Marijuana is a mind-altering (psychoactive)  drug, produced by the Cannabis sativa plant.
Marijuana has over 480 constituents. THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is believed to be the main
ingredient that produces the psychoactive effect.


Marijuana is grown in the United States, Canada,Mexico, South America, Caribbean, and Asia. It can be cultivated in both outdoor and indoor settings.


Common street names include:

  • BC Bud
  • Aunt Mary
  • Blunts
  • Boom
  • Chronic
  • Dope,
  • Gangster
  • Ganja
  • Grass
  • Hash
  • Herb
  • Hydro
  • Indo
  • Joint,
  • Kif
  • Mary Jane
  • Mota
  • Pot
  • Reefer,
  • Sinsemilla
  • Skunk
  • Smoke
  • Weed
  •  Yerba
Marijuana is a dry, shredded green/brown mix of flowers, stems, seeds, and leaves from the Cannabis sativa plant. The mixture is typically green, brown, or grey in colour and may resemble tobacco.

Marijuana is usually smoked as a cigarette (called a joint) or in a pipe or bong. It is also smoked in blunts, which are cigars that have been emptied of tobacco and refilled with marijuana, sometimes
in combination with another drug. Marijuana is also mixed with foods or brewed as a tea.

When marijuana is smoked, the active ingredient THC passes from the lungs and into the bloodstream, which carries the chemical to the organs throughout the body, including the brain. In the brain, THC connects to specific sites called cannabinoid receptors on nerve cells and influences the activity of those cells. Many of these receptors are found in the parts of the brain that influence:

  • Pleasure
  • memory
  • thought
  • concentration
  • sensory and time perception
  • coordinated movement

The following are some of the short-term effects of marijuana:

  • Problems with memory and learning
  • distorted perception
  • difficulty in thinking and problem-solving, and loss of coordination 

The effects of marijuana on perception and coordination are responsible for serious impairments in learning, associative processes, and psychomotor behaviour (driving abilities).

Long term, regular use can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal following discontinuation, as well as psychological addiction or dependence. Clinical studies show that the physiological, psychological, and behavioural effects of marijuana vary among individuals and present a list of common responses to cannabinoids, as described in the scientific literature:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Tachycardia
  • Facial flushing
  • Dry mouth
  • Tremor initially, Merriment
  • Happiness, and even exhilaration at high doses Marijuana/Cannabis 
  • Disinhibition
  • Relaxation
  • Increased sociability, and talkativeness
  • Enhanced sensory perception, gives rise to increased appreciation of music, art, and touch
  • Heightened imagination leads to a subjective sense of increased creativity
  • Time distortions
  • Illusions, delusions, and hallucinations are rare, except at high doses
  • Impaired judgement, reduced coordination, and ataxia can impede driving ability or lead to an increase in risk-taking behaviour
  • Emotional lability, incongruity of affect, dysphoria, disorganised thinking, inability to converse logically, agitation, paranoia, confusion, restlessness, anxiety, drowsiness, and panic attacks may occur, especially in inexperienced users or in those who have taken a large dose.
  • Increased appetite and short-term memory impairment are common