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Dr. Vijayakumar D.R MBBS, DPM, DNB (NIMHANS), CCST (UK)
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Cannabis

  • What is cannabis?

Cannabis is a drug that comes from the cannabis sativa plant. The active ingredient is called Delta -9 tetrahydrocannabinol.

  • What are the forms of cannabis?

Marijuana: most common and powerful form of cannabis. It is the dried leaves and flowers of the plant.

Hashish: It is small blocks of dried cannabis resin. It is added to tobacco and smoked or baked and eaten in foods.

Hash oil: It is a thick oily liquid that can be extracted from hashish.

  • What are the other names of cannabis?

The street names of cannabis are grass, hash, weed, dope, ganga, joint etc.

  • What are the effects of cannabis?

Immediate effects

It can have effects that last 2-3 hours

a. Relaxation and loss of inhibition.

b. Increases appetite

c. Increased awareness and perception of colour, sound and other sensations.

d. Coordination impaired: dangerous to drive or operate machinery.

e. Affects memory and the ability to think logically

f. In large quantity it can cause confusion, restlessness, excitement, hallucinations, anxiety, decreased reaction time, paranoia.

 

Long term effects

a. Respiratory problems

b. Less motivation

c. Concentration and memory impaired

d. Lower sex drive

e. Psychosis

  • What are the withdrawal symptoms of cannabis?

Abrupt withdrawal of cannabis can cause mild withdrawal syndrome. Sleep disturbance, irritability, decreased appetite, anxiety symptoms, loss of weight and increased sweating can be present.

  • How is cannabis dependence treated?

Cannabis dependence is treated by a combination of methods which include medications to control the withdrawal symptoms, counseling and cognitive behaviour therapy.

The chances of success depend on how motivated the patient is.