What is Cannabis?

The psychoactive substance of the plant cannabis sativa is also known as ganja or marijuana. The substance responsible for this effect is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The matured flowers and the leaves are the herbal form of cannabis and the resin from it is called hashish.

More than 250 million persons in our earth are using cannabis and the tendency is also going up. In most of the countries it is prohibited and in country like Holland, it is legalized and in some other countries like Germany you are allowed to keep a minimum amount of few grams for personal use, but dealing is a crime. But there are several products, from sweets, biscuits to salad oil, which contain also delta-9-tertrahydrocannabinol (THC), it is allowed in several countries where the THC concentration is low.

It is used always, I think, from the starting of our human race.

Are there any medical uses of cannabis?

Yes there are medical uses of cannabis, the literature gives many examples, but in my experience it is used as a painkiller for patients who are having intolerable pain, during the final stage of cancer or it has a very good effect in AIDS patients who has no appetite to eat. There are other research results coming from the recent research. In USA cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive substance from cannabis. It is a powerful antioxidant. I write a separate article about the medical uses of cannabis.

What are the immediate effects of cannabis?

The immediate effects of cannabis are:

• Euphoria
• Relaxation
• Confidence or over confidence
• Want to laugh and talk more
• Problem with coordination and balance
• Loss of concentration
• The feeling of anxiety and paranoia are the immediate effects of cannabis.

The effects are not the same in all persons; it depends on the concentration of THC and the way it is taken like by eating or by smoking it. The health, weight, mood and the other substances you take, like other tablets or alcohol or the environment plays a role on the effects of cannabis to a person. We have seen normally more than 20 other substances in the urine of known addicts.

What are the long time effects of cannabis?

The long time effects of cannabis are:

• Respiratory illness
• Reduced motivation
• Brain function – ability to learn, memory and concentration can be reduced
• THC can affect the production of sexual hormones, irregular menstrual periods, low sex drive and low sperm counts have been reported in several studies. This is also in accordance with our personal talk to users.

Use of all drugs can affect the functioning of our immune system.

What is the relationship between cannabis abuse and psychosis?

Cannabis causes a drug induced psychosis which can last for few days and are characterized by hallucinations, delusions, confusion and memory loss.

Does one develop dependence?

Normally, no, there are many people who use it rarely or only in the weekends or with friends in a party. The dependence is comparable or some what less than the social drink, alcohols, but the addicts like alcoholics, spend most of the time with this drug and most of them do it in their lonely way. That means, it is possible to become psychologically dependent, if you use it regularly and for those cannabis becomes the important part of their life than other activities and it is difficult to come out.

But the actual problem of cannabis is, it is mostly for young people a beginning drug, in course of time they want more kick, or friends abuse hard drugs like heroin or cocaine and the danger of taking additional drugs are always there.

Is cannabis toxic?

It is not a poison, but according to a Canadian study, cannabis smoke has 20 times more ammonia than tobacco smoke and also five times more hydrogen cyanide and nitrous oxide, moreover, do not forget the joints are also prepared in normal cigarettes with tobacco, thus increasing the danger for your health more.

If you have depression and other related disorders, the symptoms may be increased with cannabis misuse. But, there are people, artists and poets who misuse for a long time without problems; the reason is only their mental strength to control the excess or frequent use.

Is it easy to get cannabis?

Unfortunately, it is cheap compared to other drugs like heroin or cocaine and could be grown anywhere in the world, but the main problem is, it could be grown even in your living room. This makes it difficult for the police to find and catch these persons.

In Holland in coffee houses you can buy it and in many countries if you have cannabis only for your personal use it is not a crime. It is but important to know, in case of driving a car, operating a machine, if some accident happens; it is your mistake if you are under the influence of cannabis. In many countries, the driving licences of these persons are taken away by the police for a limited time which is given in the traffic laws for offences immediately by the police and in the court of law you have to face the consequences.

Is it easy to find out whether you have smoked cannabis?

If the smoke is fresh, you can smell it and in the urine of users it is easy to find, with modern methods, it takes only few minutes. But, the problem is, THC accumulates in our tissues and it takes 10 to 12 weeks to disappear from your body completely. There are the possibilities of wrong positive results, this we inform regularly the patients and they have to wait three months to prove that they are clean.

Is there no method to find the fresh abuse?

The fresh abuse could be estimated and confirmed by very complicated but 100% sure methods because the concentration you have to measure is approximately 1 microgram per litre of blood. The amount of blood what you get is always limited and this means if you have 1 ml blood, the expected amount in that is 1 nano gram, loss during the sample preparation is always there and finally you have to dissolve it in a solvent to inject in your instrument. But the modern technology allows us to do this analysis very efficiently and we are happy for this.

Screening methods could be manipulated to make positive results to negative results and vice versa, is it so?

Most of the persons who abuse drugs are very intelligent and they have the knowledge of all the methods available in the market for drug screening and also the shortfall of these screening methods. But, we are professionals and know all these tricks, mostly few more than the patients and these are the secrets of our job.

I will tell you one example, a person came to us to give fresh urine to this test and he comes back from the toilet and says he could not do it now. Three hours had gone, I thought of a hair analysis for cannabis, but his hairs were so short and it was impossible to get the needed 200 to 500 mg hair, finally we suggest for a pubic hair analysis. He laughed at us and told, his girl friend liked him without hair and I could see the shining in his face because he was going to win. I smiled at him and asked him to cut his nails from the fingers and toes. We found in nails cannabis, we could not say when he abused, but now, the ball is in his court and he has to prove that he is innocent and his eyes, I still remember it.

There are several incidents which are very interesting to know the intelligence of our patients but we are always better than them.

Will you tell these tips to anybody?

In internet you can find a few, some try to sell something, which promises to make all the drug test negative for good money. We are careful to find the manipulation with simple methods. Our duty is to help these patients to come out from their addiction and not to support them. People often used to ask us, but they get never a reply, we recommend them only to stop the abuse.

Could you be so strict, you are always so helpful?

There are circumstances where I must be very strict, when I say no then I mean this seriously. It is our duty. When to help them in other things is a different question and I do this happily if it is necessary at any time.

What are the street names of cannabis?

Some of the street names of cannabis include:

• Grass
• Pot
• Weed
• Reefer
• Mary Jane
• Dope
• Indo
• Hydro
• Bud
• Hash
• Mull
• Joint
• Stick
• Buckets
• Cones
• Skunk

Say always no to drugs…