Cannabis (Marijuana)

Cannabis (marijuana) can lead to a relaxing high, intense laughter, increased appetite, and an intensification of bodily sensations, including sound, taste, and touch.

Drug Class:
No specific class
Individual drugs:
low-grade marijuana (<1% THC), high-grade marijuana (4-8% THC), hashish (7-14% THC) hash oil (up to 50% THC)
Common Terms:
ganja, green, herb, leaf, marijuana, mary-jane, pot, skunk, kush, weed, 420, blunt.
Consumption and Standard Dose:

Smoked or ingested:
  • Rolled as "joints" and smoked. Also smoked through pipes, bongs, hookas and other devices.
  • Can be prepared in butter or oil and cooked directly into food.
The Buzz:
  • Initial relaxation, stimulation and elevation of mood with enhanced sensations and appetite.
  • Later, drowsiness and sedation.
  • Increase in appetite
  • Can make you feel 'floaty'
  • Can make things seem funnier, or confusing in an amusing way
  • Can enhance audio / video experiences (example: lightshows, video games, electronic music, etc)
  • Focus and creativity can seem enhance
  • May feel more contemplative and spiritual
Overdose and other negative effects:
  • Higher doses may lead to mild hallucinations, anxiety or paranoia.
  • Reddening of eyes and dryness of mouth (sometimes called 'cotton mouth'). Sooth with eye-drops and water.
  • Lung damage: Many people who use marijuana smoke it, and often inhale more deeply and hold the smoke in their lungs for a greater period of time than tobacco smokers. As well, marijuana smoke tends to be hotter when it reaches the lungs than tobacco smoke.
  • Injury: Marijuana, especially in high doses, can impair coordination. Risk of injury may be increased as a result of driving or engaging in other physically complex tasks may be increased as a result.
  • Dependence (addiction): Long-term daily use of marijuana may lead some users to become dependent.
  • Brain Changes: Research to date suggests that marijuana use does not lead to permanent changes in memory, cognitive function, or learning. Some research suggests that long-term use may have an impact on the user's ability to organize and integrate complex information. Research suggests that being high on marijuana does not impair the retrieval of information learned previously. However, in high doses marijuana may interfere with the user's ability to transfer new information into long-term memory.
Dangerous Drug Combinations:
  • Possible interactions with heart and blood pressure medications as marijuana increases heart rate.
HIV Medications & Cannabi:s
  • Protease Inhibitors (PIs) and Integrase Inhibitors may potentially increase the amount of THC levels from the cannabis you take.
  • THC is the medicinal component of cannabis. It helps relieve pain and nausea, and can stimulate your appetite, helping maintain a healthy caloric intake. Cannabis can thus be prescribed to manage such symptoms if they are side effects caused by HIV medication.
  • Cannabis can be prescribed to help manage weight and appetite loss associated with some HIV medications, as well as helps regulate anxiety associated with HIV diagnosis.
  • If you are considering using cannabis regularly for its health benefits, you can maximise its positive impact on your health by taking it in pill form, baked in goods, sublingual sprays, or using a vaporiser. Smoking cannabis poses the same risks of lung cancer and emphysema as smoking nicotine.

Sex on Cannabis:
  • Can increase physical sensations, heightening pleasure
  • Like alcohol, arouses some, depresses others
  • Can induce feeling overwhelmed by too much physical sensation
  • Can disconnect from physical sensation and increase cerebral thought processes
  • May feel more sensual and less focussed on orgasm
  • Chronic, long-term use linked to erectile dysfunction and decreased fertility