The effects of cannabis and why people use it

How does cannabis affect you? #

The effect of cannabis depends on the person, the type of cannabis, and how much is used. It also depends on what else you are taking. The effect can be different if you mix cannabis with alcohol or other drugs. Using cannabis causes things to happen in the body and the brain soon after you take it. The short-term effects of cannabis may include:

  • Happy feelings and relaxation
  • Anxiety or fearful thoughts
  • Sleepiness
  • Slowed reaction times
  • Forgetfulness
  • Problems with paying attention and
  • Increased appetite
  • thinking clearly
  • Increased heart rate
  • Confused thoughts
  • Dry mouth and throat
  • Difficulty with movement and balance
  • Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not real (psychosis)
  • Difficulty focusing on more than one thing (e.g., while driving a vehicle)

Why do people use cannabis? #

There are many reasons why people may decide to use cannabis. These may include:

  • Recreation
    • Relaxing
    • Socializing
    • Doing spiritual ceremonies
    • Enhancing activities
  • Treating medical symptoms
  • Coping with
    • Distressing memoires
    • Uncomfortable thoughts or feelings

Nunavut Kamatsiaqtut Help Line
Crisis Services Canada
Isaksimagit Inuusirmi Kataujjiqatigiit Embrace Life Council
Using Cannabis to Cope

Cannabis for Medical Purposes #

Medical cannabis: When people are very sick with certain illnesses, doctors may authorize the use of medical cannabis to help. Medical cannabis is often used when the usual treatments do not work. It is sometimes used for:

  • Sickness and throwing up from getting chemotherapy
  • Loss of appetite and body weight from cancer or HIV/AIDS
  • Pain and muscle problems from multiple sclerosis
  • Certain types of pain

It is important to know that the health risks of medical cannabis use are the same as non-medical cannabis. Because of this, it is important to make sure that the potential medical benefits of cannabis use outweigh the risks. It is best to speak with a health care provider to find out more information about whether cannabis may be helpful to treat a certain condition.

To learn more about medical cannabis use, click here.