Key points:

Cannabis is a plant-based drug. It can be smoked, eaten or vaped.

The effects of cannabis can vary depending on the person. Some people say feeling stoned and it also makes them feel chilled out and happy in their own thoughts, while others say it makes them giggly and chatty, and hungry. On the other hand, he can also make people feel lethargic, unmotivated and some people become paranoid, confused and anxious.

Cannabis changes how you think and some people say it gives them a different perspective and judgement on things.

It can also make you hungry, known as having ‘the munchies’, or make you feel sick, known as ‘a whitey’. It can make you feel drowsy or sleepy and can give you the sense that time is slowing down.

Street names include: Bud, dope, ganja, hash, skunk, weed, pot, puff, herb, resin, skunk, hashish.


Cannabis is a Class B drug, which means it’s illegal to have for yourself, give away or sell. Cannabis is different to other Class B drugs as it comes under the discretionary warning scheme.

  • Possession can get you up to 5 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both.
  • Supplying someone else, even your friends, can get you up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both.

Driving when under the influence of drugs and alcohol is dangerous and illegal. If you’re caught driving under the influence, you may receive a heavy fine, driving ban, or prison sentence. It is also important to recognise that even though a young person may get in their car and drive the next day, the substances could still be in your system.

  • You’re in possession of a small amount of cannabis and it is for your own personal use.
  • It’s the first time you’ve been caught with an illicit drug and you have no previous record of offence.
  • You admit that the cannabis is for your own use only, and comply with the police in an appropriate manner.

However, if this occurs on other occasions further police action will be taken, and fines may be imposed and people could have a criminal record.

Effects on the body and risks:

Using cannabis can:

  • Affect your motivation to do things, and find yourself avoiding things.
  • Decrease your memory intake so you can’t remember things or learn new information
  • Disturb your sleeping pattern/struggle to sleep.
  • Make your emotions/mood change, making in harder to do things.
  • Make you see or hear things that aren’t there (known as hallucinating or tripping)
  • Cause hours (or days) of anxiety, paranoia and hallucinations, which only settle down if the person stops taking it – and sometimes don’t settle down at all.
  • Increase chances of developing illnesses like schizophrenia, especially if there is a family background of mental illness and you start smoking in your teenage years.

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