Wonder or evil? Multifaceted health hazards and health benefits of Cannabis sativa and its phytochemicals

Shivika Datta, Praveen C. Ramamurthy, Uttpal Anand, Simranjeet Singh, Amritpal Singh, Daljeet Singh Dhanjal, Vaishali Dhaka, Sanjay Kumar, Dhriti Kapoor, Samapika Nandy, Manoj Kumar, Eapen P. Koshy, Abhijit Dey, Jarosław Proćków, Joginder Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Cannabis sativa, widely known as ‘Marijuana’ poses a dilemma for being a blend of both good and bad medicinal effects. The historical use of Cannabis for both medicinal and recreational purposes suggests it to be a friendly plant. However, whether the misuse of Cannabis and the cannabinoids derived from it can hamper normal body physiology is a focus of ongoing research. On the one hand, there is enough evidence to suggest that misuse of marijuana can cause deleterious effects on various organs like the lungs, immune system, cardiovascular system, etc. and also influence fertility and cause teratogenic effects. However, on the other hand, marijuana has been found to offer a magical cure for anorexia, chronic pain, muscle spasticity, nausea, and disturbed sleep. Indeed, most recently, the United Nations has given its verdict in favour of Cannabis declaring it as a non-dangerous narcotic. This review provides insights into the various health effects of Cannabis and its specialized metabolites and indicates how wise steps can be taken to promote good use and prevent misuse of the metabolites derived from this plant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7290-7313
Number of pages24
JournalSaudi Journal of Biological Sciences
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Cannabinoids
  • Cannabis sativa
  • Chemical components
  • Medical marijuana
  • Phytochemicals
  • Psychoactive
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol
  • Therapeutic roles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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