Can Smoking Marijuana Cause Ulcers?

In recent times, there has been a call for the legalization of marijuana use. Many states have already legalized it for medical reasons. So, it is common to find a person or groups of people smoking marijuana in designated areas. There is what some people call medical marijuana. Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy may smoke it for the relief it provides. However, does marijuana use produce only good things?

Many marijuana users do not know that smoking marijuana can cause ulcers in the stomach. Ulcers are typically open wounds that can form on different body parts due to cell destruction. The most typical area where ulcers develop is the stomach. So, you are likely to find people having stomach ulcers from smoking marijuana.

Smoking marijuana

How Does Smoking Marijuana Cause an Ulcer?

The marijuana or cannabis plant typically contains tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC for short. This compound causes the psychoactive effect that people get when they use marijuana. In other words, they feel ‘high,’ which may distort their thinking and focus. However, this same compound triggers an increase in acid production in the stomach. An excessive amount of the acid, which is usually beneficial for digesting, degrades the stomach’s lining.

The acid inhibits the protective capacity of the cells in the stomach. Consequently, they cannot shield themselves from the dangers of the acid touching them. Over time, the cells weaken, and the body develops gastritis. It is a condition where the gut lining becomes inflamed. 

The condition usually leads to other health issues such as feelings of nausea and difficulty digesting food. These can progress to extreme pain in the stomach and eventual vomiting of blood. Bloody vomit can happen when the stomach already has open sores.

It is crucial to note that ulcers resulting from marijuana smoking are rare. People react differently to marijuana. While some are tolerant of using it without severe side effects, others may not respond so well to it. Also, consistent and prolonged use can negatively affect the body, especially if usage starts early in life. Therefore, you may not readily see marijuana smokers suffering from ulcers, although there is a risk it will happen over time.

Other Side Effects of Prolonged Marijuana Smoking

Mixing marijuana in food does not have the same effect on you as smoking it. When you smoke marijuana, the psychoactive compound travels faster into your system, specifically into your bloodstream. As a result, you react quicker and differently to the herb.

Apart from the risk of developing chronic ulcers from smoking marijuana, there are other equally debilitating side effects of using weed.

  • Mental Issues

Smoking marijuana

As mentioned before, people react differently to marijuana use. While some people have a high tolerance level, others respond negatively. Some even have a violent reaction to it. You may find a user going into clinical depression or developing paranoia. There is also the risk of increased anxiety, panic, and fear. If you have a pre-existing mental health condition, smoking marijuana may aggravate it.

  • Brain Impairment

Early use of marijuana affects the brain. This is especially true if it is a prolonged use. Typically, weed distorts the brain’s ability to coordinate, focus, or even remember things. It makes you forget things and focus only on how you feel at the moment. However, that feeling is only temporary. For most people, it wears off after one day; others may experience lingering effects for a few more hours.

Introducing a person below puberty or before adolescence to marijuana usually does more harm than good. It is not a rule that affects every early user, but it may affect a high percentage. Their brains have a reduced capacity for learning and retaining knowledge. They may even have trouble being alert, and for some, their IQ drops.

  • Lung Inflammation

As a general rule, smoking affects the lungs, especially the lungs of heavy and constant smokers. The same applies to smoking marijuana. As the smoke enters your body on a regular basis, it affects your respiratory system, particularly your lungs. Over time, you have breathing difficulty and incessantly cough. There is also the risk of developing lung cancer.

  • Addiction

Addiction is a common disease all over the world. People are addicted to many things, not just controlled substances. The government legalizing marijuana has its perks. However, it also means anyone can legally get their hands on it, increasing the risks of addiction.

What you are addicted to controls you, and an alarming number of people are already addicted to marijuana. At some point, you become unable to function without it as you totally depend on using it. Everything in your life becomes affected by it; your job suffers, relationships end and loved ones drift away. Even your finances take a hit, even though marijuana rolls are relatively affordable.

  • Heart Defects

Smoking causes strain on the heart, and smoking marijuana makes it worse. Typically, a healthy person’s heart beats between 50 and 70 times in one minute. However, smoking marijuana can cause the beats to increase to 120 within one minute as the body tries to handle the herb’s effect.

The heart may wear out with prolonged and constant use and lead to a stroke. The risk increases due to the chemicals in marijuana and the tar that comes with smoke. You even run the risk of having a heart attack. Additionally, pre-existing heart conditions worsen the issue.

  • Fetal Growth Restriction


Smoking marijuana while pregnant can adversely affect the fetus. It may cause stunted growth or lead to stillbirth or premature delivery. In some cases where there is a successful delivery, the baby’s brain development may become hindered due to the compound in marijuana. The same applies if you smoke while breastfeeding because the compounds can transfer from the breastmilk to the baby.

Marijuana and Drinking

The chances of getting a stomach ulcer by smoking marijuana may increase if you are a regular alcohol drinker. Alcohol alone does more harm than good to significant organs. When combined with the compounds in marijuana, the result may be lethal. Apart from developing an ulcer, mixing alcohol and marijuana doubles the risk of drunk driving and other life problems.


Using medical marijuana is a common practice because of its legalization. About ten states have already legalized recreational marijuana. So, more people freely use it without fear of failing a drug test or getting caught with an illegal substance. Smoking is the most common way of using marijuana, and while it has benefits, there are also side effects, maybe more.

One of the side effects of smoking marijuana is the development of ulcers, particularly stomach ulcers. The acid produced by the stomach increase and affects the cells, leading to gastritis. Over time, the condition causes ulcers in the stomach.

Apart from ulcers, marijuana can also cause heart problems, lead to addiction, inflame the lungs, impair the brain, and degrade mental health. In addition, it affects the fetus if the user is pregnant. These side effects are typical in prolonged and constant use.

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