Cannabis is a psychoactive drug that has been used for recreational and medical purposes. It is illegal in some countries and legalized in others. Cannabis is a plant that contains the psychoactive compound THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). When smoked or vaporized, THC enters the bloodstream and produces an immediate effect. Different strains of the plant produce a variety of effects. Sativa strains can produce an energetic high suitable for socializing, while indica strains are more sedative. Some hybrids can produce a combination of these effects. Cannabis can be ingested in a variety of ways including smoking, vaporization, edible preparations, and tinctures.
Medical cannabis is available with a prescription. It is often used to relieve pain from chronic conditions such as cancer, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. It also can relieve the nausea caused by chemotherapy and loss of appetite associated with HIV/AIDS.
The long-term use of cannabis can have a variety of adverse side effects. Some users can experience short-term psychosis with hallucinations (seeing things that are not there) and paranoia (feeling very threatened). Regular cannabis use can make it harder to remember and focus, and it can cause impaired judgment that may lead to car accidents. It can also have a negative impact on a person’s immune system, and studies have found that frequent marijuana smokers are at increased risk of testicular cancer. For these reasons, it is important to know the risks and weigh them against the benefits. It is important to talk with a doctor before starting any drug, including cannabis.