Other names for cannabis
Marijuana, hashish, hash, pot, weed, grass, joints.
What is cannabis?
- Hashish and marijuana are drugs that can suppress feelings or pain.
- They can also change the way you perceive things around you.
- The chemical that produces those effects is called THC.
- Some kinds of hashish and marijuana contain large amounts of THC. If you don’t have much experience with them, the strong kinds can cause unpleasant effects such as panic.
- Marijuana consists of the dried flowering tops of the cannabis plant. Hashish is made from the resin.
- Hashish and marijuana can be smoked (in rolled joints or pipes), vaporised or swallowed in solid or liquid form (in space cake and pot brownies).
Effects of cannabis
- Hashish and marijuana give you a cheerful, relaxed feeling.
- You experience music and colours more intensely.
- Cannabis intensifies your mood; if you’re feeling lousy, it can make you feel even worse.
- Your heart beats faster and your eyes get slightly bloodshot.
- If you smoke cannabis, the effects begin a few minutes later and last 2 to 4 hours. If you eat it, they begin an hour later and last 4 to 8 hours.
- People who eat space cake often ingest too much. Because it takes an hour to feel the effects, they think it’s not working and eat another piece. People can be frightened by the intense effects.
- You have trouble thinking logically and remembering things that have just happened.
Short term risks of cannabis
The most common acute risks from cannabis use are:
- severe dizziness and nausea
- passing out
- acute shortness of breath (bronchitis)
- cannabis psychosis or a bad trip. Cannabis can hit you the wrong way. You can lose control and feel sick and fearful.
THC does not affect the brain areas that regulate heartbeat and breathing. That makes it almost impossible to die of a cannabis overdose.
Long term risks of cannabis
The more cannabis you take, the more oft en you take it, and the younger you are when you start, the greater your risk of developing problems. The most common problems over the long
term are as follow:
- smoking a lot of cannabis can retard your personal development.
- poorer concentration
- weakened physical condition and resistance
- chronic bronchitis
- impaired lung immune system
- possible higher risk of lung cancer
- greater risk of psychotic symptoms, particularly in individuals with a predisposition for them
- addiction. Approximately 1 in 10 cannabis users sometimes experience addiction symptoms. They may develop a tolerance for cannabis, whereby they need to consume greater amounts to achieve the desired effects. Heavy users of cannabis may experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking the drug; these may persist for up to 2 weeks.
The following test will help you discover whether you are taking too many risks. Once you’ve answered the questions, you’ll receive the test results, with information about your score. Depending on your score, we’ll make certain recommendations.
Cannabis in the brain and in the body
Watch our animations to see how cannabis works in the brain and what route it takes through the body.