Risks and Side Effects of Using Cannabis | THC and CBD

Published: Nov 14, 2022 | Revised: May 2, 2024
Edited by: Marce Ferreira

Risks and Side Effects of Using Cannabis | THC and CBD

Below we summarize the possible risks and side effects of using CBD (Cannabidiol) and/or THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), that is, specifically of the sought-after compounds found in Cannabis plants.

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The risks and effects apply to the different forms of intake of Cannabis, such as topically, orally, or via inhalation.

Mind that some effects of Cannabis use may be structural and irreversible, but others seize to exist or diminish after a while when the use of CBD or THC is stopped.

Moreover, effects and risks vary widely, and depend very much on the individual person, the amount and frequency of doses taken, the way of consumption, and the specific mix of THC and CBD.

Below we first enumerate the risks and side effects of CBD, followed by those of THC.

Risks and Side Effects of CBD

  • CBD can cause liver injury;
  • CBD can affect how other drugs you are taking work/react, which can cause harmful side effects;
  • Using CBD with alcohol or other drugs that slow brain activity, such as those used to treat anxiety, panic, stress, or sleep disorders, increases the risk of sedation and drowsiness, which can lead to injuries;
  • CBD may affect the male reproductive function, that is, fertility, or even affect the male children of females who have been exposed to CBD;
  • CBD can cause changes in alertness, typically drowsiness, fatigue, light headedness or sleepiness, or even the opposite, that is, insomnia;
  • CBD can cause gastrointestinal distress, such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, an upset stomach, and/or decreased appetite;
  • CBD can cause a dry mouth;
  • CBD can cause low blood pressure;
  • CBD can cause changes in mood, such as irritability, nervousness, and agitation.

Risks and Side Effects of THC

  • THC can lead to a dry mouth;
  • THC can cause tremors;
  • THC can cause excessive appetite;
  • THC can have intoxication effects, such as disorientation, paranoia, confusion, anxiety, and dizziness;
  • THC can increase heart rate;
  • THC can cause temporary loss of balance;
  • THC can cause lung damage (when inhaled);
  • THC can affect short-term memory;
  • THC can be (psychologically) addictive and produce withdrawal effects when not used;
  • THC can cause panic attacks, psychosis, hallucinations, and hospitalization (when taken in high doses);
  • THC can cause loss of consciousness.

And Finally

In a more general sense, there are many aspects around CBD and THC use that are not yet known. Think of effects of sustained use over longer periods of time, the specific dose to take for certain health conditions, effects of different methods of intake (topical, inhalation, etc.), effects on brain development of adults, children, and newborns, effects on pregnant women, and the interaction of CBD and THC with other herbs and drugs.

We advise you to always contact a professional healthcare provider before starting to use Cannabis products.

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