All About Cannabis

Drug Class

No specific class. Cannabis overlaps with several drug classifications. It can simultaneously have stimulating, depressant and psychedelic effects.

Common Terms

Pot, weed, blunt, ganja, green, herb, leaf, marijuana, mary-jane, skunk, kush, 420, grass.

Consumption and Standard Dose:

Individual drugs: Low-grade marijuana, <1% THC, high-grade marijuana 4-8% THC, hashish 7-14% THC, hash oil, up to 50% THC.

Inhaled or ingested
  • Rolled as “joints” or marijuana cigarettes, and smoked
  • Smoked through pipes, bongs and hookahs
  • Inhaled as vapour by use of a vaporiser
  • Can be prepared in butter or oil and cooked directly into food
  • Ingested in pill form
  • Brewed in a tea
  • Sublingual sprays

The Buzz
  • Initial relaxation, or stimulation and elevation of mood
  • Later, drowsiness and sedation
  • Slows reaction time
  • Increases appetite
  • Can experience temporary dissociation or disconnectedness from your environment, mental and physiological processes
  • Can increase sense of humour, or cause confusion
  • Can enhance audio / video experiences, increasing sensitivity to light and sound
  • May feel more creative, contemplative and spiritual

Overdose and other negative effects
  • Higher doses may lead to mild hallucinations, anxiety or paranoia
  • Increases blood pressure
  • Reddens eyes and dries out mouth. Soothe with eye-drops and water
  • Smoking cannabis poses the same risks of lung cancer and emphysema as smoking nicotine
  • Impairs motor coordination. Driving stoned endangers others and yourself and is illegal
  • Dependence (addiction): Long-term daily use of may lead some users to become dependent
  • Short-term memory loss, difficulty processing new information, and temporary impairment of retrieval of information while stoned

Dangerous Drug Combinations
  • Possible interactions with heart and blood pressure medications as marijuana increases heart rate

 Medicinal Use
  • THC is the medicinal component of cannabis. Cannabis can be prescribed to manage side effects caused by HIV (and other) medications
  • Relieves pain and nausea
  • Stimulates appetite, helping maintain a healthy caloric intake
  • Can help regulate anxiety
  • If you are considering using cannabis regularly for its health benefits, you can maximise its positive impact on your health by taking it in pill form, baked in goods, sublingual sprays, or using a vaporiser

Sex on Cannabis
  • Can increase physical sensations and heighten pleasure
  • Like alcohol, it arouses some people and depresses others
  • May feel overwhelmed by too much physical sensation
  • Can feel disconnected from physical sensation and lost in thoughts
  • May feel more sensual and less focused on orgasm
  • Chronic, long-term use linked to erectile dysfunction and decreased fertility

HIV Medications & Cannabis
  • Protease Inhibitors (PIs) and Integrase Inhibitors may potentially increase the amount of THC levels from the cannabis you take.