Cannabis (marijuana or hashish)

Young people smoking cannabis

Cannabis is a plant grown in many parts of the world. A resin is prepared from the plants or the leaves are dried and smoked. They produce a happy feeling in most users, most times. The effect is relaxing but for some people using cannabis can result in feelings of anxiety or paranoia, described as having a “bad trip”. It is the most common illicit psychoactive substance used. Its use among young people both in rural and urban areas is increasing.

Stop reading for a moment, do young people in your community use hashish? What adverse effects have you observed or heard of?

Smoking cannabis disrupts short-term memory. Long-term exposure to cannabis may produce long-lasting cognitive impairment. The risk of exacerbation of mental illness such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder is associated with cannabis use. A link between cannabis use and ectopic pregnancy has been suggested but more certain is the link between cannabis use by men and their inability to have a satisfactory orgasm (they may reach orgasm too quickly or too slowly, if at all).

Cannabis users rapidly develop tolerance to most effects of cannabis. The user has tolerance when increased doses of the psychoactive substance are required in order to achieve effects originally produced by lower doses. As with cigarette smoking cannabis users may experience similar withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit.

Last modified: Tuesday, 1 July 2014, 12:48 PM