How can using cannabis affect my health?
Cannabis that is not prescribed by a health care provider may not be a good fit for everyone. Our teachings inform us about respecting powerful substances and how anything taken too far can hurt or harm us, our families and our relationships.
Cannabis affects everyone differently. Many people who use cannabis socially say it helps them relax and increases their sense of well-being. Research has shown that cannabis can help relieve pain, nausea and muscle problems associated with some medical conditions, but this varies from person to person. For some people, cannabis has also been shown to encourage appetite when experiencing weight loss due to HIV/AIDS or cancer treatment.
On the other hand, some people feel anxious after using cannabis and may even have panic attacks, which can cause them to withdraw from others. They may also have a hard time remembering things for several hours after using cannabis. The impacts to a person's mental health and wellness can be short-lived or potentially long-lasting depending on factors such having a family history of serious and persistent mental illness or a history of trauma.
Be aware of the health risks
Some of the risks associated with using cannabis include:
• Driving or operating machinery while under the influence of cannabis is dangerous and illegal.
• Working while under the influence of cannabis can affect the quality of your work and increases the risk of work-related accidents, injury and even death.
• If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, using cannabis in any form can negatively impact your baby. Evidence shows that THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, can pass through the mother to the developing fetus or through breastmilk to the baby.
• Engaging in high-risk sexual behaviour while using cannabis may result in sexually-transmitted infections (STI). You may also experience regret because you may not have engaged in this behaviour if you had been clearheaded.
• Cannabis smoke can damage your lungs, similar to cigarette smoke. This smoke contains toxins and over time smoking cannabis can increase the risk of breathing problems, such as coughing and shortness of breath, and may also increase the risk of lung cancer.