Have you ever wondered what your body does after you consume cannabis? It’s fascinating. Here’s what you need to know.

Whether you’re intimately familiar with cannabis or you’re just beginning your journey with this historically misunderstood plant, the interaction between weed and the human body might still be a mystery to you.

It’s understandable. After all, America’s War on Drugs made cannabis a hazy proposition for most folks, and it seriously limited researchers’ ability (and willingness) to study its effects. 

Fortunately, there’s enough information out there to at least give us a cursory idea of what happens to our bodies after consuming cannabis. So, let’s take a closer look – starting with some basics.

Why does pot make your eyes red?

Let’s start with one of marijuana’s most visible effects–the classic red-hued eyes. 

Why does weed make your eyes red? Contrary to popular belief, eye redness isn’t from smoke. Instead, the interactions between cannabis’ active ingredients, including THC, and your endocannabinoid system (ECS), which has receptors throughout the body, including your eyes, causes “weed eyes.” 

THC widens blood vessels, increasing blood flow throughout the body. So, that’s what causes your classic bloodshot eyes. 

And if you’re wondering if edibles produce the same effect, the answer is yes. 

But what about the other cannabinoids? Does CBD make your eyes red too? Nope! CBD-only products, or even some with a lower THC content, won’t interact with the endocannabinoid system in the same way.

guy with red eyes

What does weed do to your body?

Let’s take a closer look at the rest of your endocannabinoid system. How does marijuana affect your body overall? Well, as it turns out, there’s a lot that happens when you consume cannabis! Here’s a shortlist of what cannabis does to our bodies:

  • Promotes proper immune function
  • Supports cartilage and joint function
  • It might help relieve occasional constipation
  • Promotes restful sleep
  • Soothes or calms the skin
  • Keeps a typical, healthy attitude during PMS

Because the endocannabinoid system exists throughout the body, the effects of marijuana’s active compounds can vary considerably based on your physiology, tolerance, and what symptoms of pain or dysfunction you experience in ordinary life. So what does weed do to your body in general? It depends!

How does weed impact your mind?

We’ve covered the body, but what does weed do mentally? The effects of weed on the brain are as variable as the effects of cannabis on the body. 

So, what does weed do to your brain? Again it depends, but here are some mental health conditions people support with cannabis:

  • Increases mental acuity
  • Promotes general productivity
  • Improves absent-mindedness
  • Supports normal mental function
  • Promotes emotional well-being
  • It can assist in elevating your mood
  • Helps alleviate occasional blue feelings everyone gets from time to time
  • For a relaxed feeling
  • Helps improve your mood

Due to negative stereotypes, people often fear side effects, like feeling out of control mentally or intense paranoia. But, in reality, many people have found that cannabis helps them mentally, providing stability and support.

happy lady smoking from bong

What are the effects of weed on pain?

People often choose to consume cannabis to treat general pain. Even people who ask, “is weed dangerous,” are now looking at the plant as a pain management alternative. 

Because, unlike conventional painkillers, cannabis isn’t physically addictive, so it’s a safer choice than habit-forming prescriptions, and it’s stronger than over-the-counter ibuprofen. 

Here are a few common ways people implement cannabis for pain relief:

  • Workout recovery
  • Occasional headache relief
  • Generally soothes 
  • Reduced soreness from daily activities 
  • Diminished menstrual pain 

So how does this work? Well, again, it comes back to your endocannabinoid system. THC binds with your CB1 and CB2 receptors, the ECS’ primary system for receiving messages. The cannabinoid tells the receptors to reduce pain perception for temporary relief.

What are the effects of weed on anxiety?

Thanks to early 20th-century anti-cannabis propaganda, many people think cannabis causes paranoia. On the contrary, countless people consume cannabis to help them cope with anxious, stressed, or paranoid feelings. Here’s a list of other maladies folks treat with cannabis: 

  • Relief of occasional anxiety
  • Stress and frustration relief
  • Providing clarity
  • Mood stabilization 

If cannabis leaves you feeling anxious or paranoid, it’s a sign you’re consuming too much THC. So, ask your budtender to recommend a less intense strain (or a strain balanced with CBD), and try, try again. 

man sitting in a ball

How can weed impact weight loss?

Does smoking weed help you lose weight? Officially, the jury’s out. However, anecdotally, evidence suggests that cannabis might support healthy weight management by bolstering our body’s natural digestive mechanisms like:

  • Blood sugar
  • Digestion
  • Gut discomfort 
  • Reduced intestinal flora
  • Restored intestinal flora

Most people reading this blog are familiar with the classic munchies-prone stoner stereotype. So learning that cannabis might support healthy weight management probably comes as a shock. But for many people, cannabis can help support a more beneficial, more sustainable approach to weight management. 

Still, some strains will have you clearing your pantry. But our budtenders are here to help you find the right products. We’ll get you there. 

Knowledge is power. 

Now you should have a basic understanding of cannabis’ effects on your body. And since knowledge truly is power, your next Colorado dispensary shopping trip will be somewhat different. You’ll have enough information to start an educated conversation with your budtender to find the best products for you. 


It’s time to start your cannabis journey. Place an online order with Lightshade today.