Understanding cannabis – for young people
What is it?
Cannabis is the most commonly used illegal drug in Australia and it comes in a number of different forms. For example, pot is the dried leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant and looks like tightly-packed dried herbs, and hash is a black-brown solid material made from the resin of the plant. Cannabis is usually mixed with tobacco and smoked in joints. It can also be smoked in bongs or pipes, baked into food (e.g. cakes and cookies) or sometimes drunk as a brew.
There is no “safe way” to use cannabis, however, if you are choosing to use, it is important that you use as safely as possible.
What does it do?
Cannabis contains a chemical called Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which moves from the bloodstream into the brain. THC is a hallucinogenic, meaning that it changes the way that you see reality. How it affects you depends on how much you use, how strong it is, how you took it, how you are feeling, who you are with and whether you have mixed it with any other drugs or alcohol.