The Effects of Smoking Marijuana

Marijuana has short-term and long-term effects. People who smoke it may feel relaxed, hungry, sleepy, or have a different sense of reality.

Smoking it can make your heart beat faster and may cause lung irritation, especially if you have asthma or other breathing problems. It can also increase your chances of having a heart attack or stroke.


A weed that looks frosted or crystallized isn’t necessarily bad, but it could mean the buds were overprocessed. Look for well-developed trichomes, which give the flower its shine and hold the THCA, CBDA, terpenes and other cannabinoids that shape your experience. From afar, trichomes can look like sugar or translucent hair; up close they have a mushroom-like appearance. If trichomes are milky white or amber with white and transparent edges, the bud is at its peak ripeness and will have the highest levels of potency. Trichomes with a solid, transparent color are indicative of low-grade weed and can indicate the bud was harvested prior to its peak ripeness.

When a nug looks dull and grassy, the buds may have been improperly trimmed or cut. Buds should never have identifiable leaves still attached and they should be free of any apparent damage from a trim job. It’s also a red flag if the bud has visible signs of a hash-making process, such as being ground up or melted in some way.

Fake weed, also known as synthetic marijuana or K2, is sold in packs that look like herbal incense and are targeted at youths with bright colors and cartoon-like graphics. They can contain dangerously high hydrocarbon concentrations that irritate the lungs and eyes, and can damage collagen, which deprives the skin of oxygen and causes premature aging.


The taste of weed is incredibly subjective and down to the person’s biology. What tastes great to one person may taste awful to another. That’s part of what makes a tasting session so fun. As you refine your cannabis palate, you’ll find that it trickles into your casual smoking sessions, too.

Whether you’re smoking, vaping, or using edibles, your cannabis will always have different flavor profiles depending on the strain and how it was made. The main influencers on a cannabis’ aroma and flavor are its terpenes, which come from a wide variety of fruits, plants, and other sources. For example, limonene is found in citrus fruits and smells like lemon; while pinene is present in pine needles and has a scent that’s reminiscent of wood.

For a proper tasting session, gather four to six friends and some samples of each strain you have. Assign someone the task of bringing a few clean long glass pipes and some paper, so that everyone can try each strain in a different way. Also, make sure to have plenty of water and munchies for afterward. During the tasting, take notes of your initial observations and your feelings after each sample. This will help you compare notes later. For maximum olfactory precision, it’s best to start a tasting at a time when the temperature and humidity are close to ideal.


The pungent aroma of marijuana is a result of the terpenes in it. These aromatic chemicals are found in all plants, including fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. They can also be found in certain flowers and trees, including pine, skunk and hop vine.

The skunky smell of marijuana comes from one specific chemical called prenylthiol (also known as 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol). It’s the same compound that gives “skunked” beer its notorious flavor. And it shares structural similarities with sulfur compounds in garlic, which can have anticancer, antioxidant and antifungal properties.

Marijuana’s other distinctive scents are determined by strains (cultivars), the way it’s stored, harvest time and age. It may smell fruity, earthy or even have a hint of mold or rot. A strong skunky smell usually indicates that the cannabis is potent and may have been exposed to harsh chemicals during growing.

But smelling weed won’t get you high—the psychoactive element in it is THC, which only works when smoked. The exception is if you’re in a very poorly ventilated room where secondhand smoke from someone else’s joint hits you. That kind of contact high can cause your brain to secrete THC into your system.


A person’s reaction to weed may differ depending on their size, health and whether or not they are used to taking drugs. It can also vary depending on how much of the drug is taken. In general, if people smoke too much of it they can experience side effects such as difficulty breathing and a cough. It can also cause problems in the workplace, as workers might not be able to concentrate or remember things.

Marijuana use is associated with increased anxiety and paranoia, but this depends on genes as well. It also makes symptoms of more serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia and psychosis, worse. It can also increase appetite and make it easier to gain weight lost due to illnesses like AIDS or cancer. This effect is often called “the munchies.”

Regular marijuana use can affect your heart rate and blood pressure, and it makes your eyes look red and watery. The drug also causes a loss of coordination and slowed reaction times. Using marijuana can also impair driving and work performance, and it is dangerous to mix it with other substances.

It’s important to tell your doctor if you regularly use marijuana, even medically. It might change how much anesthesia you need for surgery, and it increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the hours afterward.

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