Daily Pot Smokers Court Health Risks
Study Shows Regular Marijuana Users Have Risk of Respiratory Problems and Psychoses
WebMD News Archive
Marijuana and Health
In the medical literature review, Hall found:
- About 9% of those who ever use marijuana become dependent. But the risk
rises to one in six if use begins in teen years. About 10% of ever-users become
daily users, and 20% or 30% become weekly users.
- Driving after smoking marijuana increases the risk of a motor vehicle
accident by two to three times, research suggests, while driving after drinking
alcohol increases accident risk six to 15 times.
- Symptoms of chronic bronchitis were more commonly reported among regular
marijuana smokers than nonsmokers. The smokers reported wheezing, chronic
cough, and production of sputum.
- Studies looking at a possible link between an increased risk of cancers in
the upper respiratory tract and marijuana use have produced mixed findings,
with some finding a link and others not.
- Marijuana use increases the heart rate, and adults with existing heart
disease may be at higher risk of a heart attack after pot use, some research
- Regular marijuana users, especially if they started at a young age, are
more likely to later use other drugs such as heroin and cocaine, according to
- Regular and heavy pot use has been linked with problems in memory,
attention, and verbal learning, but researchers aren't certain whether those
changes are transient and disappear once marijuana use is stopped.
- The use of marijuana by age 18 is linked with more than a doubling of risk
for a later diagnosis of schizophrenia, according to a large Swedish
- Early marijuana use, before age 15, has been linked with school dropouts.
But researchers are unsure exactly how to explain the association. One
possibility: poor school performance can trigger the pot use, which in turn
makes school performance even worse.
- Smoking pot during pregnancy has been linked with underweight babies, but
there is little evidence it's linked to birth defects.
Avoiding Health Risks of Marijuana
Hall notes that some people are at
greater risk for adverse health effects from smoking marijuana, especially
"young persons under the age of 18 and ... persons with any disease or
condition (for example, pregnancy, cardiovascular or respiratory disease,
mental illness, or other types of substance abuse) which increases their
vulnerability to its adverse effects."