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Don't Be A Zombie | Substance Misuse Advice & Information – Info Cannabis

Bud, Ganj, Dope, Blow, Weed, Bush, Grass, Hash Pot

Illegal (Class B)

Varies but generally bought in £10 and £20 bags

Mainly depressant however some strains have hallucinogen and stimulant properties

  • Cannabis is the most widely used drug amongst young people today and the main active chemical in it is tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC for short).
  • People use cannabis to relax and chill out by smoking it in a ‘joint’, ‘bong’ or ‘pipe’, with some opting to use cannabis to bake cakes/cookies or brew teas.
  • Cannabis comes in various forms and strengths such as resin (hard brown form) and skunk (stronger green plant form).
  • It takes an average of two weeks to one month for cannabis to leave your body system if you are a regular user, although it can be longer. Long-term users may still have cannabis in their body two to three months after they last smoked it.
  • It is important that young people realise that cannabis is not legal and being caught with a small amount may result in a Police caution.
  • Cannabis shares a lot of the same harmful chemicals as tobacco.
  • If you smoke a lot (even pure cannabis) you can develop problems with your breathing and if you smoke cannabis together with tobacco you are susceptible to the same risks such as nasty coughs, chest infections and even the risk of developing cancer.
  • Using cannabis can affect your mood and make you think strange thoughts.
  • Cannabis comes in different types with different strengths and effects. Some cannabis strains can make you see and hear things that are not really there, this is called a hallucination. 
  • Using cannabis regularly can increase the risk of developing mental health problems such as schizophrenia, depression and anxiety.
  • If you regularly take cannabis you run the risk of causing problems with your reproductive system. In males it can make you struggle to produce sperm and in women it can affect your ability to ovulate resulting in difficulties to have children in the future.
  • Smoking cannabis affects the hearts ability to pump blood around the body effectively. Your heart has to work harder and faster to pump blood around the body.
  • People will sometimes experience the ‘munchies’ after smoking cannabis, this can lead to eating food that can lead to weight gain and have wider impact on health and well being.
  • Some people report that cannabis makes them feel chilled out and relaxed, also referred to as being ‘stoned’.  Other may have a burst of laughter and find everything funny and some may present as very chatty and talkative.
  • Try to steer clear from using plastic bottles to smoke cannabis. The plastic is very harmful and carries toxins that are poisonous when heated.
  • If you need to use a roach when smoking cannabis, then use a small piece of blank card. A roach is a used at the end of a joint/spliff to protect the lips from the heat of the cannabis being burnt.
  • Cigarette packets are coloured because they have been printed with inks, these inks emit dangerous fumes when heated so don’t use them.
  • Try to use fewer papers when making joints and spliffs as this will decrease the amount of burning paper that you inhale.
  • Breathing in too deeply or holding smoke in your lungs for too long does not increase the effects of the cannabis but builds up more tar in the lungs.
  • It is advisable to smoke cannabis through a pipe; however, sharing a pipe should be discouraged as germs are passed more easily.
  • A glass, steel or brass pipe is preferable to use as they are less harmful than using a wooden or plastic pipe which can give off toxic fumes when heated.
  • Always clean your bong/pipe thoroughly after each use. Germs and bacteria can live for a long time and can be passed when people share pipes.
  • Cannabis can be detected in your urine if you use it regularly for up to 6-8 weeks and much longer in some cases if you have used cannabis on a longer term. Some employers like the Police and Army can ask to take a urine sample if you apply for a job with them.
  • Try to use smaller amounts of cannabis in your joints or even move onto a less stronger variety such as cannabis resin.
  • Put as little tobacco in your spliff as possible and use lower strength nicotine.
  • Don’t hold the smoke in, especially if you’re mixing it with tobacco – it just deposits more tar in your lungs.
  • Don’t drive when you’re high or about to get high.
  • If you’re using a pipe or a bong keep it clean, use clean water and equipment.
  • If you’re eating cannabis remember it takes longer to work than smoking it. If you get impatient and have too much you will most likely experience a ‘whitey’. Basically be patient and wait.
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