Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on January 18, 2023

If you’ve been a cannabis user for a while, you’re pretty familiar with the effects of cannabis, regardless of whether you vape, consume dabs, toke a bong, enjoy a weed brownie or two, or prefer smoking marijuana in a joint. Smoking marijuana and consuming it in other forms is an activity that is preferred by millions of users around the world who are after the psychoactive effects that cannabinoids like THC and CBD provide.

Each person has their preferences when it comes to their preferred method of consuming the cannabis plant, as well as how often they use it. But, is there a general guideline on how often you should smoke weed? You’ll find out after reading this article, but first, let’s take a look into why people smoke weed and the benefits it provides.

Positive Health Effects of Marijuana Consumption

The use of cannabis in treating several health issues has been quite popular. Researchers are focusing even more on uncovering how cannabis can treat new diseases and conditions, so let’s go over the ones that can be treated with cannabis.

  • Cannabis is used as a pain reliever. Patients who suffer from chronic pain are the ones who mostly use cannabis medicinally since it can relieve pain as well as reduce inflammation. 
  • Marijuana use is quite popular in patients who suffer from anxiety, depression, and other mental health illnesses. Users claim that weed helps them feel calmer and less anxious.
  • Cannabis can help with nausea and stimulation of appetite in patients with cancer diagnoses. As cannabis is the drug that induces the munchies, it’s no wonder that it’s used to stimulate the appetite of cancer patients, but also patients diagnosed with eating disorders.
  • Marijuana is used as a treatment option for medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s, Epilepsy, Multiple sclerosis, and other conditions.

Side Effects of Cannabis Use

Even though marijuana is used for medical purposes, weed can also cause a list of short-term and long-term side effects which we’ll get into below.

Short Term Effects 

Some of the common short-term effects which may happen as a result of cannabis use include:

  • Impaired short memory;
  • Increased possibility for paranoia, anxiety, hallucinations;
  • Impaired coordination and judgment;
  • Impaired sexual performance in men.

Long-Term Effects

The possible long-term effects of marijuana use include:

  • Potential breathing problems caused by cannabis smoke (some sources even claim that smoking cannabis increases your risk of lung cancer, although research on the subject is still ongoing).
  • Increased risk of heart attacks and aggravated pre-existing heart conditions.
  • Triggering schizophrenia in patients with a genetic predisposition for the illness.
  • Worsened mental health and increased drug abuse.
  • Impaired brain development and lower IQ levels in young adults and adolescents.
  • Developing Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD).
  • Experiencing extreme cannabis withdrawal symptoms if you stop consuming cannabis abruptly.

How Often Should People Consume Weed?

Each person consumes marijuana according to their preference. Some users choose to do it more often, while others consume weed very rarely. When discussing how often people should consume weed, we need to take into consideration the possible health implications, as well as the consumed doses. So, let’s go over the different frequencies of their weed consumption and see what research has to say.

Occasional Use of Recreational Marijuana

Smoking weed a few times per year may reduce the immune response of the body and interfere with the resistance to infection, according to these studies. According to a study which was published in the Journal of Cannabis, monthly cannabis use (about 7 or more hits in a month) increases the white blood cells in the body, meaning the immune system is strained, although there aren’t enough studies on how occasional cannabis use affects the immune system.

Furthermore, according to a 2015 study, even one hit of weed may cause paranoia in people, and this is more dangerous for people who have a genetic predisposition for schizophrenia, as cannabis use can trigger this condition.

Monthly Use Of Cannabis

Apart from the impact on the immune system mentioned above, monthly cannabis use may affect cognitive skills and prevent users from assimilating new information and impact their attention span. However, these effects pass a month after a user quits weed, according to some studies.

A decades-long study researched the long-term effects of marijuana use on physical health in boys from the 7th grade to the age of 35 and found out that both nonsmokers and people who smoke weed have similar health issues, injuries, and medication requirements.

Weekly Use Of Cannabis

When we compare monthly to weekly use, the health risks are significantly higher. According to studies, regular cannabis use increases the risk of getting a heart attack, especially in the period after the session.

On the subject of restoring the cognitive powers of marijuana users, some studies suggest that quitting weed for a month may improve your memory, while other studies show that only partial recovery is possible.

The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse & Addiction review of studies showed that daily use is more likely to cause permanent cognitive issues compared to weekly use.

Daily Use Of Cannabis

When it comes to the daily use of cannabis, some studies show that both weed smokers and nonsmokers have similar lung capacities, however, cannabis increases coughing and wheezing which are common symptoms of bronchitis. It’s still unclear whether smoking cannabis daily is related to getting a cancer diagnosis since the research is ongoing.

One of the most common fears of daily use of cannabis is also connected to experiencing memory deficits and altering the brain pathways. According to a study, people who smoke cannabis daily have a smaller orbitofrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain responsible for emotions and decision-making. 

Daily use of marijuana can also result in people developing cannabis dependence, and once they quit, the marijuana withdrawal symptoms will definitely follow.

Final Verdict on How Often You Should Smoke Weed

With cannabis legalization increasing all over the US, cannabis use is also increasing at a high rate, as more and more people are consuming recreational or medical marijuana regularly. 

According to the studies mentioned above, the risks of cannabis altering the brain structure are only common in teenagers and young adolescents whose brain is still developing. The same problems aren’t as common in adults even though memory, focus, and attention span are all common in regular cannabis users. These side effects, however, pass after a person quits weed and goes over the detox process.

Apart from how often you smoke weed, the doses you consume are also important, therefore we can’t give an exact answer to the question since different people consume different doses. 

If you do want to consume weed regularly, the best thing you can do is research how it may affect your body, as well as look at different weed consumption methods so you can make an informed decision on your own.

A passionate advocate for the benefits of cannabis. Fraser Horton, who has a background in botany and a strong love of nature, has spent years researching how cannabis affects the body and mind. He established Leaf Nation in 2020, where he has devoted himself to educating people about the legalisation of marijuana and its safe and responsible use. Fraser is committed to highlighting cannabis’ potential for improving wellness and working to dispel the stigma associated with its use.


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