Drug Aware­ness of the Month: Cannabis


TWhat is Cannabis? Cannabis also known as he Harm Re­duc­tion Pil­lar of the Swift Cur­rent and Dis­trict Drug Task Force would like to share the fol­low­ing in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the widely used drug cannabis. mar­i­juana has a va­ri­ety of street names: grass, weed, pot, dope, ganja and oth­ers. Th­ese all come from the cannabis plant. Hashish also known as hash and hash oil are also de­rived from this plant. Mar­i­juana is the dried flower buds and leaves of the cannabis plant. The col­ors range from gray­ish green to green­ish brown. Hashish is the dried, com­pressed resin of cannabis flower tops and ranges in color from brown to black and is sold in chunks. Hash oil is made by boil­ing cannabis flower tops or resin in an or­ganic sol­vent which pro­duces a sticky red­dish-brown or green sub­stance. What Makes You High? Mar­i­juana has psy­choac­tive ef­fects which means it works on the brain. The main psy­choac­tive in­gre­di­ent is tetrahy­dro­cannabi­nol or THC and it af­fects parts of the brain that are linked to pain sen­sa­tion, emo­tion and move­ment. How you feel de­pends of the strength of the cannabis, how much you have used, how of­ten you use it and whether you smoke it or in­gest it. When peo­ple use cannabis they de­scribe a sense of eu­pho­ria and they be­come very re­laxed. You may see them gig­gle a lot, have crav­ings for cer­tain foods and even­tu­ally be­come drowsy. Peo­ple’s per­cep­tions are height­ened they per­ceive col­ors as more bright or mu­sic as more dis­tinct. How Do You Tell If Some­one Has Used Cannabis? Peo­ple who have used cannabis may have a dis- torted sense of time and space. They may have im­paired co­or­di­na­tion and bal­ance, rapid heart­beat, red eyes or glazed eyes and di­lated pupils. Usu­ally you can smell it on their clothes or in their hair as cannabis has a dis­tinct pun­gent odour when smoked. Who Uses Cannabis? Cannabis is the most com­monly used il­le­gal drug among Cana­di­ans and Cana­dian youth ages 15 to 24 years of age. The Cana­dian Cen­tre on Sub­stance Abuse re­ports the num­ber of youth who have used cannabis in the past years is three times higher than adults 25 years and older. Yes it is. Some peo­ple are psy­cho­log­i­cally ad­dicted and be­come very anx­ious when they can­not have it. Oth­ers are phys­i­cally ad­dicted and have prob­lems sleep­ing, they may get anx­ious or ir­ri­ta­ble if they can­not have it. What Are The Harms Of Cannabis? Cannabis smoke con­tains seven times more tar and carbon monox­ide than cig­a­rette smoke and since peo­ple in­hale it deeply to get the full ef­fects it in­creases the risk of can­cer. Us­ing cannabis for too many years makes it harder to pay at­ten­tion, re­mem­ber things and learn. Peo­ple who are at risk of schizophre­nia, cannabis can bring on the symp­toms sooner. Large doses of mar­i­juana can cause peo­ple to hal­lu­ci­nate, be­come para­noid or be­lieve things that are not true. Did you know there are at least 400 chem­i­cals in cannabis?

Ref­er­ences: Cen­tre for Ad­dic­tion and Men­tal Health, Cannabis, 2003, 2012

Saskatchewan Min­istry of Health, Do you know about “weed”?; Cana­dian Cen­tre on Sub­stance Abuse

Is Cannabis Ad­dic­tive?

How Does It Make You Feel?

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