana has many of the same cancer-causing chemicals as secondhand smoke from tobacco. That means you shouldn’t smoke around children, pregnant women, or anyone who doesn’t want to be exposed to secondhand smoke.


It is possible to become dependent on marijuana. Increased quantity and frequency of use are linked to developing dependence. Being male and smoking cigarettes are both risk factors for developing problem use. Presence of major depressive disorders increases risk for dependence. Talk to your provider to get confidentially connected to treatment options.

Youth Health Consequences

It can be harmful for youth to use marijuana. Visit our Youth Health Consequences page for more information.