What are the effects of cannabis use?

The immediate short-term effects of illicit cannabis use may include: 

  • a feeling of well-being
  • talkativeness
  • drowsiness
  • loss of inhibitions
  • decreased nausea
  • increased appetite
  • loss of coordination
  • bloodshot eyes
  • dryness of the eyes, mouth and throat
  • anxiety and paranoia.

There is limited research on the long-term effects of illicit cannabis use. Available evidence indicates that probable adverse effects include: 

  • memory problems
  • impaired learning abilities
  • decreased motivation
  • poorer concentration.

Smoking cannabis (either alone or in combination with tobacco) may additionally give rise to respiratory problems, including coughing and phlegm, chronic bronchitis, and cancer. There is also concern about links between cannabis use and mental health disorders, and the risk of dependence.

Source: Adapted from the DrugInfo (2018) and Alcohol and Drug Foundation (2018) websites.