Long-term Consequences of Smoking Marijuana

Long-term consequences, lasting longer than intoxication and cumulative effects of chronic

abuse of smoking marijuana are:

Respiratory Problems:

Many of these are the same as for cigarette smokers. Persistent coughing, symptoms of

bronchitis, and more frequent chest colds are possible symptoms.

Memory and Learning:

Regular marijuana use compromises the ability to learn and to remember information by

impairing the ability to focus, sustain, and shift attention. One study also found that

long-term use reduces the ability to organize and integrate complex information. Marijuana

impairs short-term memory and decreases motivation to accomplish tasks, even after the

high is over.


Long-term marijuana use suppresses the production of hormones that help regulate the

reproductive system. For men, this can cause decreased sperm counts, and very heavy users

can experience erectile dysfunction. Women may experience irregular periods from heavy

marijuana use.


More studies are finding that marijuana has addictive properties. Both animal and human

studies show physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms from marijuana, including

irritability, restlessness, insomnia, nausea, and intense dreams. Tolerance to marijuana also

builds up rapidly. Heavy users need eight times higher doses to get the same effects as

infrequent users. For a small percentage of people who use it, long-term marijuana use can

lead to addiction. It is estimated that 10%-14% of users will become heavily dependent.

#respiratoryproblems #memoryandlearning #fertility #addiction

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