Log in

Get your medical card online in minutes!

Get started

5 Vitamins Cannabis Users Need More Of

tumbled bowl with different types of capsules alongside with sliced lemons, ginger and garlic on a small cutting board

Cannabis users may benefit from incorporating specific vitamins into their daily routines, including C, D, E, B1, and magnesium, as research correlates long-term, heavy THC use with deficient levels of these essential compounds. Although a lot of scientific evidence surrounding this topic is circumstantial, cannabis users who integrate more vitamins into their regimens (while under medical supervision) can optimize their health and wellness.

Get Your Medical Card

Connect with a licensed physician online in minutes.

Can THC Cause Vitamin Deficiencies?

Clinical research into whether the Cannabis sativa plant or specific cannabinoids such as THC contributes to vitamin deficiencies has delivered mixed results. Some research points to a possible correlation between the two. Still, there is yet to be enough scientific evidence to state whether consuming THC does or does not lead to vitamin deficiencies.

One cross-sectional study that analyzed groups of male cannabis smokers in Nigeria attempted to uncover possible links between cannabis use and vitamin E and C deficiencies. The results showed that cannabis smokers had significantly lower blood serum levels than the control group.

When exploring why this deficiency occurred, the Nigerian research team theorized that the act of smoking marijuana, rather than the cannabis itself, may be to blame. Smoking anything, from tobacco to cannabis, causes cellular damage, ultimately depleting antioxidant levels. As a result, the Nigerian research team recommended that cannabis smokers supplement with antioxidants like vitamins E and D.

Another study that looked at 666 people with substance use disorder found a link between weekly cannabis use and lower vitamin D levels at baseline. Researchers couldn’t pinpoint trends over time. However, the team referenced a corroborating study from the American Journal of Medicine that found an association between heavy cannabis use, lower bone mineral density, and increased risk of fractures, the latter two of which are side effects of a chronically severe vitamin D deficiency.

Finally, an investigational case report examined a patient with cannabis hyperemesis syndrome (CHS), an extremely rare condition caused by chronic long-term cannabis use. In this case, CHS led to Wernicke’s encephalopathy (WE), a degenerative brain disorder caused by a lack of vitamin B1. In an extraordinarily rare case like this, doctors concluded that supplementation with B1, known as thiamine, could have prevented the patient from developing WE.

As you can see, this breadth of research does not implicate THC as a direct cause of vitamin deficiencies. However, chronic, long-term cannabis use is associated with lower D, E, and C levels.

Download Free Guide to THC

5 Vitamins for Cannabis Users

As stated above, while no concrete evidence exists that THC directly causes deficiencies in essential vitamins, certain vitamins may benefit cannabis users. Of course, before adding a supplement to your daily routine, it’s important that you speak with your doctor. They can run some blood serum tests and will let you know if you’re deficient in the following vitamins and should consider supplementation.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for humans. It helps boost the immune system and allows the body to absorb and maintain calcium and phosphorus, keeping the skeleton strong. Vitamin D can also help reduce infections and inflammation and even help combat a well-recorded side effect of cannabis: short-term memory dysfunction.


Magnesium plays a variety of essential roles within the body. It supports muscle and nerve function, as well as healthy energy levels. Additionally, magnesium promotes balanced blood sugar and blood pressure levels.

Deficiencies in magnesium can cause irritability, muscle spasms, and more, as seen in one animal study that linked depleted magnesium levels to aggressive behavior when paired with THC’s neurotoxic effects. Although no human studies confirm these findings, heavy cannabis consumers may want to discuss adding magnesium to their diets with a medical professional.

Although magnesium is a mineral, not a vitamin, magnesium deficiency can impede the absorption of other vitamins and minerals, like vitamin D and calcium.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect cells against free radicals when the body is exposed to toxins through smoke, food, or environmental factors. Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage cells, leading to oxidative stress and contributing to medical conditions like cancer, heart disease, and more.

When people smoke cigarettes, millions of free radicals form with every inhalation. Similarly, when cannabis smokers light a joint or blunt, the inflammatory nature of smoke in the respiratory system may also create free radicals.

However, the mechanism behind this effect is unknown, and separating the impact of cannabis vis-a-vis the impacts of smoke is difficult. Cannabis consumers who incorporate vitamin C supplements into their diet may benefit from these antioxidant properties.

Vitamin E

Like vitamin C, vitamin E also protects the body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals. Research asserts that vitamin E contributes to lung health and function, even pointing to using vitamin E serum to protect against chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Adding antioxidants, like vitamin E, into the diet can only help keep the body in optimal health and combat the potential side effects of smoking cannabis.


All B vitamins help turn food (carbohydrates) into energy (glucose) to keep the body functioning properly. B vitamins also help the body metabolize fat and protein and are essential for a healthy liver, skin, hair, eyes, brain, and nervous system. Thiamine, or B1, is one of eight B vitamins.

Cannabis-induced hyperemesis is the only reported case linking marijuana to B1 deficiencies. However, B1 supplementation could potentially benefit all adults, including marijuana smokers.

The Bottom Line

Early research does not directly implicate cannabinoids like THC as the cause of vitamin deficiencies. Instead, smoking or other health-related habits may be to blame for low vitamin levels. Still, research linking long-term, heavy cannabis use with low levels of vitamins E, D, and C is worth exploring.

For many otherwise healthy people, it is likely that most of the potential concerns surrounding cannabis’s impact on vitamin and mineral absorption rates can be mitigated by following a healthy, varied diet. Additionally, regular exercise, healthy sleep patterns, and using other supplements (e.g., omega-3) where necessary will help maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Of course, if you are concerned that your THC intake may be contributing to a vitamin deficiency, reach out to your healthcare provider or medical marijuana-prescribing doctor. And in the meantime, consider only consuming very low doses of THC or switching to cannabidiol (CBD).

CBD has been shown to provide pain relief without the psychoactive properties of THC. It is available in oils, tinctures, and topicals, allowing you to reap its benefits without the potential risks associated with inhaling smoke.

Get Your Medical Card

Connect with a licensed physician online in minutes.