Learn About Cannabis - What Is It?

Cannabis is a drug derived from the cannabis plant. Often called marijuana, weed, reefer or many other names, it was first introduced to Western medicine in the 1830s. It’s now being legalised for recreational use in Canada.

Cannabis has two main active ingredients:

  • Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is a psychoactive ingredient responsible for feelings of joy, euphoria and contentment commonly associated with recreational cannabis.
  • CBD, or cannabidiol, is non-psychotropic and creates an overall feeling of wellness without the mind-altering effects of THC.

Different species and strains of cannabis have varying effects. The two most well-known types are Cannabis indica, which most people find has calming, relaxing effects and Cannabis sativa, seen as more stimulating and energizing. Hybrids, which can be a mix of indica and sativa or of different strains of the same species, are the most common type of cannabis plants and tend to have more balanced effects. Terpenes, chemicals naturally found in cannabis, are responsible for the distinctive aromas and flavours like citrus, berry, mint and pine.

Whether used recreationally or for medical reasons, cannabis can be consumed in a number of ways that have different effects on the body. Common ways include:

  • Smoking a joint, pipe or bong.
  • Using a vapourizer for smoke-free inhalation.
  • Taking oils or capsules by mouth.
  • Eating in foods like cookies or candy.

Take some time to explore and decide if cannabis is right for you. If you choose to use, remember to use responsibly.