Effects and duration of action depend on dosage, frequency of use, setting (person) and setting (environment) and therefore can be quite different. Cannabis exposure can alter perceptions of time and heighten emotional states and perceptions. This can lead to improved well-being, increased sensitivity, mild euphoria, vigor, or relaxation. Hallucinations can also occur with high doses (especially when taken orally). The effect is felt from 1 to 4 hours if smoked and 4 to 10 hours if taken orally.

Negative effects.

Increased heart and pulse rate, redness of the eyes, and dry mouth are common. Some negative effects are more likely to occur when first used, including dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. During acute exposure to cannabis, mental performance is reduced. Mainly memory, attention and concentration suffer. The higher the dose, the more severe the side effects may be: circulatory problems, very strong feelings, and mild hallucinations. Paranoia and depressed moods may also occur less frequently.

Mechanism of action.

Cannabis is mostly smoked or consumed orally (for example, as a cookie ingredient). The active ingredients (especially THC) are absorbed through the lung mucosa during smoking and through the intestinal mucosa when taken orally. Hundreds of different substances enter the body through the use of cannabis (especially through smoking). Thus, the exact mechanisms of action have so far been only partially investigated. THC is transported in the bloodstream to all organs. Although most of the effects of cannabis are only felt for a few hours, after 20 hours, half of the absorbed THC is still in the blood.

THC binds to cannabinoid receptors, which are primarily located in the brain. These receptors control the brain and body functions (including memory, time perception, hunger, coordination, and movement) that cannabis use affects. Besides THC, other cannabinoids also bind to these receptors and affect the effects of cannabis, such as cannabidiol (CBD). Recent research suggests that CBD can reduce unpleasant effects (psychological symptoms). This means cannabis strains with too much THC and too low CBD may have more risks and side effects.

Possible long-term consequences.

Because cannabis smoke is usually inhaled more deeply and lingers in the lungs longer than regular cigarette smoke, more pollutants are absorbed into the lungs than cigarettes (carbon monoxide and tar). With chronic use, smoking increases the susceptibility to respiratory diseases (such as bronchitis and pneumonia). With prolonged daily use, decreased activity and loss of motivation and interest can occur. Short-term memory may deteriorate within 6-12 weeks after stopping daily cannabis use. If cannabis is used very often for a long period of time (months – years) (several times a day), it may happen that a person loses some or all control over consumption. This can lead to psychological dependence.

Never use cannabis if you have:

  • Lung disease and existing heart problems or heart disease, as THC puts additional strain on the heart and circulation.
  • For anxiety, depression or psychological problems, as cannabis can exacerbate these negative feelings.
  • THC passes to the fetus through the placenta and to the baby through breast milk. Some – but not all – studies show that pregnant women who regularly use cannabis give birth to babies that are lighter and less tall at birth. Therefore, you should avoid using cannabis during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Special: mixed consumption.

Cannabis and ecstasy, amphetamine, cocaine, LSD and hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Some users use cannabis to “break away” from stimulant drugs such as amphetamine or ecstasy. Mixed consumption, however, puts more stress on your body, lengthens the hangover after the effects have passed, and increases the likelihood of anxiety and horrific hallucinations.

Reducing risks.

Anyone who uses cannabis, despite health and legal risks, should be aware of the following in addition to the general guidelines for risk reduction:

  1.  Smoking can reduce the risk of lung and respiratory diseases by using good filters or a vaporizer. Oral administration does not cause lung stress.
  2.  In the case of oral administration, the effect is delayed for a maximum of 1 hour, but the effect is stronger and longer than from smoking. Therefore, overdose is more common. So wait for the full effect before thinking of a “supplement”.
  3.  If possible, use only in your spare time and when you are feeling well. Because negative sentiments can intensify.
  4.  THC affects your attention, memory and concentration. Therefore, avoid consumption at work, school, while studying, driving a car, etc.

Cannabis is a generic term for hashish and marijuana. Hashish and marijuana are both made from hemp. It contains hundreds of active ingredients called cannabinoids. The main psychoactive ingredient is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Other cannabinoids include CBD and CBN. The THC concentration is especially high in the resin of the female inflorescences. Hashish is made from this resin. Marijuana is a mixture of plant parts (leaves, flowers, stems). When hemp plants are grown using chemicals (fertilizers, fungicides, and pesticides), they can contain chemical residues.


Cannabis is a generic term for hashish and marijuana from hemp products. Hemp was used as a textile material 6,000 years ago, and the psychotropic properties of cannabis have been known just as long. As a sacred intoxicant, cannabis is dedicated to the god Shiva in Hinduism and is used in rituals and traditional medicine in Asia as a sedative or pain reliever. In Europe, Marco Polo first reported the use of cannabis as an intoxicant in the 13th century. Cannabis is gaining in importance in modern medicine, especially in the treatment of patients with glaucoma, as well as for suppressing nausea and stimulating appetite in cancer and AIDS patients.

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