Cannabis

Cannabis comes from a couple of related plants. It has short and long-term effects. There are many issues that can occur as a result of cannabis use, including mental health issues. You can get help if you're having trouble with cannabis.

This can help with...

  • information about cannabis
  • making decisions about cannabis use
  • knowing the effects of cannabis
  • getting help for cannabis problems
cannabis plant

What's cannabis?

Cannabis, marijuana, weed, hash – these are all names for a drug that comes from parts of the cannabis sativa and indica plants. The leaves are the weakest usable parts of the plant, and the extracted oil the strongest. People also call cannabis buds, billies, bongs, spliff, reefer and about a million other things.

What does it do?

Drugs will always affect people differently. Someone who's just taken cannabis might feel:

  • happy and excited
  • unable to concentrate
  • relaxed and confident
  • hungry
  • more talkative than usual
  • anxiety or paranoia

There are long term effects of taking cannabis as well. If it’s smoked, the smoke can damage your lungs and can cause cancer. Long-term use can affect your memory and attention span. You can’t get physically hooked on cannabis, but you can get psychologically addicted, and feel like you need to have it all the time.

Issues

Other problems you can run into with cannabis are:

  • Mental health. Taking cannabis increases your risk of mental health problems. It'll be more likely to set them off if you've got a family history of stuff like depression or schizophrenia, or you're more vulnerable to them for some other reason.
  • Driving or operating machinery. Because of the impact cannabis has on your concentration, you shouldn't drive/operate machinery after taking it.
  • Getting hooked on cannabis, and feeling like you need it to be normal.
  • Getting in legal trouble. It’s illegal to use and sell cannabis all over Australia.

Help with cannabis

You can get help with any issues you've got with cannabis. Talking to a doctor or mental health worker is a good place to start. You can also get info from the National Cannabis Prevention Information Centre.

What can I do now?

  • In an emergency, call 000
  • Don’t be pressured by friends into doing drugs
  • Don’t mix with other drugs or alcohol 
Last reviewed: 04 March, 2014
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