Cannabis and Smoking

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Cannabis (marijuana) is a drug that people may use it for medical or non-medical reasons. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​When you use cannabis, you may be putting your health at risk.

Unfortunately there have not been enough studies to show whether cannabis can be damaging to your liver. The Canadian Association on Gastroenterology believes that cannabis may increase scarring of your liver (hepatic fibrosis) and thus does not recommend its use in patients with cirrhosis.

Cannabis can cause side effects like anxiety, nausea, dizziness and changes to heart rate and blood pressure. Although it is legal in many regions, it’s still important you discuss use with your healthcare provider.



Smoking is dangerous to everyone’s health. People with liver disease are more vulnerable to infection and to poor health, so smoking or exposure to passive smoking is not recommended.

To learn more about quitting smoking see the useful links below:


The information on this page was compiled by the Cirrhosis Care Alberta project team (physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, registered dietitians, physiotherapists, pharmacists, and patient advisors).

This information is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare team. They know your medical situation best. Always follow your healthcare team’s advice.


  1. Canadian Association of Gastroenterology Position Statement: Use of Cannabis in Gastroenterological and Hepatic Disorders. Journal of the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology, Volume 2, Issue 1, April 2019, Pages 37–43

Last reviewed March 15, 2021