There are many obvious benefits to using cannabis, especially when vaped or ingested. Cannabis can help to reduce stress, induce deeper sleep, stimulate a poor appetite, and more. But can you smoke cannabis every day?
It’s a good question and deserves an honest answer. While we are purveyors of cannabis and other sacred medicinal products, we are passionate about responsible advocacy. Cannabis isn’t for everyone, and many heavy users may overdo it for the wrong reasons.
Overall Cannabis Benefits Outweigh Drawbacks
Whether or not you partake in something to take the edge off life daily is up to you. The line between virtue and vice depends on the user. However, when used mindfully, the benefits of cannabis far outweigh its drawbacks. And daily use does have benefits for both medical and recreational cannabis users.
Cannabis researchers MacCallum and Russo point out that one hundred years of prohibition and the resulting impediments to research and education have left clinicians in a bind:
“With the advent of pharmaceutical cannabis-based medicines (Sativex/nabiximols and Epidiolex) and liberalization of access in certain nations, this ignorance of cannabis pharmacology and therapeutics has become untenable.” (MacCallum and Russo, 2018)
This article will provide an honest assessment of the benefits of daily cannabis use as well as the drawbacks.
The Cultural Stigma Against Using Cannabis Every Day
In the early 1900s, cannabis was one of the top three medicines in the USA, prescribed similarly to Tylenol or any other over-the-counter pain medication. The criminalization of cannabis delayed research by more than a hundred years, which is why we are under-informed about its benefits.
Of course, cannabis did not magically lose its medical efficacy in the absence of medical approval. The aggressive propaganda war against cannabis and its associated counter-cultures ensued, creating the cultural stigma we still see today.
To put this issue into perspective, our article ‘What is The Endocannabinoid System?’ explains why science didn’t even discover our body’s cannabinoid-producing system until the 1990s.
Daily Cannabis Use vs Daily Alcohol Use
While there can be drawbacks to daily cannabis use, it helps to put the issue into further perspective. On average, Americans drink about 1.35 alcoholic drinks per day (May, 2017).
Certainly, in the vast majority of cultures across the world, drinking daily is considered normal and often somewhat healthy. And yet, the science is clear; no alcohol is the healthiest amount:
“In this cohort study of 371 463 individuals, genetic evidence supported a nonlinear, consistently risk-increasing association between all amounts of alcohol consumption and both hypertension and coronary artery disease, with modest increases in risk with light alcohol intake and exponentially greater risk increases at higher levels of consumption.” (Biddinger et al., 2022).
Overview of Scientific Studies on Using Cannabis Every Day
Several studies have attempted to gain insight into proper dosing recommendations for cannabis use. THC was classified as a Schedule 1 drug for over 100 years. Even if evidence proved overwhelmingly otherwise, scientists studying cannabis were caught in a Catch-22.
Currently, the science on daily cannabis use is inconclusive but certainly not in favour of total abstinence. Mindful cannabis use is safe and more studies need to be conducted for doctors to accurately provide dosing information when counseling patients.
However, citizen science and experimentation are relevant in the sphere of cannabis use. When you start low and go slow, you can evaluate your body’s reactions safely and make decisions accordingly.
The Pros of Smoking Weed Everyday
Wake and Bake
‘Wake and Bake’ is the practice of using cannabis shortly after waking up. This is one of the benefits of cannabis that depends on the user’s self-knowledge and mindfulness.
For example, if you rush into getting high without processing your dreams or feelings upon waking up, you could rush yourself into an uncomfortable state of mind. Also, if you’re feeling sufficiently energetic and motivated upon waking, using cannabis right away could make you feel sleepy.
And yet for some cannabis users, waking and baking, often with coffee, is just the antidote to that sluggish morning vibe. As cannabis releases dopamine, it functions as a feel-good kick to get you moving in the morning.
Stressing over a long, crowded commute to work? Is a poor morning appetite leading to a predictable mid-morning hanger? Or are you simply looking to start a weekend morning with a weekend state of mind? Then wake and bake might be for you.
Determining whether an individual’s overall mood or affect impacts their motivations for using cannabis has been the subject of several studies.
One conducted by Testa and colleagues in 2019, showed that “when morning positive affect was lower than typical” people were more likely to use cannabis that day (Testa et al., 2019).
Interestingly, neither anxiety nor anger contributed meaningfully to the subjects’ daily cannabis use. However, “immediately after cannabis use, positive affect increased” (ibid), leading to a decrease in negative mood states when compared with the morning’s levels.
Neuroprotective Traits For People With HIV
In a 2021 study of people living with HIV, the anti-inflammatory benefits of daily cannabis use were noted by Watson and colleagues. Specifically, using cannabis every day leads to “lower levels of pro-inflammatory chemokines,” which are implicated in the cognitive impacts of HIV.
Whether or not this study’s findings can be meaningfully extrapolated to those not living with HIV remains to be seen. For PWH, “cannabinoid-related reductions of MCP-1 and IP-10, if confirmed, suggest a role for medicinal cannabis in the mitigation of persistent inflammation and cognitive impacts of HIV.” (Watson et al., 2021)
Stimulate Poor Appetite
While the evidence generated by studies on cannabis and appetite stimulation cannot confirm causality outright, cannabis has been used to stimulate appetite for thousands of years. This is where self-reporting and anecdotal evidence have sufficiently proven a cannabis benefit! For now, it can only be said that cannabis use “modulates blood concentrations of some appetitive and metabolic hormones in cannabis users.” (Farokhnia et al., 2020)
Safe and Effective Pain Management
A study by Baron analyzed the use of cannabis in treating headaches. The 2018 study concluded that the therapeutic benefits of cannabis and cannabinoids make it a viable treatment for headaches and migraine in some patients. They further concluded “that cannabis may assist in opioid detoxification and weaning, thus making it a potential weapon in battling the opioid epidemic.” (Baron, 2018)
The Cons of Smoking Weed Every Day
Most studies on cannabis use display positive findings. All substances have side effects and should be used with caution, particularly psychedelic or psychotropic substances. We will take a quick look at the top two concerns and drawbacks to using cannabis every day.
Impacts on Teens and Adolescents
In a 2018 study, it was found that chronic cannabis use in teens and adolescents could create lasting deficits in working memory (Zehra et al., 2018). The same findings were not found for adults who used cannabis daily or even chronically. Furthermore, there was no reduction in problem-solving abilities for either teens or adults who used cannabis daily.
Risk for Addiction
Addiction is a complex issue and depends on an individual’s circumstances and affect. Daily cannabis use can certainly become addictive for some individuals.
There are three agreed-upon stages of addiction: 1) binge/intoxication, 2) withdrawal/negative affect, and 3) preoccupation/anticipation. When daily cannabis use becomes associated with this pattern of behaviour, it becomes addictive.
Teens and adolescents with impulsivity issues can be drawn to chronic cannabis use in an attempt to self-medicate. With pre-existing conditions like PTSD, anxiety, and depression, some adults are susceptible to cannabis addiction, too.
For an in-depth look at the studies on cannabis and addiction, read our article: Is Cannabis Addictive
Always Use Cannabis Responsibly and Moderately
Overall, the negative implications of using cannabis every day are associated with self-reported chronic use and predominantly in teens and adolescents. There is little scientific insight into the effects of daily cannabis micro-dosing. Anecdotally, there is a great deal of evidence that using cannabis every day in a deliberate, mindful manner is beneficial and healthful.
If daily cannabis use feels essential to addressing mental health issues, consider seeking out a trustworthy talk therapist. Of course, affordability and access issues can interfere with patients receiving adequate mental health assistance. If this is the case, there are small actions you can take now to work out your emotional state. Speak with a trusted friend, or keep a journal. Prepare and eat a healthy meal. Move your body. And be sure to take a tolerance break from time to time.
Baron, E. P. (2018) “Medicinal properties of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids in cannabis, and benefits in migraine, headache, and pain: An update on current evidence and Cannabis Science,” Headache, U.S. National Library of Medicine, [online] Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30152161/ (Accessed 15 June 2022).
Biddinger, K. J., Emdin, MD, DPhil, C. A. and Haas, Ph.D., M. E. (2022) “Association of habitual alcohol intake with risk of cardiovascular disease,” JAMA Network Open, JAMA Network, [online] Available from: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2790520 (Accessed 30 July 2022).
Brooks, M. (2022) “No amount of alcohol safe for the heart, federation says,” WebMD, WebMD, [online] Available from: https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20220125/no-amount-alcohol-safe-heart-whf (Accessed 30 July 2022).
Farokhnia, M., McDiarmid, G. R. and Newmeyer, M. N. (2020) “Effects of oral, smoked, and vaporized cannabis on endocrine pathways related to appetite and metabolism: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, human laboratory study,” Translational Psychiatry, Nature Publishing Group UK, [online] Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7031261/ (Accessed 27 May 2022).
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Testa, M., Wang, W. and Derrick, J. L. (2019) “Does morning affect contribute to daily cannabis use?,” Addictive Behaviors, U.S. National Library of Medicine, [online] Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30856545/ (Accessed 15 June 2022).
Topiwala, A., Ebmeier, K. P. and Maullin-Sapey, T. (2021) “No safe level of alcohol consumption for Brain Health: Observational Cohort Study of 25,378 UK Biobank participants,” medRxiv, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, [online] Available from: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.05.10.21256931v1 (Accessed 30 July 2022).
Watson, C. W.-M., Campbell, L. M. and Sun-Suslow, N. (2021) “Daily cannabis use is associated with lower CNS inflammation in people with HIV,” Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society: JINS, U.S. National Library of Medicine, [online] Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34261550/ (Accessed 15 June 2022).
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Zehra, A., Burns, J. and Liu, C. K. (2018) “Cannabis addiction and the brain: A Review,” Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology: The Official Journal of the Society on NeuroImmune Pharmacology, Springer US, [online] Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6223748/ (Accessed 16 June 2022).