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What Is It?

Cannabis is derived from a variety of Indian hemp plants

What does it look like?

Marijuana: It’s most common form is dried leaves that are green to brown.They can be whole leaves and buds or cut up. They are usually smoked in a cigarette form or a pipe of some sort like a bong.

Hashish: This is the resin from cannabis, usually in blocks it’s color can be dark brown to black.

Street Names

Grass, pot, hash, weed, reefer, Mary Jane, dope, herb, mull, rope, buddha, ganja, joint, stick, buckets, cones, skunk, hydro, yarndi, smoke, hooch, spliff, skunk

How They Are Taken

  • Smoked
  • Digested in food

How Does It Work?

  • It affects the central nervous system by slowing down messages between the body and brain, thus acting as a depressant
  • THC is the active chemical ingredient in the plant that creates the “high”
  • THC is carried through the blood stream to the brain via
    > The walls of the lungs if smoked
    > The walls of the stomache\instestine if eaten

Why Is It Taken? (Desired Side Effects)

  • It can act as a relaxant
  • Open and uninhibited
  • Altered sensual perception
    > Sight\Color
    > Taste
    > Sound
    > Touch
    > Smell
  • Alters memory and thinking, users lose track of their thoughts
  • Impairs coordination
  • Excitement
  • Hallucinations

Unwanted Side Effects

  • Increased heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Reddened eyes
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Paranoia
  • Restlessness

Long Term Side Effects

  • Respiratory illness
  • Decrease in energy and motivation
  • Decrease in memory, concentration and the ability to learn. This can continue for several months after cannabis use
  • Effect on hormones – lower sex drive and potentially reduced sperm counts
  • Weakened immune system
  • Interference with reproductive functions
  • Learning difficulties
  • Risk of psychosis and psychotic symptoms

Addiction And Dependency

  • Regular use often builds a tolerance, requiring larger amounts to receive the same effect
  • It is possible to become psychologically dependant where other aspects of the users life is neglected
  • Psychological withdrawals can result in a craving for cannabis use
  • Whether physical addiction is possible is debatable but those who are dependent on cannabis can certainly display physical withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, upset stomaches and in more severe cases, chills. Any reports of physical withdrawls suggest that they are far less severe then withdrawls from drugs such as heroin.
  • Other withdrawal symptoms can include sleep disturbances, nervousness, irritability and anxiety.

Overdose And Death

There have been no reported deaths from cannabis. The dose of cannabis considered legal to human beings is roughly a third of a person’s body weight. This is a very large amount of cannabis and ingesting this amount is highly unlikely.