Cannabis is a plant with psychoactive preparations that are used for recreation or medicinal purposes. It contains at least 120 different active ingredients, called cannabinoids. The most well-known of these is delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which can produce both euphoric and intoxicating effects. Other cannabinoids have therapeutic effects.
The chemicals in cannabis act like neurotransmitters to affect brain areas that control memory, thinking, movement, coordination and sensory perception. They also influence emotions and the body’s pain response. People who use cannabis may feel relaxed, giggly or euphoric, and the feelings can change from one time of using to another. The amount that is taken, how it’s ingested and the frequency of cannabis use can all affect the way a person feels.
Medical marijuana is a drug that has been studied for its potential to treat conditions such as chronic pain, nausea caused by chemotherapy and loss of appetite in AIDS patients. Scientists are also studying other parts of the cannabis plant for their possible medicinal benefits.
Cannabis is usually smoked in a pipe or joint, but it can also be eaten or applied to the skin. Depending on the method of ingestion, it can take up to an hour for the effects to begin and up to 2.5-3.5 hours before they peak. People who use cannabis on a regular basis may develop dependence. Quitting cannabis can cause unpleasant physical and emotional symptoms that may last up to 2 weeks, but they are not life-threatening.