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Psychoactivity

Cannabis is the most common and widely used drug with psychoactive effects. These effects are caused by the best known and most represented cannabinoid – THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Under its influence, users reach the state of altered consciousness – the famous “high” or “stoned” effect.

 

Main psychoactive effects of THC

  • Feelings of euphoria and relaxation
  • Altered perception of time
  • Increased intensity of certain sensations (e.g. listening to music or eating)
  • Higher rate of socialization (laughter, talkativeness)
  • Stimulation of appetite

However, higher doses of THC can cause negative and unpleasant effects in inexperienced users as well as pleasant ones. These differ from person to person, depending on the method of use, the amount of THC taken and previous experience with cannabis. Furthermore, immediate effects may include not only changes of behavior and moods, but also physical symptoms.

 

Most frequent side effects of THC

  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Accelerated heartbeat
  • Red eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness (“head spinning”)
  • Weariness
  • Cognitive disorders (of short term memory and attention)
  • Movement disorders (worsened coordination, slowed down reaction time)

Greater overdose may also induce nausea and vomiting or even psychosis (paranoia, delusions, hallucinations), especially in genetically predisposed individuals. The most common and unpleasant effects related to the psychoactive aspect of cannabis are anxious or panic reactions. THC effects may also negatively affect short-term memory, the ability to maintain attention, motor skills, reaction time and activities which require these skills in general, such as driving or operating heavy machinery.

Regular users develop so-called tolerance over time, getting used to the presence of THC in their body and not experiencing adverse side effects that would likely occur in beginner users after consuming the same amount of THC.

Psychoaktivita