Long-term effects of exposure to cannabis

Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2005 Feb;5(1):69-72. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2004.08.010.


The long-term use of cannabis, particularly at high intake levels, is associated with several adverse psychosocial features, including lower educational achievement and, in some instances, psychiatric illness. There is little evidence, however, that long-term cannabis use causes permanent cognitive impairment, nor is there is any clear cause and effect relationship to explain the psychosocial associations. There are some physical health risks, particularly the possibility of damage to the airways in cannabis smokers. Overall, by comparison with other drugs used mainly for 'recreational' purposes, cannabis could be rated to be a relatively safe drug.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Cannabinoids / adverse effects*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cognition Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Humans
  • Neuropsychological Tests


  • Cannabinoids