What is cannabis?

Cannabis comes from the hemp plant. There are 2 species of farmed cannabis. These species are cannabis Sativa and cannabis Indica. It is believed that this plant originated in central and south Asia. At the time it was an annual crop. There are indications that this plant was used 6500 years ago in Chinese neolithic culture. For ages, this plant was also farmed in Europe for the most diverse purposes. It was for example used for medicinal purposes like mania, hysteria, delirium, cholera and tetanus. Hemp was used for the production of rope, textiles, paint, varnish and paper. Seeds were used as fish and bird feed. Nowadays, the plants can be used for this and many more products, even car parts.

Cannabis has also been used throughout the ages for recreational purposes. The story of a Hashish-eater is mentioned in the 143rd story of 1001 Arabian Nights.

Indica and Sativa were broken down throughout the ages into many other types. At the present time there is a tremendous number of other types, all with their own Indica/Sativa ratio, all with their own characteristics and effects.
Nowadays, this plant is still famous for its many uses and more and more new studies are published in which it is proven that cannabis has an active effect on certain conditions.

Cannabis is produced as an intoxicant in different forms.
The most well-known forms are:

  • Weed: dried flowers of the female hemp plant. THC is the active ingredient in this plant.
  • Hash: the tops with THC crystals are smashed on sheer or canvas. Then they are sieved and mixed with the plant’s sap/oil. It is then pressed, producing what we call hash. The first strike is the best quality.
  • Hash oil: This is produced by dunking plant matter in alcohol. That way the active ingredient is dissolved. Then the alcohol is distilled and a viscous liquid is produced. This oil contains an extremely high amount of THC.

weed

hashish

oil

Hash and weed are usually smoked. A stickie or joint is rolled with some tobacco to then be smoked. If you smoke a joint, the effects are noticeable within a few minutes and they can last for up to 4 hours.

Next to smoking, you can also add weed or hash to foods. The most famous type is known as cannabis brownies. The active ingredient that ensures the high is THC. The effect occurs somewhat later compared to smoking. That’s why its better to start with a half slice of cake and then to eat the other 30 minutes later. No matter how good the cakes tastes. If the effects hit you and you’ve already had several pieces, the effect may be too strong. Regarding the active ingredient: “the more THC, the stronger the effect”, however the mood you’re in influences the effect. THC affects your perception. Colours and music are experienced a lot stronger, your imagination can go wild but you can also become very hungry (munchies) or experience fits of laughter.
Risks:

  • It amplifies your feelings, so when a user is depressed, this is amplified too.
  • Too high of a dose can result in anxiety or a bad trip. Dizziness, nausea and even fainting can occur. The only thing that you can do at that point is wait until it passes. People around you can try to calm you down, which usually helps. The risk of a does that is too high is only a problem with very inexperienced smokers, or for those who eat too much cake.
  • When you’re stoned or high your reflexes and concentration span are diminished. Thinking rationally can be more difficult and you often forget what you even started talking about a few minutes ago.
  • People with psychological issues or with a disposition for psychotic disorders are a risk group. Using hash or weed can worsen these moods.

 

Is hash or weed addictive?

One could make a distinction between physical dependance and mental dependance. Physical dependance means that your body will protest without the administering of the substance. This is not the case with hash or weed.
Neither is there a need to continuously increase your intake to achieve the same high, nor is it a gateway drug to hard drugs. Mental dependance means you crave the substance. That happens to some users, oftentimes those who use very often. This is even more so the case for those who use cannabis for escapism.

.

Help with addiction:

In The Netherlands there are different organisations that can help you to get rid of your addiction.