What is cannabis?

Marijuana, hashish (hash) and hash oil come from cannabis sativa, a type of hemp plant. The word "cannabis" is used to refer to all three. Marijuana is made from the dried leaves and flowering tops of the plant. At a particular stage in the growth of the plant, before the flowers are mature, they become coated with a sticky resin. The resin can be dried to make hash.  Cannabis contains THC, a chemical that changes the way you think, feel and act. Some common street names for it are: weed, herb, chronic, jay, bud, blunt, bomb, doobie, hydro, 'dro, sinsemilla, hash, joint, pot, grass, reefer, Mary Jane (MJ), ganja, homegrown, dope, spliff, kush.

Next >

What are the effects of cannabis?

After using cannabis (it is typically smoked), the THC is absorbed into the bloodstream and it travels to the brain. Here the THC will bind to specific receptors, called cannabinoid receptors. This binding reaction in the brain is what produces the "high" and the resulting effects felt by the user.

It is variable in terms of how quickly cannabis reaches the brain based on how the cannabis was ingested. If the user smokes, the effects are felt almost instantaneously and usually last for one to three hours. If the user eats cannabis (for example in something like brownies baked with marijuana) it takes about an hour for it to take effect and the effects may last for as long as four hours.

THC is stored in fat cells. It takes a long time to completely clear from the body. In typical users this does not produce long-lasting psychoactive effects (effects which alert the mind, mood or mental processes) but it can result in a positive drug test long after the drug has been taken and the effects have worn off.