Introduction: Cannabis, also known as marijuana, weed, or pot, is a psychoactive substance that comes from a plant. It contains THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), two chemical components that have both short- and long-term effects. People use cannabis for a variety of reasons and it can be prescribed by a doctor or nurse practitioner as a medical treatment. As with any other medication, if you are prescribed cannabis, it is important to follow the recommended dosage.
How is cannabis consumed?
- Cannabis can be eaten in different ways and in different forms:
- Inhaled in the form of smoke or vapor, for an almost immediate effect;
- Taken in foods (edible), liquids or capsules, for a delayed effect that can take up to a few hours to act.
What do we feel after using cannabis?
The effects you may feel after using cannabis vary depending on the amount of each chemical substance included and your body’s response to these substances. Cannabis can produce different mental, emotional and physical effects, especially in people under 25 years of age. Everyone reacts differently. Factors of cannabis may include:
- Medical history (including family history);
- The frequency with which it is consumed;
- The mode of consumption;
- The quantity consumed;
- THC and CBD levels.
The effects of cannabis can also be of different intensity and even vary from one time to another depending on how it is consumed. For example, according to medical cannabis clinic Ontario ingestion of cannabis (edible) takes longer to take effect; it is therefore important to be aware of the amount taken, if you choose to consume it.
Here are some of the possible short-term effects:
- Mental effects: Cannabis can make you feel more anxious or more relaxed. In addition, you may experience paranoia, hallucinations and fears, and see how you’re thinking or decision-making skills change.
- Emotional Effects: You may feel happy or excited. Cannabis can also impact your social interactions, for example by making you more open, or conversely calmer and shyer. You may feel emotionally frozen, or you may not feel emotion at all.
- Physical effects: You may feel sleepy or go hungry. If you feel physical pain before using cannabis, it may fade after consumption. You can experience an increase in your heart rate, tremors or red eyes. Your senses – what you see, hear, feel, taste and smell – can be exacerbated.
Cannabis use also has long-term effects.
- These effects vary depending on the person, the frequency of use and the age at which they started using it. Using cannabis at an early age (before age 18) increases the risk of long-term effects.
- Here are some of the possible long-term effects:
- Damage to the lungs (if cannabis is inhaled), including chronic cough and bronchitis;
- Psychosis in people who have a personal or family history of mental illness;
- Drug addiction or cannabis addiction.
- You may experience some of these effects, each of them, or none of them.
Remember that some mental health disorders first appear in adolescence. If you have the impression that you are using cannabis to better tolerate your symptoms or to hold on, you can consult with medical cannabis clinic Ontario.