Cannabis has become much more socially acceptable in recent years, and it has actually been decriminalised in many parts of the world. There are many advocates who argue that it is a much safer drug than alcohol, so it should be legal everywhere. It is common for teenagers, young adults and students to try Cannabis at some point. Leaving the legal issues aside though, it does appear that occasional use of cannabis may be reasonably safe. Things change though, when students start using it regularly. Regular use is known to cause increased paranoia and/or anxiety in heavy users. This can also lead to an apathetic and lazy lifestyle for some types of people, which isn’t very advantageous for a student who has work to complete each semester.

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Some Other Names for Cannabis

There are many different names used for Cannabis all around the world. Our student addiction guide includes ones such as:

  • Weed
  • Green
  • Hash(ish)
  • Pot
  • Marijuana
  • Mary Jane or MJ
  • ·Kush
  • Dope
  • Puff
  • Grass
  • Ganja

Interesting Fact: It is widely considered not be physically possible for someone to overdose on Cannabis.

 Why Do People Use Cannabis?

Cannabis is one of the most popular recreational drugs around, and the reasons some students use it include:

  • It can produce feelings of deep relaxation.
  • It can lead to feelings of well-being.
  • It can be good for dealing with certain types of pain.
  • It can be a good way to socialise with friends.
  • It can be used to explore a different state of mind.

 Is Cannabis Dangerous?

Many people claim that cannabis is a safe drug, but there are real dangers associated with this substance with heavy use. There really is no such thing as a ‘safe drug’. Some of these dangers include:

  • Developing a psychological addiction, meaning they will feel dependent on the drug due to a conscious overpowering want for the drug.
  • Using tobacco with cannabis in joints, therefore facing the dangers associated with smoking like Cancer and respiratory problems.
  • Causing people to become paranoid, overly anxious, or depressed.
  • Igher Possibility of developing a mental illness like Schizophrenia.
  • Impacting coordination and decision making, meaning that students will be more at risk of having accidents and making potentially bad decisions.
  • Leading to problems with concentration – it is usually easy to spot long-term users because they can struggle with conversations and more complex tasks due to their poor focus.
  • Interfering with the ability of people to make a living later on in life due to poor decisions and actions earlier in life.
  • University and college students may find it interferes with their studies, making it harder for them to pass exams and coursework.
  • Leading to infertility in men and loss of sex drive.
  • Exacerbating existing mental health problems.

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Cannabis as a Gateway Drug

Cannabis is often described as a gateway drug. What this means is that individuals who experiment with cannabis will often become more willing to experiment with stronger substances. It is as if they have crossed a line, and they now have much less inhibition about experimenting further. It can also be the case that using cannabis brings people into contact with users and dealers of stronger drugs. This can mean a journey down a very slippery slope, leading to a great deal of suffering and bad life decisions.

Interesting Fact: In the 20th century, the Rastafari religious movement incorporated smoking Cannabis into the faith as a means of spiritual discovery.

Cannabis Precautions

If you do Cannabis or are thinking of experimenting with the drug, there are some precautions and steps you should try to take to stay as safe as possible:

  • Stay somewhere safe like a house  as your motor-control will be affected which could lead to hurting yourself.
  • If smoking Cannabis, try to avoid smoking it with Tobacco as this presents the same health problems with that of smoking cigarettes.
  • Avoid drinking or taking any other drugs while smoking Cannabis as the combined effects can be overwhelming and make you ill, sometimes it can be very serious.
  • Keep trusted friends/family around in case anything goes wrong, you never know.
  • Do not try to drive or operate any machinery while under the effects of Cannabis, wait at least 4 hours afterwards for the effects to wear off.
  • Drink water regularly to avoid dehydration and “cotton-mouth” – the sensation that your mouth is constantly dry.
  • Remember that Cannabis is a class B drug currently in the UK, which means you can be arrested for possession with a maximum sentence of up to 5 years in prison.

Interesting Fact: In 2003, Canada became the first country to offer medical Cannabis to pain-suffering patients.

 Getting Help for a Cannabis Addiction

The extent of help needed to overcome a cannabis addiction can vary greatly. Some will be able to break away from it with the help of an addiction therapist or support group. Others will benefit from attending rehab. Those who have become addicted to a number of drugs, including cannabis, may need to attend an inpatient programme in order to break free.