By: Charlotte Wong

Background Information

  • Cannabis
  • Active chemical in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
  • A preparation of the cannabis plant intended for use as a psychoactive drug (chem. substance that affects the brain’s function, resulting in alterations in perception, mood, consciousness, cognition, and behaviour)
  • Contemporary uses of cannabis are:
    • Recreational or medicinal drug

    • Part of religious or spiritual rites

Street Names

  • "Pot"
  • "Weed"
  • "Reefer"
  • "Dope"


  • Smoking
  • Vapourizing
  • Adding to other edibles

Short-Term Effects


  • These effects are reduced after 3-4 hours

  • Marijuana hangs around in your system for as long as a month after consumption

  • This means you’re impaired for several days to weeks after the high wears off

    • Rapid heart rate

    • Increased blood pressure

    • Increased rate of breathing

    • Red eyes

    • Dry mouth

    • Increased appetite

    • Slowed reaction time


  • Generally eases after a few hours

  • Residual effect can last for days

    • Distorted sense of time

    • Paranoia

    • Short-term memory loss

    • Anxiety and depression

Long-Term Effects

  • Can cause some of the same health effects as smoking cigarettes

    • Chronic bronchitis

    • Damaged lung tissue

    • Increased risk of lung cancer

    • Growth disorders

    • Rapid destruction of the lung fibers, and injuries to the brain could be permanent

Legal Aspects

  • Illegal to use, sell, and possess cannabis in the US

  • Has been decided by the federal government that the substance has both high potential for abuse and no established and safe medical use

  • However, state laws regarding cannabis differ from federal laws

  • Out of the 50 states, only 2 of them have legalised cannabis

  • Some of them only legalize medical cannabis, while others have both medical and decriminalization laws

The Only Good Drug