Cannabis is a plant that contains chemicals called cannabinoids. It is a popular recreational drug that also has medicinal uses. Cannabis is usually smoked or vaporized, but it can be eaten or used in tinctures, gels, or transdermal patches. It takes about 1 hour for the effects of cannabis to begin, and they peak after 2.5-3 hours. The body naturally produces cannabinoids through the endocannabinoid system. They act like neurotransmitters, sending messages throughout the body and brain.
Studies are exploring the possible pain-relieving properties of certain components in cannabis, including minor cannabinoids and terpenes. Other research is looking at how cannabis affects a person’s behavior and thinking, and what happens when someone stops using it. It is important to know that there are risks associated with the use of any drug, and even occasional cannabis use can have a negative impact on a person’s life.
Inhaling second-hand smoke from smoking cannabis can cause lung damage, and it can be dangerous to drive after smoking cannabis. It can impair judgment and slow reaction time, which may lead to traffic accidents. Cannabis use can also affect a person’s immune system, and may increase the risk of memory loss. In addition, frequent cannabis use may lead to addiction. About 9% of people who start using cannabis in their teens develop an addiction. Quitting cannabis can be uncomfortable, and symptoms may last for 2 weeks or more. People who quit should seek help from a trained counselor or specialist.