Does Marijuana Weaken the Immune System?

Does Marijuana Weaken the Immune System?

Marijuana is all over the news lately for its supposedly healthy means of supporting people who are struggling with cancer and other health issues. Depending on the type of marijuana or CBD oils, there are many ways to look at the broader issue of growing marijuana use in America. Underneath it all is the concept that marijuana is not so bad for people who use it in smaller, more medicinal doses. Though this notion is nothing new, it does not explore the idea of how marijuana can impact the body. Here is how it can impact a person’s immune system who uses the drug.

What Happens to Immune System

Marijuana is touted as playing a key role for people with cancer in suppressing its growth for certain types of cancer. There are varied results in trials, studies, and real-life stories of people who use medical marijuana, but real concerns exist over the use of marijuana for people overall. The immune system is the guardian of the body, keeping it healthy and stable. Studies on the effects of weed on the immune system are limited. Of most concern is that cannabis may over-activate some elements of the immune system. This can lead to autoimmune disorders. Marijuana can have the opposite effect, in fact weakening the body’s immune response instead of strengthening it.


The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, might harm the immune system that can create weakness in the body for sickness and viruses to take over. Bacteria can increase and the risk of cancer may actually go up for some people. Marijuana can alter the backup safeguards of the immune system by irreparably damaging cells. This may compromise the immune system’s ability to screen out cancer cells and eliminate infection. Marijuana may cause health problems for people who have diabetes, HIV, low blood pressure, or underlying liver disease.

Long-Term Effects

Over time, marijuana use can harm the body in many aspects, including mental health and physical functioning. It may be harder to get motivated or find the desire to do anything. The body can suffer from health repercussions from smoking too much marijuana, which may be used in tandem with other drugs like alcohol. When two or more substances are used, it is usually to the detriment of the person’s overall mental and physical health. The overall impact on a person’s health depends on length of time they use drugs, how they use substances, and how often. Anyone who uses marijuana or is concerned about the level of use or functioning while using the drug may consider seeking treatment for dependence or addiction and any underlying mental health concerns.

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