Adverse Effects of Cannabis

There are several adverse effects from ingestion of cannabis, and these effects can vary depending upon the method of ingestion, the strength and quantity, the surroundings, and your physical state at the time of ingestion.

Generally speaking, these negative effects are non life threatening and are short lived, but can appear rather intense and unwelcome for the inexperienced user once they occur. An experienced user is less likely to have an adverse effect, chiefly due to previous experience with dosage and usage patterns. The goal is to use cannabis properly as a medication and take caution to not overuse it or ingest too much at one time. Naive or new and inexperienced users need extra precautions so that they receive the proper dose and ingestion technique to avoid a negative side effect.

The adverse effects, if experienced, are generally stronger and longer lasting with ingested edibles rather than inhaled products. In fact, there are quite a few emergency room visits from individuals consuming too high a dose of edibles, chiefly because of it's delayed onset and over consumption, along with the fact that many are inexperienced or first time users.

Nervousness or anxiety is usually quite a common side effect, and this is temporary and should not last longer than 20 minutes to an hour... if this happens try to relax, drink water, get some activity if you can, and ride it out.  It may increase your heart rate, and some consider this adverse, but others beneficial.

Please do not use cannabis if you are under the age of 18, or pregnant, or have a history of an adverse reaction.


As with using any medication, the goal is for the benefit to occur and to outweigh any risks, side effects, or adverse reactions. Please allow for initial use to be under the supervision of your medical provider or another experienced user.  Remember to start with a low dose and go slow in the beginning.

     These side effects include the following:

*mild tachycardia - increase in heart rate

*injected conjunctiva (red eyes)

*dry mouth - xerostomia

*short term memory impairment

*relaxation and sleepiness

*sedation and tiredness


*increased appetite

*alteration of time perception

*increased sensory perception

*feeling of anxiety or panic like attacks

*dysphoria feeling of detachment

Treatment for any negative side effects include palliative care and rarely require pharmaceutical involvement.  What is a negative side effect for some can be a desired effect for others. Mostly these adverse effects can be related exclusively to the over dosage of THC in the cannabis, as other ingredients are generally well tolerated.

Usually the best treatment is to provide  a quiet relaxing environment with reassurance that the patient is fine, and that the effects will wear off quickly. One technique is to drink 16 ounces or more of water, then get some activity to help wear it off faster.  Also, the ingestion of CBD tablets or tinctures can also act to combat excessive THC, as well as peppercorns placed under the tongue.

In most cases, just be patient for several minutes and let your body return to normal. Do not visit the emergency room unless your crisis goes unresolved after a reasonable period of time. Most adverse effects can occur with edibles, dabbing, or vaping too high of an amount of THC too rapidly, but can occur at low doses for new or sensitive users.