Health Risks

Learn About Cannabis 5 Health Risks

What people believe about the health effects of cannabis has been shaped by the press, social media, and influencers. Two decades ago, media narratives and public perception often exaggerated cannabis harm and stigmatized users. With legalization and the increase in communication through social media there has been a shift in people’s beliefs about how cannabis affects health. Many people now hear only about cannabis benefits without understanding the potential risks.

This collection of articles highlights the most important risks of cannabis use, and are based on high-quality research.  We are sharing this information to help Washington State residents better understand how cannabis affects health, and make informed choices about cannabis use, policy, and education.

Cannabis Addiction
Most people who use cannabis don’t get addicted to it or experience harm. However, it’s a myth that cannabis is not addictive. Cannabis addiction, also called Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD), is a condition that impairs social functioning, decision-making, and school/work performance. (ADAI, 2024)

Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome
Learn more about the group of symptoms known medically as Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS). These symptoms include nausea that doesn’t respond to medication, intense vomiting episodes, and abdominal pain. While this syndrome was previously rare, CHS cases have become more common in the last decade. (ADAI, 2024)

The Role of Cannabis in Psychosis and Schizophrenia
Discusses the role of cannabis in the development of psychosis and schizophrenia. It has become increasingly clear that cannabis use contributes to increasing rates of psychotic disorders, earlier symptoms, and poorer treatment outcomes. (ADAI, 2024)

Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis
Driving after using cannabis is a significant public safety concern among Washington residents and voters. This article summarizes some of the current research findings around this important topic. (ADAI, 2024)

Mental Health and Cannabis
Information about studies exploring the link between cannabis use and mental health symptoms. (ADAI, 2024)

The Effects of Smoking Cannabis on the Lungs
Scientists have been concerned about effects of cannabis on the lungs. This article discusses what we know and don’t know about the effects of cannabis smoke. (ADAI, 2024)

Secondhand Cannabis Smoke 
Potential health risks from secondhand cannabis smoke and how it compares to secondhand tobacco smoke.  (ADAI, 2024)

Cannabis and Pregnancy
How cannabis affects pregnancy, infants and fertility. (ADAI, 2024)

Personal Experiences with High-THC Cannabis
On this page you will hear directly from parents, health care providers, and individuals who share how high-THC products have affected their families, their clients, or themselves. (ADAI, 2024)