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Cannabis: Just the facts

Cannabis is also known as hash, THC, weed, grass, ganja, skunk or marijuana.

The Law:

Cannabis is currently classified as a Class B drug; this means it is illegal to have for personal use, to give away or sell in any of its forms.

Cannabis comes in different forms:

  • Hash is a black/brown lump made from the resin of cannabis leaves and is eaten; this often has stronger effects than smoking it
  • Grass or weed, often known as the ‘herbal’ form of the drug is dried, chopped cannabis leaves; this is often rolled up and smoked as a joint or spliff. It can also be vaped in the form of cannabis oil
  • Skunk is a type of herbal cannabis that is much stronger than the other forms of cannabis, making it more damaging

Taking cannabis in any form can make you feel:

  • As if colours are brighter and sounds are sharper
  • Sick or dizzy
  • Anxious or paranoid
  • Very hungry
  • Very relaxed
  • Happy and get the giggles
  • As if time is moving very slowly

If you are using cannabis, there are a number of serious risks. Cannabis can:

  • Increase the chance of you taking risks that you wouldn’t normally take
  • Lead to a criminal record if you’re found to have cannabis on you by the police
  • Cause Drug-Induced Psychosis, where you are unable to tell the difference between reality and your thoughts
  • Exaggerate symptoms of existing mental health problems you may already have and increase your risk of developing these, like depression or paranoia
  • Lead to long term health problems in later life
  • Lead to you being exploited

Although cannabis is known as a recreational drug, it is very dangerous and using it regularly can increase your risk of developing serious mental health problems like schizophrenia. Using cannabis for a long time can also affect your memory and concentration, and have an impact on how well you do in school or college.

This drug can also make you feel very tired. By draining your energy, you’ll find simple tasks like getting out of bed much more difficult.

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 school nurse.

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