Fort Collins

Colorado Springs

Exploring the Long-Term Health Effects of Marijuana Use

Marijuana, often a subject of controversy, has faced criticism and concerns regarding its potential physical and psychological side effects throughout history. Despite its growing acceptance, especially in states where it is legal for medical and recreational use, comprehensive studies on its medical efficacy and long-term health effects have been limited, primarily due to its federal status as an illegal substance. However, recent research sheds light on the long-term health impact of marijuana use, providing valuable insights into its safety.

Marijuana’s Evolving Legal Status

Over the years, marijuana’s legal status has evolved significantly. The journey began in 1996 when Colorado became the first state to allow medical marijuana use. Since then, several states have followed suit, legalizing marijuana either for medical or recreational purposes. Nevertheless, at the federal level, marijuana remains illegal, which has hindered progress in legalizing, decriminalizing, or rescheduling the substance. One primary reason for this federal inertia is the lack of conclusive evidence regarding its long-term safety.

A Surprising Study on Long-Term Marijuana Use

A recent study conducted by a group of researchers from around the world, including New Zealand, the University of California, and King’s College London, has offered valuable insights into the consequences of extended marijuana use. The study, spanning two decades and involving 1,037 adults aged 18 to 38, offers compelling findings.

After accounting for various potential confounding factors such as tobacco use, childhood health, and socioeconomic status, the study concluded that long-term marijuana use did not yield any statistically significant adverse effects on lung health, inflammation, body mass index (BMI), or metabolism. In scientific terms, “statistical significance” denotes results that cannot be attributed to chance, indicating that marijuana use had minimal impact on a range of health metrics.

Interestingly, tobacco use did not fare as well in the study, reinforcing the notion that tobacco carries more significant health risks than marijuana.

A Notable Exception: Periodontal Health

While the study generally indicated that long-term marijuana use had negligible health effects, there was one notable exception—periodontal health. The research revealed a significant decrease in periodontal health among marijuana users. This finding underscores the importance of maintaining oral hygiene, including regular dental check-ups and proper dental care.


In conclusion, the recent study provides valuable insights into the long-term health effects of marijuana use, dispelling some concerns and highlighting the need for further research. As marijuana laws continue to evolve, understanding its impact on health becomes increasingly important. Individuals using marijuana should consider the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene and seeking regular dental care to mitigate potential periodontal issues.

For individuals facing legal issues related to marijuana, including DUI offenses or drug-related driving offenses in Colorado, legal guidance is essential. Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, a law firm specializing in alcohol and drug-related driving offenses in Colorado, offers expertise and support in navigating such legal matters. Making informed decisions and understanding the evolving landscape of marijuana laws are essential aspects of responsible marijuana use.

Do you have further questions or concerns? Call us or contact the attorneys at Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, and we will be happy to help.

Skip to content