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Marihuana is a hallucinogen and it is still the most common illegal drug.

Other Names

Marijuana is also called cannabis sativa, hashish, hashish oil, marijuana, Mary Jane, Acapulco gold, ace, bhang, Colombian, ganja, grass, hemp, Indian, Jamaican, jive, joint, Mexican, Maui wowie, Panama red, Panama gold, pot reefer, ragweed, sativa, sinse, tea, Thai sticks, wee, roach, hash, hash oil, honey oil weed oil. There are more than 100 names used for marijuana, which are used in the USA and Canada.


Flowering tops and leaves of cannabis plant. Ranges in colour from grey-green to greenish-brown. Usually contains seeds and stems. Has strong odour. For using, it looks like a hand-rolled cigarette (joint), resin extract (hashish) or tar-like liquid (hashish oil).

Origin and Medical Uses

It derived from a leafy plant found growing wild in many parts of the world and easily grown and cultivated in the UK. It was Obtained from the plant Cannabis sativa, which grows in almost any climate. THC and other cannabis constituents are being tested for possible use in treatment of glaucoma, asthma, epilepsy. At present only accepted medical use is treatment of nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy by a related compound, Nabilone.

Short-term Effects

Effects of smoking felt within a few minutes and last two to four hours; those of ingestion appear more gradually and last longer although user may feel dull and sluggish for some time afterwards. Concentration and short-term memory markedly impaired. User feels calm, relaxed, talkative. Sensory perception seems enhanced, colours brighter, sounds more distinct. Appetite increases, especially for sweets. Sense of time and space distorted. Some users withdraw, or experience fearfulness, anxiety, depression; a few experience panic, terror or paranoia, particularly with larger doses. Some experience hallucinations with larger doses. Physical effects include impaired coordination and balance, rapid heartbeat, red eyes, dry mouth and throat, drowsiness. Long-term Effects

Signs of chronic, heavy use may include decreased motivation and interest, as well as difficulties with memory and concentration. These problems tend to clear when regular use stops. Respiratory system damaged by smoking; single joint of marihuana yields much more tar than a strong cigarette. Tar in cannabis smoke contains higher amounts of cancer-producing agents than tar in tobacco smoke.

Studies suggest that normal development of baby may be adversely affected by heavy use of marihuana by mother during pregnancy.

Tolerance and Dependence

Psychological and physical dependence on cannabis can occur among heavy or regular users. Withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, nervousness, sleeping problems, sweating and loss of appetite.

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