A Quick Look At Marijuana

Active Agent

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is one of the active ingredients in marijuana. Several other cannabinols and their metabolites have activity. Cannabis sativa is the marijuana plant although hemp is similar with a lower cannabinol content. Hashish , a dark resin obtained from the marijuana plant has a much higher concentration of cannabinoids. The female flowers contain the highest concentrations of cannabinoids (THC). In recent years the THC level in street-bought marijuana has substantially increased.


Relaxation, euphoria, and alteration in sensorium are typical effects of marijuana. In larger doses visual disturbances, heightened sensations, time-distortion, spatial-distortion, and limited hallucinations can be seen. Some diminished reaction time may occur, and combined with visual alterations, substantial worsening in driving capability may be noticed. Paranoia or uncontrolled laughter are frequent side effects. Increased appetite (the munchies) is common. This increased appetite effect (combined with suppression of nausea) may be one of the reasons this drug is a potential aid to chemotherapy patients.

Addiction Potential

Physical – None. Psychological – Moderate.

Method of Use

Smoking in joint, pipe, or bong (water pipe) is the usual route. Oral ingestion (e.g. Magic Brownies) can produce a prolonged high.


Illegal in Canada and most other countries. Extreme use typically negatively impacts functioning in school or at work and some studies have shown drops in IQ among heavy users. Driving or operating equipment while under the influence can be very dangerous as the mind is inclined to drift and lose focus on the task at hand.

Additional Information


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