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03June

Do you know enough about Cannabis?

Written by Emma Burbidge Posted in Alcohol and drug addiction

Cannabis is a class B drug that comes in different forms, including hash, weed and skunk. Often people will mix it with tobacco and smoke it with friends at parties, in the home or on the streets.

A recent study has found that half of young people have used cannabis, however this does not mean that they are regular cannabis users.

Some people start smoking cannabis as young as 12 years old and this can easily spiral into harder drugs such as heroin or cocaine if you aren’t careful!

Cannabis’s classification as a class B drug last year came after cannabis was previously declassified to a class C drug in 2004. This has led to a lot of debate about how dangerous cannabis is and whether it should be as accessible as tobacco or alcohol, since some professionals claim that cannabis is no more harmful than these legal substances.

However, reactions in different people vary, and cannabis has been known to cause long-term mental health problems, such as schizophrenia, among regular users. Although people can smoke it and appear to be relatively unaffected by the potent forces of the drug, the harmfulness of cannabis should not be underestimated.

Cannabis may make you feel chilled out, relaxed and happy, much in the same way as alcohol and smoking cigarettes does. However, cannabis also has many hallucogenic effects which might make users feel like time is slowing down, and it could also make you feel hungry.

Some people may take one or two drags and suddenly feel light-headed, faint and sick. The effects of drugs are different depending on the person. It is wrong to assume that because it has no effect on your friend, it will have no effect on you.

Cannabis has been linked to poor exam results because it can often lead to restlessness and lack of concentration. You might feel after a night of partying that you can’t study or work the next day, and this can play out on your life and what you are able to achieve.

If you smoke persistently when you are young, then you might find that the effects stay with you and lead to a lack of motivation. In fact, a recent study has even connected persistent cannabis use with a decreasing IQ.

Like smoking it can cause lung cancer and has also been linked to blood clots and high blood pressure.

As with any drug, trying to get off cannabis can be difficult and it could lead to possible withdrawal symptoms.

Mixed with alcohol, cannabis is 16 times more likely to lead to accidents than with one or the other on their own.

What if you are caught with cannabis?

What happens to you if you are caught with cannabis depends on whether you have been caught with the drug before. If you are caught distributing drugs to others, or are caught possessing a large amount of the drug, you could be facing a prison sentence.

You will normally get a warning for your first offence but this could then lead to a reprimand or formal conviction, and even an arrest for severe offences.

Drug offences are taken very seriously and this could mean that in the future you are unable to visit certain countries, such as the United States. This can also limit the type of jobs you can apply for.

While you might think that smoking cannabis is ok and will have no effect on you later in life, this is not the case and people can easily find their life spiralling out of control as a result of smoking cannabis.

It is easy to become addicted to the drug, especially when smoked with tobacco. Cannabis is often used as a gateway drug, leading to the use of more harmful drugs such as heroin or cocaine.

While you might be influenced by your friends or think it’s only a bit of fun, smoking cannabis can easily lead you down a life of drugs, and you don’t want to be a crack addict in a few years’ time and regret the choices you made when you were younger.

So please take my advice, stay off drugs and be safe!

About the Author

Emma Burbidge

Emma Burbidge

Emma Burbidge is the marketing assistant at TCHC. She helps to manage the website and promote the Youth Contract. She enjoys writing for the blog and sharing advice and tips with young people on a range of topics, from finding a job to battling with depression.

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