Cannabis is a naturally occurring drug made from parts of the cannabis plant. The cannabis plant contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is its main active ingredient.

Cannabis is illegal, class B drug.

Possession can lead to a five year prison sentence.

Supply, including giving to your friends can lead to a fourteen year prison sentence.

Drug driving is illegal as drink driving; this can lead to a prison sentence, a heavy fine and disqualification.

Other names for cannabis:

Black, blow, dope, ganja, grass, hash, hashish, herb, marijuana, pot, puff, resin, hemp, skunk, soap, spliff, wacky backy, weed

Cannabis is a naturally occurring drug made from parts of the cannabis plant. The cannabis plant contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is its main active ingredient.

Different forms of cannabis contain different amounts of THC, the higher the amount the stronger the effects of the cannabis.

Some people use cannabis to help with certain medical problems. It is illegal to possess no matter what you are using it for.

Long term cannabis use

Long term cannabis use can cause lung disease and possibly cancer. It has also been linked to mental health problems. Regular cannabis use especially in young people can lead to increased risk of later developing a psychotic illness such as schizophrenia.

Is cannabis addictive?

Getting hooked (dependant) to cannabis is influenced by how long it is used for, how much and whether a person is more susceptible to becoming dependant or not. You may experience difficulties stopping after regular use and may experience psychological and physical withdrawals. Withdrawals may include cravings, irritability, mood changes, sleeping difficulties, and shaking. If cannabis is used with tobacco there is also the risk of getting addicted to nicotine.

Types of cannabis

Cannabis comes in different forms and strengths.

There is cannabis resin, (hash) this is a black substance scrapped from the plant and pressed into lumps.

Herbal cannabis, (marijuana) this is dried leaves of the cannabis plant.

Sinsemilla, this is the tops of unfertilised female cannabis plants.

Skunk, this is a form of cannabis, it’s a lot stronger than other varieties and has a more powerful effects on the mind. It is grown using intensive breeding techniques and is very common in the UK. There could be worse health risk associated with skunk.

Skunk and Sinsemilla have higher levels of THC. THC is realised from the cannabis and passes from the lungs to the bloodstream, then the THC travels to the brain. The THC then acts upon certain sites of the brain called the cannabinoid receptors, this starts a series of cellular reactions that leads to a “high”. The highest amount of cannabinoid receptors are found in parts of the brain that are responsible for feelings of pleasure, memory, thinking, concentrating, sensory and time perception.(Drug abuse 2011) This explains the behaviours that can be seen when a person uses cannabis.

Cannabis and Mental health

Cannabis has been linked to mental health in a number of ways. Some people use cannabis to block out a mental health illness, to ease the feelings and make themselves feel better. People may experience feelings of anxiety, paranoia, memory loss and panic attacks.

Signs of cannabis use can be seen by blood shot eyes, dry mouth and loss of hygiene. Paraphernalia such as torn cigarette packets, papers and pipes may be seen. Signs of dependency may be a person becoming anxious and irritable without the drug, increased use of the drug attempts to give up but falling.

If you are worried about somebody using cannabis get the facts, talk to them or call our office to talk to a member of staff.

Information sourced from:

Drug Abuse, retrieved June 2011

http://www.drugabuse.gov/infofacts/marijuana.html