Smoking can lead to diseases such as bronchitis, emphysema, and cancer.

If you intend to continue smoking, some methods and techniques may reduce the risks of damage to your throat, chest and lungs:

  • Avoid holding smoke in your lungs and inhaling too deeply. You won’t get more stoned but you will increase the amount of toxins in your lungs.
  • There is as yet no conclusive evidence that methods of inhaling cannabis that have been promoted as less risky, such as the use of water pipes and vaporisers, actually do reduce risks overall. The use of vaporisers has attracted some media focus recently but beware of unexpected effects such as increased inhalation (including of toxins). Naturally the safest course of action is to cut down and stop.
  • Show some respect and don’t smoke around others who don’t want to get high – particularly children – who may be affected by you sparking up.
Smoking cannabis can damage your (and others) health – so cut down and use the self-help feature on this website to help you stop.

Eating Cannabis

Some people eat cannabis, either on its own, by cooking it or mixing it with food, or adding it to drinks. The effects from eating cannabis last longer (up to 12 hours) and are uncontrollable compared with smoking cannabis. When cannabis is eaten it can take an hour or two to feel the effects, so avoid eating more in one session. You can still become dependent on cannabis if you eat it so use the self-help feature on the website to help you stop.

Self control tips

If you are finding it difficult to cut down or stop your cannabis use there are tips that you might find useful:
  • To reduce the risk of overdoing it, try to space out the days between using cannabis.
  • Don’t buy more than you need thinking you will save some for tomorrow – you probably won’t.
  • The more you break up the pattern of use the easier it is to control cannabis and reduce the risks.
  • If you are trying to cut down, avoid things that remind you of cannabis. Certain places, people, events or times might make you think of cannabis and want to take it.
  • Try to identify all the things you associate with using cannabis and make an effort to avoid them until you feel OK about not smoking, plan to do something else at the time of day you usually have a joint.
  • Use the self-help feature on this website.
Further help and advice on this website

Complete the online 5-minute self-assessment quiz to find out more about your cannabis use. There’s also a self-help programme that can help you reduce or stop your cannabis use.

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