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Is Smoking Cannabis Safe

Is Smoking Cannabis Safe? All You Need to Know

Cannabis is a plant-based drug that can be smoked, eaten, or vaped. There are various forms of cannabis, including weed, skunk, hash, cannabis oil, and concentrated forms like ‘dab’ or ‘shatter’. Cannabis has a distinct musky, sweet smell, and its taste can vary depending on the type. Smoking cannabis in the UK is often done by mixing it with Tobacco and rolling it into a joint or spliff. However, smoking cannabis with Tobacco increases the risk of nicotine dependence. It’s important to note that the effects of cannabis can vary greatly depending on factors such as the individual, the strain, the amount consumed, and the method of consumption.

Key Takeaways:

  • Cannabis comes in different forms, including flower, hash, cannabis oil, and concentrated forms like ‘dab’ or ‘shatter’.
  • The effects of cannabis can vary from person to person and depend on factors such as the strain, cannabinoid content (THC and CBD levels), terpene content, dosage, and frequency of use.
  • Smoking can have various physical health risks, including respiratory issues, increased risk of lung cancer, and negative impacts on heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Smoking cannabis can also impact mental health, including motivation, memory, mood, and sleep patterns.

Different Types of Cannabis

Cannabis comes in various forms, each with its unique characteristics and effects. Understanding the different types of cannabis can help individuals make informed choices about their consumption. Here are some of the most common types:

  1. Weed: Made by drying out the leaves and flowering parts of the cannabis plant, weed is the most widely available form. It can have different strains and potencies, resulting in varying effects on the body and mind.
  2. Skunk: A term used to describe particularly strong strains of ‘street’ cannabis in the United Kingdom. Opponents of legalisation cite Skunk as a reason cannabis should not be legalised, however the term is a misnomer, as much of the prescribed medical cannabis in the United Kingdom contains a cannabinoid balance that would make it skunk if it were not prescribed.
  3. Hash: Derived from the resin of the cannabis plant, hash can come in various forms, such as black, brown, soft, or stern. It is known for its concentrated potency and is typically consumed by smoking or vaporising.
  4. Cannabis Oil: This dark, sticky substance is extracted from the cannabis plant. It often contains high levels of THC and can be used in cooking or for medicinal purposes.
  5. Dab‘ or ‘Shatter‘: These are highly concentrated forms of cannabis obtained through butane extraction. They are known for their intense potency and are usually consumed by vaporising or dabbing.

Knowing the distinctions between these different types of cannabis can help users choose the most suitable and safe option for their preferences and needs.

Effects of Smoking Cannabis

Smoking cannabis can have a range of beneficial effects on the mind and body. The specific impact can vary depending on factors such as the strain of cannabis, the levels of THC and CBD, the dosage, and the frequency of use. Some individuals may experience a sense of relaxation, happiness, or increased sociability when smoking cannabis, while others may feel lethargic, paranoid, or confused.

Benefits of smoking Cannabis
Benefits of Cannabis for the mind and body

Cannabis can also affect the perception of time, appetite, and sleep patterns. For some users, impaired judgement and poor concentration may be a concern. It is worth noting that research has shown that smoking cannabis can negatively affect learning and memory, mainly during adolescence.

It’s good practice to understand the potential effects of cannabis before using it, and the experience can differ significantly from person to person. Being aware of these effects can help individuals make informed decisions about their cannabis consumption and take any necessary precautions.

Table: Effects of Smoking Cannabis

Positive EffectsNegative Effects
Altered perception of timeImpaired judgment
Increased appetitePoor concentration
Sleep pattern changesNegative impact on learning and memory

It’s also good practice to approach cannabis use responsibly and understand that the effects can vary. Considering individual tolerance, strain potency, and dosage can help mitigate potential risks and create a safer overall experience.

Physical health risks of smoking cannabis

Smoking anything poses various physical health risks that individuals should be aware of. Inhaling cannabis smoke can lead to wheezing, coughing, and respiratory issues. Even without the addition of Tobacco, smoking cannabis contains tar which should be avoided where safer consumption methods are available. It can also adversely affect heart rate and blood pressure, especially for individuals with pre-existing heart conditions. Additionally, smoking cannabis can impact fertility by reducing sperm count in males and suppress ovulation in females. Pregnant individuals who smoke cannabis may also increase the risk of having a smaller-than-expected baby. These physical health risks highlight the importance of understanding the potential consequences of smoking cannabis.

“Inhaling cannabis smoke can lead to wheezing, coughing, and respiratory issues.”

It is crucial for individuals considering smoking to be aware of these physical health risks and make informed choices about their well-being. Vaping cannabis is a much safer consumption method.

Mental Health Risks of Smoking Cannabis

Smoking cannabis can affect motivation, memory, mood, and sleep patterns. Some individuals may experience anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, or worsening symptoms of underlying mental disorders, although the vast majority of people who consume cannabis do so without any issues. Heavy and prolonged cannabis use, especially during the teenage years, may negatively affect life outcomes, so it is important to start cannabis when are at an appropriate adult age, unless prescribed by a doctor.

If you experience this when consuming cannabisHere’s what you should do
Anxiety and ParanoiaAvoid high-THC strains and consider using higher CBD (cannabidiol) content, as CBD may have more calming properties. Also consider the terpene balance of the strain consumed as this will play a big part in the strains’ effects.
Psychotic EpisodeSeek help if something doesn’t feel right. There are many factors which can cause a psychotic episode.
Depression / low moodRegular exercise, a healthy diet, and engaging in activities that promote positive mental well-being can help mitigate the risks of depression and mood disorders.

Cannabis Addiction and Dependency Risks

Interestingly a lot of addiction data is marred by the intrinsic link of cannabis and tobacco when smoked in Europe. Individuals who mix Tobacco with cannabis in joints are at risk of nicotine addiction, which, if they don’t smoke cigarettes will manifest itself as cravings for spliffs. Cannabis can then be blamed for the addiction, when it is actually the nicotine, one of the most addictive substances known to man.

Dependency on nicotine can result in withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit or reduce use. These symptoms may include mood changes, difficulty sleeping, irritability, and physical discomfort, which can again be blamed on cannabis if users are quitting both simultaneously. Understanding that dependency can impact an individual’s overall well-being and quality of life is crucial. Therefore, seeking professional help and support is advisable when facing addiction or dependency issues related to tobacco.

Type of RiskDetails
Mixing Cannabis with TobaccoCannabis is not addictive like nicotine, but is often consumed together, leading to a craving for the joint experience of both simultaneously. That is why it can be hard to quit.
DependenceMixing cannabis with tobacco can cause dependence much more strongly than consuming cannabis pure.
Nicotine AddictionMixing tobacco with cannabis in joints can increase the risk of nicotine addiction. Stop mixing cannabis with tobacco to improve health.

Risks of Mixing Cannabis with Other Drugs

Mixing drugs, including cannabis, can be a risky practice that can have unpredictable outcomes. When cannabis is combined with other substances, it can result in increased risks to both physical and mental health. Awareness of potential drug interactions and their possible effects is essential.

Combining substances can increase the risk of adverse reactions, health problems, and impaired judgement. This is because different drugs can interact in ways that intensify or alter their effects. For example, mixing cannabis with alcohol can increase impairment and confusion and make you feel like you are on a rollercoaster when your eyes are closed!

It is advisable to exercise caution and seek professional advice if considering combining cannabis with other drugs. A healthcare professional or pharmacist can guide on potential risks and interactions. They can also help individuals make informed decisions about drug use and provide harm reduction strategies.

SubstancePotential Risks
AlcoholIncreased impairment and confusion
CocaineIncreased strain on the heart and cardiovascular system
OpioidsEnhanced sedation and respiratory depression


“Mixing drugs can have serious consequences and should be approached with caution. It is important to be aware of potential drug interactions and seek professional advice. Your health and well-being should always be a top priority.”

Remember that this information is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions regarding drug use and to ensure that you are fully informed about the potential risks.

Considerations for Safer Cannabis Smoking

If you choose to smoke cannabis, it’s essential to prioritise harm reduction strategies to minimise any risks, even if they are more minor than for other drugs. Here are some considerations to keep in mind for a safer cannabis smoking experience:

1. Use a Vaporiser

Consider using a vaporiser instead of smoking joints to reduce the potential lung harm. Vaporisers heat the cannabis to a temperature that releases the active compounds without burning the plant matter, resulting in a cleaner and potentially less harmful inhalation method.

2. Avoid Tobacco

Avoid mixing cannabis with Tobacco when smoking. While this is a common practice, it increases the risk of nicotine addiction and the potential adverse effects of smoking on your health. Opt for tobacco-free alternatives or explore other consumption methods, such as edibles or tinctures.

3. Start with a Lower Dose

When trying a new strain or product, start with a lower dose and wait for the effects to wear off before re-dosing. This lets you gauge your tolerance and minimise the risk of overwhelming psychoactive effects. Remember, the potency of different strains can vary, so it’s essential to know your limits.

4. Be Mindful of Strain, Terpenes, Potency, and Dosage

Consider the strain, potency, and dosage of the cannabis you are consuming. Different themes can have varying levels of THC and CBD and different levels of terpenes, which can contribute to other effects. Choosing songs that align with your desired experience and being aware of their potency to avoid unintentional overconsumption is essential.

By incorporating these harm reduction strategies into your cannabis smoking routine, you can make more informed choices and prioritise your well-being. Everyone reacts differently to cannabis, so listening to your body and adjusting your consumption is essential.

Considerations for Safer Cannabis Smoking
Use a vaporiser
Avoid tobacco
Start with a lower dose
Be mindful of strain, potency, and dosage


After considering the various aspects of smoking cannabis, it is evident that there are both potential risks and benefits associated with its use.

Factors such as strain, dosage, frequency of use, and individual susceptibility can significantly impact the effects and risks of cannabis smoking. It is essential to make informed choices and prioritise personal well-being when consuming cannabis.

Understanding the potential risks and benefits of cannabis can help individuals navigate the complexities of its use. By staying informed, practising harm reduction strategies such as using a vaporiser instead of smoking joints, and avoiding tobacco use in cannabis mixtures, it is possible to reduce potential lung harm and minimise the risk of nicotine addiction.

Ultimately, the decision to smoke cannabis is a personal one. Still, weighing the potential risks and benefits is essential, as considering individual circumstances and making choices prioritising overall health and well-being.


Is cannabis safe for smoking?

Cannabis smoking comes with potential risks, although some see these risks as much lower than for other drugs and lifestyle choices. It’s essential to be aware of these risks and make informed choices.

What are the different types of cannabis?

There are various types of cannabis, including flower, hash, cannabis oil, and concentrated forms like ‘dab’ or ‘shatter’.

What are the effects of smoking cannabis?

The effects of smoking cannabis can vary from person to person and depend on factors such as strain, dosage, and individual susceptibility. Some may experience relaxation and happiness, while others may feel lethargy or anxiety.

What are the risks of mixing cannabis with other drugs?

Mixing drugs, including cannabis, can have unpredictable outcomes and increase the risk of adverse reactions, health problems, and impaired judgement.

How can I engage in safer cannabis smoking?

Using a vaporiser instead of smoking joints and avoiding tobacco use in cannabis mixtures can reduce potential harm. Starting with a lower dose and being mindful of strain, potency, and dosage are also important.

What should I consider about cannabis smoking?

Cannabis smoking comes with potential risks and benefits. Understanding the possible effects and risks and making informed choices can help prioritise overall well-being.

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