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Marijuana Can Affect How You Look: Why it Happens and How to Cope

man struggles with marijuana abuse

Marijuana can affect your looks, even before you realize it. Smoking marijuana over time can have a significant impact on your interior and exterior body. Find out why it happens and how to cope with these changes.


Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical responsible for a marijuana high, lowers blood pressure, impacts cells in the eyes, and in response, blood vessels expand. Dilated capillaries and open blood vessels increase blood flow, leading to bloodshot eyes. Redness is more visible against the white part of the eye. The higher the THC content, the greater the likelihood of bloodshot eyes.

Oral Health

Marijuana use can lead to several oral problems, notably chronic dry mouth and an increased risk of cavities. THC is an appetite stimulant. Users tend to get ‘the munchies’ and eat sugar-laden snacks. Irritation, leukoedema, and erythema of the oral tissues are other side effects that may occur. A limited number of studies show a correlation between marijuana use and the risk of periodontal disease.  The immunosuppressive effects of cannabis may contribute to some cancers. Dry mouth may also lead to chronic bad breath. Oral problems are often compounded by co-occurring tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use.


Marijuana constricts blood vessels prior to dilation, depriving the skin of oxygen, just like tobacco from cigarettes. When high hydrocarbon levels in marijuana contact the skin, collagen production is compromised. Damage to collagen can prematurely age the skin by causing wrinkles and loss of elasticity.

Weight Gain

Some studies suggest THC and cannabidiol (CBD) in marijuana can increase abdominal fat. THC is an appetite stimulant to combat nausea but it may result in weight gain.  Marijuana use may lead to lower body mass index. The relationships between marijuana use and weight is complex, depending on factors like duration of use, comorbid polydrug use, dietary intake, gender, and age. There are many other health risks associated with marijuana use. THC stays in the body a long time and requires withdrawal, typically, to get toxins out of the body. The risks are great but the rewards are also great for people who wish to quit using marijuana for good.

Arbor Behavioral Healthcare knows that lifetime sobriety, health, and wellness, are completely possible. Each of our treatment programs offer the opportunity for holistic healing utilizing an integrative approach for the recovery of mind, body, and spirit. You can recover. You will recover. Call us today for more information: 844-560-7269