Cannabis (marijuana) is Australia's most widely used illegal drug and its use is increasing. Most users do not realise it has some dangerous effects.
Cannabis is usually smoked in joints (hand-rolled cannabis cigarettes), bongs (water pipes) or pipes. It can be smoked through a vaporiser, in which the cannabis is heated rather than burned. Cannabis can also be eaten in cakes and cookies.
Short and long-term effects
Unpleasant short term effects from cannabis include depression, anxiety, paranoia and even acute 'psychotic' episodes. Cannabis impairs coordination and judgement and may lead to driving accidents and risky sex. Reduction in short-term memory, loss of concentration and vagueness the next day can also cause problems at work.
Regular or heavy users are also at risk of:
- Serious lung damage and cancer
- Dependence, cravings, withdrawals
- Loss of motivation
- Impaired memory and learning ability.
Reducing the risk from cannabis
If cannabis is causing you problems, it is best to quit completely. If you can't stop, try these tips for safer use:
1. Vaporising and eating are the safest methods.
2. Avoid bongs as they force the smoke deeper into the lungs.
3. Do not take deep breaths, and avoid holding smoke in your lungs.
4. Avoid cigarette filters and mixing with tobacco.
Please note this information was correct at time of printing.
For up to date information, speak to your doctor.