Posted on

The effects of long-term cannabis use on mental health

Cannabis is a plant with many uses, and its therapeutic properties have been studied for years. In recent times, its use has been legalized in several countries and states for medical purposes. While cannabis can be used to treat various mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), long-term cannabis use can have adverse effects on mental health and actually create or increase the intensity of the very same mental health conditions it treats. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the potential benefits and drawbacks of cannabis use to make informed decisions about its use for mental health treatment.


Long-term cannabis use can cause depression. The THC in cannabis can affect the levels of dopamine in the brain, which is responsible for feelings of pleasure and happiness. Over time, the brain may become less sensitive to dopamine, leading to a decrease in the feelings of pleasure and happiness, resulting in depression. Studies have shown that regular cannabis users are more likely to develop depression than occasional users.


Cannabis can also cause anxiety, especially in people with pre-existing anxiety disorders. THC can trigger the release of cortisol, which is the body’s stress hormone. This release can cause an increase in heart rate, sweating, and feelings of panic. Regular cannabis use can also lead to the development of anxiety disorders, making it challenging to manage anxiety symptoms.


Long-term cannabis use can increase the risk of developing psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. THC can alter the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, leading to hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thinking. Regular cannabis use can also cause changes in brain structure, leading to an increased risk of developing psychotic disorders.

Memory and Learning

Cannabis use can impair memory and learning ability, making it challenging to concentrate and learn new information. THC affects the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning. Over time, regular cannabis use can lead to structural changes in the hippocampus, resulting in memory impairment.


In conclusion, long-term cannabis use can have various effects on mental health, including depression, anxiety, psychosis, and memory impairment. It is essential to understand these effects and consider them when making decisions about cannabis use. If you are struggling with mental health issues, speak to a healthcare professional for support and advice. This article medical-cannabis-for-treating-health discusses using cannabis to treat the same mental health problems long-term use can create.