What is cannabis?
Cannabis (also known as weed or marijuana) is a plant. Most commonly, cannabis is rolled with tobacco into a joint or smoked pure through a pipe, bong or rolled spliff. It can sometimes also be eaten, for example in cakes, which usually strengthens the effect. Cannabis is generally considered to be far less harmful than most other drugs in this section and it’s not referred to as a ‘chems’ drug.

How does cannabis affect my health?
Cannabis will make most users feel relaxed, talkative and giggly. You can get quite horny when you are stoned and the sensation of sex can increase. Some people feel tired and generally lacking in energy when they get stoned. Loss of concentration and blurred coordination are also quite common. This could make you forget to use a condom when fucking or getting fucked, especially because your feelings and senses are intensified and you can get 'lost in the moment' and end up barebacking. It can also affect your short-term memory so, if you’ve had unprotected sex, it could make you less likely to realise that you may need to seek PEP if you have been exposed to HIV.

Is cannabis illegal?
Cannabis is a Class B drug so if you are over 18 in England and Wales, you will usually receive a warning if caught in possession of it for the first time. An £80 fixed penalty will be issued for second-time offenders and anything after that would lead to court.

What else is cannabis also known as?
Other, street names, for cannabis include marijuana, bud, grass, skunk, draw, blow, weed, puff, hash, ganja, spliff, dope, gear, pot, solids, green, herb, puff and bush.

What do I need to know if I am planning to take cannabis?
Smoking the odd joint here and there isn’t a big problem but try to avoid smoking it after you’ve consumed a lot of booze because you may end up feeling nauseous and vomit. Regular use could become a demotivator and it could become harder for you to get off your arse and do work. Smoking weed is especially dangerous if you have pre-existing mental health problems like depression as it tends to exacerbate those. Some studies suggest that it can have a negative impact on brain development in younger people who haven't finished growing. 

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