What is marijuana?

Marijuana is a plant native to Central Asia that is considered to be the most widely used illegal drug in the world, and is the third most commonly consumed drug after alcohol and tobacco.

Proof of its widespread use is the fact that a large percentage of drug offenses are cannabis-related.  Despite a growing relaxation in the enforcement of cannabis laws, cannabis-related offenses make up more than 70% of drug arrests.

Cannabis Addiction

Cannabis is nowhere near as addictive as nicotine or alcohol but it is wrong to say it is not habit-forming. This "soft" drug is one of the most widely used illegal substances in the United States. Some people report that they can use marijuana occasionally, or even regularly, without becoming addicted.

Cannabis Drug Tests

Cannabis and its active ingredient THC is tested for in most drug tests. After one-off or occasional use its break-down products or metabolites can be detected between 3-5 days after use. (1) However, THC can be detected in a chronic user up to 12 weeks after use (2) although the average is 25(3) -27 days (4). Cannabis is highly detectable a long time after use because THC lingers in the fatty tissues of the body and leaks steadily into the blood and then the urine over weeks. It is difficult to determine exactly how long it will take the THC to leave your body. It depends on your metabolism, how much you ingested and how often you used weed or hash.

Cannabis Effects

Cannabis induces a state of intoxicated relaxation, euphoria and dreaminess for users. It is considered a "soft" drug, and can pave the way for experimentation with other substances. It is quick acting. When smoked, the pot's first effects are usually felt within seconds. The peak follows within minutes and then declines sharply after about forty five minutes, with a ninety minute tail-off. You feel a general sense of well being and relaxation, giddiness and euphoria. You may also experience introspective dreaminess, increased appreciation of music, sleepiness and time distortion. The effects can be subtle. First time users often detect little or no effect.

Cannabis Sources

primary sources Cannabis - The Scientific & Medical Evidence House Of Lords Select Committee on Science & Technology » online version

Cannabis Basics

Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit mind-altering drug in the world. It is classed as 'a minor hallucinogen with depressant qualities'. When smoked or eaten, it has mild mind-expanding, painkilling, and intoxicating effects. The cannabis plant has been used for thousands of years as a herbal medication and intoxicant. Of the two main species, Cannabis Indica is the strongest, and is used to make hash and stronger grasses, like skunk. Indica grows from 3 to 6 feet high with fat dark green leaves, purplish buds and a distinct stinky smell, hence the name skunk.

Cannabis Dangers

While the toxicity of cannabis is very low, and that no one has ever died as a direct and immediate consequence of recreational or medical use of cannabis, it is still wrong to say it is an entirely harmless substance.

Cannabis FAQ

» What is a blunt? » Can marijuana make you sterile? » Is it safe to smoke marijuana during pregnancy? » Should I smoke marijuana and drive? » Can cannabis make you schizophrenic? » Is cannabis getting stronger? » How long does cannabis remain detectable in a urine drug test?

Cannabis Legality

Cannabis is illegal to possess and cultivate in most countries. However, recent research into its medical benefits of pot have revealed it is a relatively benign and mostly harmless substance. Many countries, including the UK, Portugal and Canada, are re-evaluating the plant's legal status.

Cannabis Links

interesting, informative, or hilariously biased reading material

Cannabis Mixing

Users contend that cannabis mixes well with other drugs. But while there are arguments that little or no major health risks are associated with using it, we recommend that you do not use cannabis and visit our cannabis effects page to learn why. If you are in the company of individuals using cannabis or plan to use yourself, be aware of how cannabis combines with other substances so that your risk of becoming a statistic is lessened. Again, the best choice is not using and avoidance of those who do.

Medical Marijuana in the U.S.

Nationwide, the use or possession for use, sales or trafficking, growing or transporting marijuana is still illegal. This is in direct opposition to those states across the country that have decriminalized medical marijuana, and/or made it a legal substance, available by prescription, and grown by citizens who are given permission to do so in that state.

Medical Marijuana in Canada

Early marijuana aws in Canada to make possession, use, distribution and cultivation illegal were less strenuous than those in both England and the US. Concerns about the severity of marijuana's side effects and dangers of abuse were not as impacted by world policy until the late 1930s. Decriminalization of marijuana in Canada has been a hot-topic issue for the country for many years. The political ups and downs of those who govern the nation have been reflected in proposed legislation about marijuana, with little change seen, except that of its stance on medical marijuana in this new century.

Medical Marijuana in the UK

Laws governing medical marijuana are the same throughout Great Britain as those for personal use. There is little or no differentiation between medical necessity/use and that of recreational pot usage. While decriminalization and/or legalization efforts continue worldwide, these laws remain basically intact since 1985. Lenient Pot Laws