Cannabis – Live Well Centre

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Cannabis is a drug which can be smoked (in a joint, with a bong, or with a vape) or eaten (in edibles, like weed brownies or gummies). It’s also known as marijuana, bud, weed, or green, as well as other names. Some people feel more relaxed after taking cannabis, and others feel more giggly and chatty.

In Middlesbrough, cannabis is mostly used by younger people. It is a ‘mild-altering substance’, like alcohol, and can affect brain development. Research has also shown that there are strong links between using cannabis in adolescence and developing serious mental health conditions like schizophrenia and psychosis in the future.

The effects

Cannabis can be addictive, and prolonged use may lead to sweating, mood swings, feeling low, and craving more.

Smoking cannabis can:

  • make you wheeze and get out of breath
  • make you cough uncomfortably or painfully
  • make asthma worse if you have it

It can also:

  • give you mood swings
  • disturb your sleep and make you depressed
  • make you anxious, panicky, or even aggressive
  • 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 stop at all
  • increase your chances of developing illnesses like schizophrenia, especially if you have a family history of mental illness and you start smoking when you’re a teenager
  • cause a serious relapse for people with psychotic illnesses like schizophrenia

Keeping safe

With illegal drugs, the best way of keeping safe is to stop using them altogether. But we know that right now this could feel like an unachievable goal.

Any change is a good change, so why not start small and cut down gradually? For example, if you’re using every weekend, start by having one drug-free weekend every month. Then try limiting yourself to one weekend every month where you use, and then eventually stopping completely.

If you’re out, look out for your friends, and talk to them about what you’ll do if something goes wrong. If someone wants to go home, be a good mate and support them, don’t encourage them to stay out, and help them get home.

Supporting someone else

If you’re worried about a loved one or friend, check out the information in the supporting someone else section.

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