General Article What are the effects of cannabis?

Topic Selected: Cannabis
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What are its effects?


A ‘high’ – a sense of relaxation, happiness, sleepiness, colours appear more intense, music sounds better.


Around one in ten cannabis users have unpleasant experiences, including confusion, hallucinations, anxiety and paranoia. The same person may have either pleasant or unpleasant effects depending on their mood and circumstances. These feelings are usually only temporary – although as the drug can stay in the system for some weeks, the effect can be more long-lasting than users realise. Long-term use can have a depressant effect, reducing motivation.

Education and learning

There have also been suggestions that cannabis may interfere with a person’s capacity to:

  • concentrate
  • organise information
  • use information

This effect seems to last several weeks after use, which can cause particular problems for students.

However, a large study in New Zealand followed 1,265 children for 25 years. It found that cannabis use in adolescence ...

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