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How Cannabis Affects Your Health

It's natural, but is it safe?

Just because cannabis is a plant, doesn’t mean it’s safe. Cannabis contains a range of harmful chemicals similar to those in tobacco smoke. It can have very real harmful effects on your body and mind. The drug affects the working of your brain. It can make you feel anxious, paranoid, less motivated and it interferes with your ability to concentrate and remember things.

If you’re already feeling anxious or depressed then cannabis can make these problems worse. Regular use of cannabis from a young age can lead to an increased risk of developing a serious mental illness such as psychosis. If you eat cannabis, it takes longer to get into your system – so it’s too late to do anything if any unpleasant side-effects develop.

You’re also taking a large dose in one go which makes it harder to avoid a negative reaction – there’s also the risk to your lungs.

Smoking the drug has been linked to diseases such as lung cancer, although the exact impact is unclear given that most cannabis users also smoke tobacco.

The Myths

Can you tell fact from fiction on these myths around cannabis?

true or false
Cannabis is a 'serious' drug
TRUE FALSE
Right! It is a serious drug and you can be arrested if found with it
Wrong! It is a serious drug and you can be arrested if found with it
true or false
It’s ok to take cannabis and drive
TRUE FALSE
Wrong! It's illegal, even driving with a low level of cannabis in your blood or being high from cannabis is illegal and you can get arrested.
That's right! It's illegal - Even driving with a low level of cannabis in your blood is illegal and you can get arrested.

How to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your public health nurse.

Cross Hatch

Find help in your local area

Find out what services are available to you in your area. Remember your school nurse is always there to give you confidential help and support.