What are the side effects of marijuana on your body?

If you've noticed yourself feeling a bit unmotivated lately, maybe it s time to ask yourself could it be the weed?

There are a lot of different negative long-term and short-term side effects of marijuana on both the mind and the body. How bad these negative effects are depends on many things, including how much you use are how often you use it. Also, the younger you are when you first start using cannabis, the more likely you are to experience some of its negative effects. So, if you want to know what the side effects of smoking marijuana are, it s important to be aware of the following physical effects on the body:

Side effects of marijuana: respiratory illness

Did you used to be athletic but now find yourself wheezing as you jog? Smoking will do that to you! Smoking cannabis especially when combined with tobacco increases your risk of developing cancer and respiratory diseases such as asthma and emphysema, and is one of the main long-term side effects of smoking weed. While you might think bongs are less harmful think again! In fact the way people smoke bongs means that you actually inhale more of the toxic tar into your lungs than you do when you re smoking a joint!

Side effects of marijuana: poorer motor skills

If you like your sport, you ll know that being able to throw, catch and react are very important skills. One of the side effects of smoking weed is a decreased sporting performance, as smoking weed lowers your coordination, motor skills and reaction time. Decreased motor skills and reaction times is also the reason why smoking weed and driving is a really dangerous combo.

Side effects of marijuana: Getting the munchies

Ever heard of the munchies? Smoking weed makes you hungry! While scientists do know that one of the side effects of smoking weed is that people prefer sweet rather than savoury foods when they re stoned, research to find out why this is the case is in early stages. What it means though, is that if you smoke and get the munchies regularly, you can potentially affect your body mass and nutrition. Yep, getting an attack of the munchies too often could make you fat!

If you d like some more info on how cannabis can affect you, check out our other Marijuana Facts, our YouTube channel, follow us on Facebook, or take part in one of our competitions (with some good cash prizes up for grabs). If you think you or a friend might have a problem with cannabis and need help, check out our Get Help page or call the helpline on 1800 30 40 50. You can also get some more in-depth answers to all your cannabis questions on our factsheets page.

*Please note that the terms marijuana , cannabis , weed and pot are used interchangeably in these fast facts, and all refer to the illegal drug, cannabis, unless otherwise specified.