Comment le cannabis affecte-t-il notre santé?

How does cannabis affect our health?

Apr 26, 2023Manu N.

Cannabis is a plant that has long attracted keen interest for its psychoactive and medicinal properties. Today, the legalization of cannabis in certain countries is relaunching the debate on its effects on health, its benefits and its risks. In this article, we will look specifically at how cannabis affects our health.

Definition of cannabis

Cannabis, also known as hemp or marijuana, is a flowering plant that belongs to the Cannabaceae family.

The main psychoactive component of cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), responsible for the "high" effects experienced by consumers.

Cannabis also contains other chemical compounds, such as cannabidiol ( CBD ), which is non-psychoactive and has therapeutic properties.

Brief History of Cannabis Use

The use of cannabis dates back thousands of years. The first traces of its use date from 2,500 to 10,000 BC. BC in Central Asia and Southeast Asia.

It was mainly used for its medicinal properties, its fibers for the manufacture of textiles and ropes, as well as for its seeds, sources of proteins and essential fatty acids.

Over the centuries, cannabis has spread throughout the world, where it has been used for medical, recreational and spiritual purposes.

Short-term effects of cannabis on the body and brain

When a person uses cannabis, the short-term effects can vary depending on the dose, method of consumption, and individual sensitivity. Here are some of the most common physical and psychological effects:

Physical effects

  1. Increased heart rate : Cannabis can cause a temporary increase in heart rate, which can last from a few minutes to several hours. This increase may be more pronounced in people with pre-existing heart conditions.

  2. Dry Mouth : Cannabis use can lead to dry mouth, commonly known as “cotton mouth” or “pasty mouth.” This unpleasant feeling is due to the decrease in saliva production.

  3. Redness of the eyes : Red eyes are a common side effect of cannabis use, caused by the dilation of blood vessels in the eyes.

  4. Decreased motor coordination : Cannabis can affect motor coordination and balance, which can make it difficult to perform certain physical tasks and increase the risk of accidents.

  5. Drowsiness : Consumption of cannabis can cause drowsiness, especially if the strain consumed is rich in CBD, a non-psychoactive compound with relaxing and anxiolytic properties.

Psychological effects

  1. Euphoria : One of the most well-known effects of cannabis is euphoria, or "high", which mainly comes from the presence of THC. This sensation may be accompanied by a feeling of relaxation and improved mood.

  2. Anxiety : Paradoxically, cannabis can also cause anxiety in some people, especially if they are predisposed to anxiety disorders. The dose and strain consumed can influence this effect.

  3. Paranoia : In some cases, cannabis use can lead to feelings of paranoia and excessive distrust of others. This effect is usually temporary and disappears when the effects of cannabis wear off.

  4. Impaired short-term memory : Cannabis can affect short-term memory, making it difficult to recall recent information. This effect is usually temporary and disappears when the effects of cannabis wear off.

  5. Altered perception of time : Cannabis use can alter the perception of time, making time appear to pass slower or faster. This phenomenon is usually temporary and disappears when the effects of cannabis wear off.

Long-term effects of cannabis on the body and brain

Cannabis use can have long-term effects on physical and mental health. Understanding these effects is essential to making an informed decision about cannabis use.

Physical effects

Aside from the potential benefits, cannabis use can also cause long-term physical effects. Here are some of these effects:

  1. Respiratory problems : Consuming cannabis through inhalation can cause respiratory problems similar to those caused by smoking, such as chronic bronchitis, respiratory tract irritation, and an increased risk of lung infections.

  2. Cardiovascular risks : Regular cannabis use may increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart failure and stroke.

  3. Reproductive Health Risks : Cannabis can affect fertility in both men and women. In men, it can reduce sperm production and motility, while in women it can disrupt the menstrual cycle and affect fertility.

Psychological effects

Cannabis use can also have long-term psychological effects, including:

  1. Risks of addiction : Although cannabis is often considered less addictive than other substances, regular and prolonged use can lead to dependence. Around 9% of cannabis users will develop an addiction, a figure that increases among people who started using cannabis as teenagers.

  2. Risks of psychiatric disorders : Regular cannabis use has been associated with an increased risk of developing psychiatric disorders, such as depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. This risk is particularly high in people with a family history of psychiatric disorders or who started using cannabis at a young age.

  3. Risks of cognitive impairment : Regular cannabis use can affect cognitive functions, such as memory, attention, decision-making and problem-solving. These effects may be particularly pronounced in people who used cannabis during adolescence, when the brain is still developing.

In conclusion, weighing the benefits and risks associated with cannabis use is crucial to making an informed decision.

Responsible use and consideration of physical and mental health, legal and social risks can help minimize the potential negative effects of cannabis.

Benefits and risks associated with cannabis use

Cannabis use can have health benefits and risks. It is important to weigh these factors to make an informed decision about cannabis use.


Cannabis has been used medicinally for centuries due to its therapeutic properties. Here are some of the potential benefits associated with cannabis use:

  1. Chronic Pain Relief : Cannabis can be effective in relieving chronic pain, especially when associated with conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and migraine.

  2. Reduction of anxiety and depression : Certain cannabis compounds, such as CBD, have anxiolytic and antidepressant properties that may help reduce anxiety and depression in some people.

  3. Appetite enhancement : Cannabis may stimulate the appetite in people with eating disorders, chronic illnesses, or medical treatments (such as chemotherapy) that cause a loss of appetite.

  4. Reducing symptoms of muscle spasticity : Cannabis may help reduce symptoms of muscle spasticity, such as spasms and involuntary contractions, in people with multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and other neurological conditions.


Despite these potential benefits, cannabis use also carries risks to health and well-being.

  1. Physical and mental health risks : As previously mentioned, cannabis use can lead to pulmonary, cardiovascular, reproductive health problems, as well as psychiatric, cognitive and addiction disorders.

  2. Legal risks : Cannabis use is illegal in many countries and jurisdictions. People who use cannabis face legal risks, such as fines, arrest or jail time.

  3. Social risks : Cannabis use can also lead to social difficulties, such as stigma, discrimination and relationship problems. It is important to take these risks into account when deciding to consume cannabis.

How to minimize health risks

It is possible to minimize the health risks associated with cannabis use by practicing responsible consumption and taking certain additional precautions.

Responsible consumption

To minimize the health risks associated with cannabis use, it is important to use it responsibly.

  1. Proper Dosage : Choosing the right dosage is essential to avoid the unwanted effects of cannabis. The optimal dose varies from person to person, so it is important to start with a low dose and gradually adjust based on the effects you experience.

  2. Avoid regular use : Frequent use of cannabis can increase health risks. It is recommended to limit consumption to one-off occasions to reduce the risk of dependence and long-term health effects.

  3. Avoid use at a young age : The effects of cannabis on the developing brain can be particularly detrimental. It is therefore important to avoid cannabis use before adulthood.

Other ways to minimize risks

In addition to responsible consumption, there are other ways to reduce the health risks associated with cannabis use.

  1. Consumption of medical cannabis under medical supervision : If you use cannabis for medicinal purposes, it is important to do so under the supervision of a healthcare professional. This helps ensure that treatment is tailored to your needs and that health risks are minimized.

  2. Avoid using cannabis with other substances : Using cannabis in combination with other substances, such as alcohol or other drugs, can increase health risks. It is best to consume cannabis alone to avoid potential side effects.

  3. Avoid driving under the influence of cannabis : Cannabis use can impair motor coordination, concentration and responsiveness, increasing the risk of traffic accidents. It is important not to drive under the influence of cannabis to ensure the safety of all road users.

Conclusion on how does cannabis affect our health?

Cannabis use can have both beneficial and harmful effects on health, both in the short and long term. It is essential to take these effects into account when deciding whether or not to use cannabis.

Importance of responsible consumption

As previously mentioned, adopting responsible cannabis use is crucial to minimizing health risks. This includes choosing the right dosage, avoiding regular consumption, and not consuming at a young age. It is also important not to mix cannabis with other substances and not to drive under its influence.

Call for awareness and education on the risks and benefits of cannabis

It is crucial to raise awareness and educate people about the potential risks and benefits associated with cannabis use. Awareness efforts should include information about the medicinal effects of cannabis, as well as physical and mental health risks, legal risks, and social risks.

Additionally, healthcare professionals should be trained to advise patients on the appropriate use of cannabis for medical purposes and to monitor the effects of its use. Governments and health organizations should also support research into the benefits and risks of cannabis, to inform public policy and medical recommendations.

In summary, cannabis use can have both beneficial and harmful effects on short- and long-term health. Responsible consumption and increased awareness of the risks and benefits of cannabis are essential to minimizing potential negative health effects and maximizing medicinal benefits for those who need them.

Cannabis FAQ:

What are cannabinoids in the cannabis plant?

Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant that are responsible for its effects on the body and mind. The best-known cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

For what purpose can cannabis be used for agricultural and industrial purposes?

Cannabis is a very versatile plant that can be used for agricultural and industrial purposes. Hemp, a variety of cannabis, is used to produce fibers, textiles, ropes, paper, construction materials, cosmetics, food products and biofuels.

What is psychotropic and recreational use of cannabis?

Psychotropic and recreational use of cannabis involves consuming the plant for recreational purposes or for its psychoactive effects. Users can smoke, vaporize, eat or drink cannabis to experience effects such as euphoria, relaxation, creativity, altered perception and cognition.

What is the medicinal and medical use of cannabis?

The medicinal and medicinal use of cannabis involves using the plant to treat medical conditions and symptoms, such as chronic pain, anxiety, nausea, seizures, and muscle spasms. Specific cannabis compounds, such as CBD, have potential therapeutic properties.

What is the difference between CBD and cannabis?

CBD is one of several chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant, while cannabis refers to the plant itself. CBD is non-psychoactive and can be used therapeutically, while cannabis is often used recreationally and psychoactively.

What is cannabis stem?

Stemmed cannabis is a variety of cannabis that contains high levels of fiber and cellulose, making it ideal for the production of textiles, ropes and other industrial materials.

What is the difference between cannabis and tobacco?

Cannabis is a plant that contains psychoactive cannabinoids, while tobacco is a plant that contains nicotine. Cannabis is often consumed recreationally, while tobacco is often consumed in the form of cigarettes.

What is the difference between cannabis and hemp?

Cannabis and hemp are two varieties of the same plant, Cannabis sativa. Cannabis is high in THC and is often used recreationally, while hemp is high in fiber and is often used industrially.

What is the difference between cannabis and alcohol?

Cannabis is a plant that contains psychoactive cannabinoids, while alcohol is a substance that contains ethanol. Cannabis is often consumed recreationally, while alcohol is often consumed as an alcoholic beverage. The health effects and risks associated with the consumption of these two substances are different.

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