Cannabis (Marijuana) is a combination of the dried leaves and flowers of the hemp plant.  Usually it is rolled into a cigarette paper and smoked, although it is sometimes eaten.  The cannabis cultivated today, as apposed to what was around years ago, contains a much higher concentration of  THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the main active chemical which has the mind-altering effect on the brain. Hash is the resin from the dried flower tops and usually contains more THC than Marijuana.  Hash oil is made by boiling the flowers in an organic solvent and can contain as much as 70% THC in its strongest form.  The effects of marijuana differ with each person and the circumstances of its use.  Some people feel giddy and some feel nothing at all.  Time may appear to move slowly or ordinary events can seem very interesting or funny.  Cannabis is the next most widely used drug after nicotine by both young people and adults.

Marijuana can raise your blood pressure and accelerate your normal heart rate.  After "smoking up" your eyes will look red from the blood vessels expanding.  Commonly, users will feel very thirsty and/or hungry.  Coordination and reaction time will be impaired, as well as short-term memory.  The health risks of frequent use include respiratory issues and bronchitis.  Heavy use has also been linked to schizophrenia in some individuals.  For students, the ability to study or learn is impaired because of the difficulty to concentrate and regular use may also affect motivation.  Frequent users may find that they feel "dopey" and unable to think clearly when problem solving or performing complex tasks even after the intoxicating effects of the drug have worn off.  Combining Marijuana use with other drugs intensifies each of their effects.

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