Say Why To Drugs – the highs and lows of cannabis

What’s the appeal?

Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in the UK. It’s the resin of a plant, and is consumed by smoking (sometimes with, sometimes without tobacco), eating, and more recently, vaping. Despite some suggestion that cannabis might be linked to poor mental health and educational outcomes, it is popular because it’s seen as less harmful than some other illicit drugs, and not necessarily that different to smoking cigarettes. But does the evidence back this belief up?

Short term effects

Cannabis has an intoxication effect that peaks around 30 minutes after smoking, and can last for several hours (even longer if its eaten rather than smoked). People report feeling giggly, mellow and sleepy while high. But cannabis intoxication can also induce psychotic-like feelings, paranoia, anxiety, occasionally even hallucinations. These almost always dissipate when a person is no longer intoxicated.

Physically, cannabis intoxication is associated with an increase

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