Cannabis, also known as hemp, is a species of the Cannabinaceae family of plants. Cannabis contains the chemical compound THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol), which is responsible for most of the characteristic psychoactive effects of cannabis that leads to the “high”. However, not all components of cannabis are psychoactive

The dried leaves and flowers (buds) of the cannabis plant are known as marijuana, which can be smoked (through a pipe or bong, hand-rolled into a joint, or consumed in an edible (for example, cookies, brownies, gummies).

The resinous secretions of the plant are known as hashish, which can be smoked or eaten. The fiber of the cannabis plant is cultivated as industrial hemp with uses in textile manufacturing. And, the compounds that have a structure similar to THC are cannabinoids.


The effects of cannabis are variable and will depend upon the dose, method of administration, prior experience, any concurrent drug use, personal expectations, mood state and the social environment.

Effects of cannabis (marijuana) include:

  • an altered state of consciousness. The user may feel “high”, very happy, euphoric, relaxed, sociable and uninhibited.
  • distorted perceptions of time and space. The user may feel more sensitive to things around them, and may also experience a more vivid sense of taste, sight, smell and hearing.
  • increased pulse and heart rate, bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils, and often increased appetite (“the munchies”).
  • impaired coordination and concentration, making activities such as driving a car or operating machinery difficult and dangerous.

People who use large excessive quantities of cannabis may become sedated or disoriented and may experience toxic psychosis — not knowing who they are, where they are, or what time it is. High doses may also cause fluctuating emotions, fragmentary thoughts, paranoia, panic attacks, hallucinations and feelings of unreality.


The effects of inhaled cannabis are felt within minutes. Secondly, they reach their peak in 10 to 30 minutes. And may linger for two or three hours. However, edible cannabis, which may contain higher amount of THC, can take a longer period of time to reach full effec. The effect of edible cannabis can last up to 12 hours.


Consumption of excessive amounts of marijuana leads to a psychoactive drug effect. So:

  • Do not drive, operate machinery, or perform other hazardous activities while using cannabis (marijuana). It may cause dizziness, drowsiness, and impaired judgment.
  • Do not drink alcohol while using cannabis. Alcohol will increase dizziness, drowsiness, and impaired judgment.
  • Cannabis may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, alcohol, antihistamines, sedatives (used to treat insomnia). Moreover, including pain relievers, anxiety medicines, seizure medicine and muscle relaxants, among others.


The most common uses for medical cannabis include for severe or long-term pain, nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy (cancer treatments), and painful muscle spasms. However, there are several medical conditions for which patients can use medical marijuana.

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer-related pain
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS-related weight loss or nausea/vomiting
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscle spasms
  • Neuropathy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Panic disorders

If you want to learn more about benefits of Cannabis, click here