Marijuana

Is a hallucinogen, which alters mood and cognition. Generally smoked or eaten for its major psychoactive ingredient THC. Effects depend largely on user’s moods and personality as well as the amount and strength of the preparation used.
Effects range from feelings of relaxation, well being, with enhanced sensations and perceptions to reduce social interaction and increased passive behaviour. For some people the drug may have little or no effect at all. Marijuana smoke contains many of the same carcinogenic compounds found in tobacco smoke thereby increasing the risk of lung cancer and other respiratory ailments.

Signs of Intoxication:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Enhanced sensations and perceptions
  • Increased appetite
  • Dry mouth
  • Possible dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Loss of coordination

Withdrawal Symptoms:

  • Restlessness
  •  Irritability
  • Mild agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Nausea
  • Cramping
  • Cravings for drugs

Effects:

Mind & Behaviour: Decreased sense of time, confusion, inability to carry out multi-step tasks, short term memory impairment; users may become apathetic, anxious; high doses may trigger paranoia, hallucinations and “flashbacks” in susceptible individuals.
Heart & Blood: Reduces oxygen delivery to heart muscle. May increase heart rate and lower blood pressure. This may pose significant risks to people with heart disorders.
Lungs: Heavy smokers suffer bronchial irritation and inflammation leading to an increased risk of bronchitis and other pulmonary disorders. Possible carcinogenic.

Immune System: Possible decrease in immune responses increasing risk of infections and disease.
Sexual Organs: Reduces hormone levels: may reduce fertility in both men and women.
Fetus: May contribute to premature birth. Marijuana freely crosses the placenta and is secreted in breast milk; possible delayed development after birth.