Cannabis is a natural drug (compared to a man-made synthetic one) that comes from varieties of Cannabis Sativa, which is the same plant that hemp comes from. This plant grows in various parts of the world (including the UK) and can reach up to 15 feet in height. Cannabis is slightly different from other drugs, in that it doesn’t clearly fall into the simple drug categories such as: stimulant (speeds up body’s reactions), depressant (slows own body’s reactions) or hallucinogen (distorts senses). However, it probably falls more into the hallucinogen category rather than the others but, depending on the type, it can have effects that fall into the other categories.
It is a drug that has been used for centuries either for fun, in religious/spiritual ceremonies or as medicine.
It comes in three main forms:
- Hash (cannabis resin)
- Marijuana (herbal cannabis)
- Cannabis oil
- Mellow, calm feeling
- Sense of well-being
- Changes in senses, especially eating hash cakes
- often thought of as an aphrodisiac
- stimulates appetite
- pain killer (analgesic)
- increase in pulse rate
- drop in blood pressure
- sense of lethargy
- concerns about the effect on the mental health of the young
- can affect short term memory
- can affect co-ordination
Hash: dark brown, black, tar-like substance (resin)
Herbal: a mixture of leaf, seed and buds from the female cannabis plant. High quality contains just the buds (often grown indoors, known in the UK as ‘skunk’).
Oil: light brown, viscous (sticky) oil-like substance, similar to honey
Smoked: rolled in ‘joints’, with or without tobacco (marijuana),
Inhaled: in 'pipes' or 'bongs'/ 'buckets', inhaled off 'hot knives' or through a vaporiser.
Swallowed: eaten (hashish); prepared as a 'butter', baked in foods such as cakes and mixed with drinks such as tea (‘cannabis tea’) or spirits (‘Green Dragon’) and drunk