Entry into drug addiction – Trap for teenagers – Vehicle to drug addiction


(also called chronic, hash, pot)

GRASS, MARIJUANA                          (dope, ganja, pot, skunk, weed)


Dried cannabis resin

Sold in 0.1 to 0.2 ounce sticks or sheets or in 8.8 ounce blocks

Smoked pure or mixed with tobacco, rolled in cigarette paper.

Or taken in a bong or hash pipe

Dried and chopped cannabis leaves and flowers.

Looks like tea leaves

Smoked pure in a joint

Obtained by distilling cannabis leaves or resins.

Can contain up to 60% of tetrahydrocannabinol psychoactive substance (THC)
Smoked after having put one or more drops on a cigarette. It can also be eaten in cakes eg. Space cakes.



Two species of cannabis

INDICA CANNABIS: Indian hemp, high in THC. The leaf has 5 petioles. There are more than 100 varieties.

SATIVA CANNABIS: Textile cannabis with a very low concentration of the active ingredient THC–less than 0.3%. With its high content of fibers and its solidity, it is used to make ropes, textiles, industrial items and so on. Due to its low concentration of the THC it is unsuitable for "tripping".



Cannabis also, depending on its variety, contains quite powerful active ingredients, which correspond to different THC levels. With time, the user will have to increase the number of doses or take a higher dosed variety to achieve the initial effects. This is called habituation.

To give an example, let's take alcohol. Wine, beer, whisky, cognac, all contain powerful active properties which correspond to their different contents of alcohol. If one drinks the same amount of each separately, the effect of the alcohol will depend on its level in the beverage.

Today's cannabis varieties contain between 6 to 35 % of THC. This increase has been genetically engineered and illegally cultivated.

Cannabis seeds sold on the internet produce plants with a high content of THC – from 15 to 20% in average. Their specific names identify their effect and their strength, eg. Afghan, crystal, ganja, Mexican, white, skunk, special poison and so on.

We are far from the joints smoked in the Sixties. Then cannabis contained from 0.6 to 6% of THC and was used most of time in joints which were passed around a group.

Nowadays it is fashionable to get "stoned" on weekends and to consume cannabis and alcohol together.



Elimination time principle of half-life of a substance

This is the time needed by a body with no prior exposure to a substance to eliminate 50 % of it

Cannabis half-life and releasing

Half-life of cannabis is 96 hours or 4 days. It is stored in body fat for 28 days.

During this period the user will find it difficult to resist taking the drug. The more he takes the drug, the more the stocks are stored in the body fat. The product will be released in case of stress, fear –which accounts for scooter and car accidents – or anger. This is releasing.

The body tries to adapt to unsettling effects provoked by the product and enters quickly into a spiral of dependency and habituation.



Generally, there is a change in behavior, attitudes, acquaintances – a change of friends.

In the following list, keep in mind that no one is a match for drugs, the physiology of each person being different. The following signs do not necessarily occur simultaneously.

  • Respiratory problems (cough, chronic bronchitis)
  • Exhaustion
  • Dehydration (strong thirst)
  • Increased appetite
  • Weakening of the immune system
  • Violence
  • Cannabis intoxication
  • More carcinogenic than tobacco
  • Memory problems
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Loss of will
  • Scholastic failure
  • Alteration in time and spatial perception
  • Abnormal decrease in spermatozoïdes, loss of masculinity
  • During pregnancy, cannabis goes through placenta and effects the unborn child
  • Loss of social compass, weakening of conscience
  • Schizophrenia, obsessions and hallucinations
  • Disorganized thoughts


To stop

6 to 8 months are needed by the regular cannabis user to completely stop consumption. Do not forget that a consumer is under the influence of the product. Thus he does not have the will to resist it.

One has to decrease and then cease consumption one's self. Only abstinence allows a complete discontinuity of use without risk. Antidepressants are no substitutes, they seriously compromise the cessation.


Report by the French Science Academy

"The damaging effects of cannabis on psychic as well as physical health do exist. Cannabis alters memory in affecting the cerebral system, which allows information to filter and interferes in the process of memorizing. Cannabis affects the reproduction system. It weakens the body's immune system. Cannabis causes the user to experience a syndrome characterized by an indifference to life, lack of motivation, loss of interest in all activities, be they scholastic, sportive or cultural. Cannabis leads to using more powerful drugs simply because the body gets used to it".


A few reflexions

"Any strong cannabis addict does not inevitably become a heroin-addict. However we find that 90% of heroin-addicts were initially cannabis users [...] At the same time we witness an impressive increase of criminality amongst youth, in relation to the abuse of so-called mild drugs."
Dr Koopman is a director of "Hope", a rehabilitation center in Holland

"The person who smokes cannabis with a high THC content quickly develops a strong addiction. [...] Joints with high THC levels cause habituation in the consumer requiring higher and higher dosages to achieve his original high. [...]We then witness withdrawal symptoms. [...] In Holland, 70% of cannabis consumed in coffee shops is Nerdereit containing up to 35% of THC. Whereas in 1979, cannabis contained from 0.6 to 6 %."
Professor Ashton, School of Neurological Sciences, University of Newcastle (GB)


A few testimonies

"When you smoke all the time, stopping seems impossible. When you decide to take that first step, it is then that you realize how far you are from your normal self. It feels like you become yourself again. Can you underline yourself? (Silence)...It's really hard to stop."

Clotilde, aged 17, from an artistic background, Nancy, France

"Smoking makes you lose interest in everything. Nothing interests you... nothing. From the morning on you feel dizzy. Then day starts, you smoke a little joint...and it'll be the same again, we won't care about anything and about anyone...You have to tell them that."

Sabrina, aged 18, from an executive background, Toulon, France

Extracts from Et si on parlait du haschich by Marie-Christine d'Welles.


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