Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is one of the active ingredients in marijuana. Several other cannabinols and their metabolites have activity. Cannabis sativa is the marijuana plant although hemp is similar with a lower cannabinol content. Hashish , a dark resin obtained from the marijuana plant has a much higher concentration of cannabinoids. The female flowers contain the highest concentrations of cannabinoids (THC). In recent years the THC level in street-bought marijuana has substantially increased.
Relaxation, euphoria, and alteration in sensorium are typical effects of marijuana. In larger doses visual disturbances, heightened sensations, time-distortion, spatial-distortion, and limited hallucinations can be seen. Some diminished reaction time may occur, and combined with visual alterations, substantial worsening in driving capability may be noticed. Paranoia or uncontrolled laughter are frequent side effects. Increased appetite (the munchies) is common. This increased appetite effect (combined with suppression of nausea) may be one of the reasons this drug is a potential aid to chemotherapy patients.
In parts of the United States and throughout Canada you can get a prescription from your doctor for marijuana for pain relief for a large variety of condition, from mitigating negative side effects of cancer treatments, to easing menstrual cramps. The properties of marijuana for easing pain garnered strong clinical evidence and have millions of proponents who use it for that purpose worldwide. Many treatments utilize the Cannabidiol, or CBD component in marijuana for therapeutic purposes. Check out American Marijuana for CBD examples.
Physical – None. Psychological – Moderate.
Method of Use
Smoking in joint, pipe, or bong (water pipe) is the usual route. Oral ingestion (e.g. Magic Brownies) can produce a prolonged high.
Illegal in most other countries, although it became legal in Canada in 2018. Extreme use typically negatively impacts functioning in school or at work and some studies have shown drops in IQ among heavy users. Driving or operating equipment while under the influence can be very dangerous as the mind is inclined to drift and lose focus on the task at hand.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse – Marijuana Info
- NORML – National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws