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The Risks of Using Cannabis Daily


Understanding the Implications of Daily Cannabis Use: Insights from Experts

In recent years, the landscape of substance use in the United States has undergone significant changes. One of the most notable shifts is the increasing prevalence of daily cannabis use. For the first time, more Americans use cannabis daily than consume alcohol. This trend has sparked a range of discussions and concerns, especially regarding the potential health implications of frequent cannabis use.

According to a study from 2022, an estimated 17.7 million Americans report using cannabis daily or nearly daily, which is 3 million more than those who drink alcohol every day. However, alongside this rise in cannabis use, there are growing concerns about its impact, particularly among teenagers. A recent study highlighted an 11 times higher risk of developing a psychotic disorder for teenagers who used cannabis in the last year.

Insights from Dr. Vin Gupta

To delve deeper into this issue, we spoke with Dr. Vin Gupta, a global health policy expert and MSNBC medical contributor. Dr. Gupta provided valuable insights into the current understanding of daily cannabis use and its potential risks and benefits.

Legal Status and Federal Oversight

Dr. Gupta began by addressing the legal status of cannabis in the United States. As of now, cannabis is legal for recreational use in 23 states and for medical use in 38 states, including Washington D.C. Despite its widespread legalization, there are still many unknowns about the long-term effects of daily cannabis use. Dr. Gupta emphasized that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reviewed existing data on both recreational and medical marijuana. While it is not as prone to abuse as other Schedule 1 substances like heroin, there is a consensus that more research is needed.

One significant development is the Biden administration’s move to reclassify cannabis to Schedule 3. This reclassification is critical as it allows federal funding to be used for gold-standard studies to investigate the risks and potential benefits of cannabis. Dr. Gupta highlighted the importance of these studies, which could provide clearer insights into how cannabis affects the human body.

Potential Health Benefits

While there is a need for more rigorous research, preliminary studies suggest that cannabis may have several potential health benefits. These include alleviating pain, managing fibromyalgia, improving sleep quality, and mitigating the side effects of chemotherapy. However, Dr. Gupta cautioned that these benefits are not yet confirmed by gold-standard studies. Therefore, it is essential to approach these claims with a degree of skepticism until more comprehensive research is conducted.

Concerns About Youth and Brain Development

One of the most pressing concerns surrounding daily cannabis use is its impact on teenagers and their brain development. Dr. Gupta pointed out that most states with legal recreational marijuana set the minimum age for use at 21. This age restriction is based on studies that show associations, though not causation, between cannabis use and potential developmental issues in teenagers.

Research indicates that the adolescent brain is still developing and that cannabis can interfere with critical signaling processes. These processes are essential for functions such as anxiety regulation and the development of neurons. Consequently, frequent use of high-potency cannabis among teenagers may be linked to the development of psychiatric disorders. Dr. Gupta emphasized the need for gold-standard studies to confirm these associations and better understand the risks involved.

Cardiovascular Risks

In addition to concerns about brain development, there is emerging evidence suggesting that daily cannabis use may increase the risk of cardiovascular issues. A study from February reported that individuals who smoke cannabis daily have a 25% increased risk of having a heart attack and a 42% increased risk of experiencing a stroke. These findings underscore the urgency of conducting more research to fully understand the cardiovascular implications of frequent cannabis use.

The Need for Comprehensive Research

Dr. Gupta stressed that the United States is behind in its research on cannabis compared to other substances like alcohol. For over 50 years, scientists have studied the effects of alcohol, including red wine, on the human body. This extensive research has provided a clearer understanding of the potential benefits and risks associated with alcohol consumption.

In contrast, the study of cannabis has been limited due to its classification as a Schedule 1 substance, which restricts the use of federal funds for research. The move to reclassify cannabis to Schedule 3 is a significant step forward. It not only facilitates decriminalization and addresses social justice issues but also enables more rigorous scientific investigation into the risks and benefits of cannabis use.


As the landscape of substance use continues to evolve, it is crucial to prioritize research and evidence-based approaches to understand the implications of daily cannabis use. The reclassification of cannabis to Schedule 3 holds promise for advancing our knowledge and informing public health policies. While preliminary studies suggest potential benefits, it is essential to remain cautious and await the results of comprehensive research before drawing definitive conclusions.

By investing in rigorous scientific studies, we can gain a clearer understanding of how cannabis affects the human body and make informed decisions to protect public health, especially among vulnerable populations like teenagers.

Read More: Why “420” became associated with weed | What does 420 mean?

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