At Heritage Treatment Foundation we use the Holistic approach to cannabis addiction recovery.

Cannabis – Description

Cannabis is classified as a hallucinogen.

Marijuana: Flowering tops and leaves of the cannabis plant.  There are greater concentrations of the active ingredient, THC, now than in the past.

Hashish: Dried, sticky resin of the cannabis plant.

Hash Oil: Obtained by extracting hashish with an organic solvent.  Hash oil is much more potent than other forms of cannabis and only a small amount is required to achieve an effect.

THC: Active ingredient in cannabis.  Pure, synthetic THC is seldom available on the street.  What is sold as THC is almost always PCP or LSD.

Short-Term Effects

Effects of smoking are felt within a few minutes and last two to four hours. Effects from ingestion (e.g., eaten in baked or cooked foods) appear more gradually and last longer, and the person may feel dull and sluggish for some time afterwards. The person feels calm, relaxed, talkative and sometimes drowsy. Concentration and short-term memory are markedly impaired, and sensory perception seems enhanced, colours are brighter, sounds are more distinct, and the sense of time and space is distorted. Appetite increases, especially for sweats. Some people withdraw, or experience fearfulness, anxiety, depression; a few experience panic, terror or paranoia, particularly with larger doses. Some experience hallucinations with larger doses and symptoms worsen in persons with psychiatric disorders, particularly schizophrenia.

Physical effects include impaired coordination and balance, rapid heartbeat, red eyes, dry mouth and throat. Usual doses impair motor skills; especially when used in combination with alcohol.

Long-Term Effects

Signs of chronic, heavy use may include decreased motivation and interest, as well as difficulties with memory and concentration. These problems tend to clear when regular use stops. However, there is increasing research evidence of lasting harmful effects on mental function in some people. The respiratory system is damaged by smoking; a single joint of marijuana yields much more tar than a strong cigarette. Tar in cannabis smoke contains higher amounts of cancer-producing agents than tar in tobacco smoke. Studies suggest that developmental delays may occur in children whose mothers used drugs heavily during pregnancy.

Tolerance and Dependence

There is some evidence that tolerance develops in regular high-dose users. Psychological and physical dependence on cannabis can occur in people who use heavily or regularly.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, irritability, sleeping problems, sweating and loss of appetite.

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