Is weed bad for you? Probably not.
In fact, many health benefits of marijuana point to the fact that it can actually be good for you when used in certain ways.
But, there are a few health concerns people might understandably have. People who wonder, “is smoking weed wrong?” should know that regular cannabis use can come with noticeable though temporary health side effects when smoked.
Also, evidence suggests that children should not have access to weed, just in case it negatively affects brain development.
In truth, there is not enough scientific evidence on either side to definitively support or negate reasons why you should smoke weed. Millions of people do it without serious health consequences, especially when you compare it to other legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco.
Note that many of the negative health impacts that may make you wonder, “is smoking weed wrong?” also only apply to smoking it. Eating marijuana or vaporizing it can reduce the harmful effects on your lungs.
Still not sure? Read on to learn more about the answer to “is weed bad for you?” and some reasons why you should smoke weed without worrying too much about your health.
Can You Overdose on Weed?
There are zero recorded incidents where someone has died from smoking or eating pot.
That’s because the amount of THC needed to make marijuana toxic is 40,000 times greater than the amount needed to make you feel “high.”
Compare that to the painkiller Oxycodone, where just a single 80mg dose can be enough to shut down your breathing functions and cause permanent organ damage.
In fact, even sugar is more toxic than THC. You would need to consume the equivalent of 1.2% of your entire body weight in pure THC to suffer lethal consequences. For an adult weighing 80 kg, they would have to ingest 96 grams of purified THC.
Experts estimate that volume comes out to consuming 1,500 pounds of cured marijuana flowers within 15 minutes, or smoking 30,000 joints with nearly a gram of weed each before you would die. We don’t think anyone can rise to that challenge!
By contrast, the lethal dose of sugar is slightly lower (1,100 mg/kg of body weight). So, if you ate enough pot brownies to try and kill yourself, the sugar and salt would get to you first.
All that said, you can “overdose” on pot in the sense that you feel extreme discomfort and unpleasant side effects. These side effects are worse for people who are not used to consuming cannabis. They most commonly occur in edibles, since people can underestimate how potent a dose is.
The side of effects of consuming too much weed include:
- Physical discomfort
- Feelings of negativity
- A sense of psychedelic dissociation and euphoria
None of these feelings are serious medical concerns (although you may want to vomit if you’ve been combining alcohol and edibles), so individuals experiencing them should just drink water, lie in a comfortable spot and snack on something dry and salty.
Is Weed Bad for Your Lungs?
The first thing people point to when you ask, “is weed bad for you?” is that marijuana smoke is just as bad as tobacco smoke. The answer? Yes and no.
It is true that smoking weed by burning it in a pipe, joint or similar device generates smoke that contains more than just cannabinoids. According to WebMD, “marijuana smoke is also filled with many of the same chemicals as tobacco smoke, including ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, and formaldehyde. Some of these chemicals are known to cause cancer.”
But — and here’s the real paradox — pot also contains chemicals that fight lung cancer. While you may be causing minor damage to your lungs equivalent to being near a smoky campfire, you are also preventing the damage and inflammation associated with cancer.
A handful of studies have concluded that smoking marijuana might lead to a slight increase in risk for lung cancers, but far more studies say that there is no connection whatsoever.
Our personal advice: If you’re worried about lung damage, or wondering, “is smoking weed wrong?” then simply don’t smoke it. Vaporizer devices give you all the active ingredients without burning plant material or butane, so you can enjoy a healthier high from your favorite marijuana strains.
Is Weed Bad for You in Other Ways?
Curious about other common responses to “is weed bad for you?” or reasons why you should smoke weed? Here are some of the more important things health experts are saying:
- THC increases the heart rate for around an hour after smoking, so some studies associate an increased risk of heart attack or stroke among those who smoke weed and have heart health problems. Again, these studies are mostly inconclusive.
- Smoking instead of vaping can lead to short-term lung issues like coughing, wheezing, phlegm production and an increased risk of infection like bronchitis. Don’t smoke when you’re sick!
- The only 100% proven negative health effect of smoking weed? Your gums are smaller. According to recent studies, no consistent health effects other than periodontal (gum) recession was observed, roughly on par with someone who doesn’t floss regularly
- Some studies have shown that smoking weed underage can harm brain development, making you less intelligent and hurting your ability to focus. Most of these studies are poorly controlled, but non-medical patients under 18 should not be smoking marijuana regardless!
- Smoking while pregnant has been connected to low birth weight and an increased likelihood of behavioral problems with children. Again, these studies may be more connected with socioeconomic status than actual health, but pregnant women should avoid marijuana use.
Conclusion: Is Weed Bad For You? Not Really!
The health claims surrounding marijuana can be confusing and contradictory.
On the one hand, there are piles of evidence that marijuana can be used to effectively treat certain conditions. On the other, a few studies have noted a trend between marijuana use and certain negative conditions.
The real problem is that neither type of claim has been proven to the degree needed to consider them a scientific truth. Marijuana relieves pain and it can cause your gums to slightly recede after decades of use. That’s all we really know.
Yet, anecdotal evidence can speak for itself. Thousands of people die every year from serious health consequences from drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco. Not one person has died from pot.
If you eat right, exercise, and take care of your obligations, you are yet another statistic disproving dubiously constructed anti-pot studies.
Go ahead then and follow your own personal reasons of why you should smoke weed, and if you’re worried and wondering, “is smoking weed wrong?” then simply vape it instead! If you aren’t pregnant or under 18, you should have nothing serious to worry about.
Just don’t forget to floss!