Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in Australia.
Marijuana is a natural substance and comes from the cannabis plant. It grows in almost any climate in many different parts of the world. The active ingredient, or the bit that makes you feel stoned, is THC (which stands for tetrahydrocannabinol).
A common myth about pot is that it can’t be harmful because it’s natural, however smoking can cause serious damage to your mind and body which is why it’s an illegal drug.
ALSO KNOWN AS
Cannabis, pot, weed, grass, dope, mary jane, bud, hash, hashish, hydro, ganja, mull, smoke, green, reefer, herb, joint, spliff, billy and bongs.
Marijuana is the most common type of cannabis used in Australia. It is made from the dried leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. It’s the weakest in strength and is usually smoked. This is the type most commonly available in Australia.
The other two type of cannabis are:
Hashish - which is made from the resin of the cannabis plant, which is like a sticky substance that is mostly in its flowers. Hash is also smoked but it’s much stronger than smoking regular marijuana.
Hash oil - which is a thick oil that comes from hashish. It’s the strongest cannabis product and is also smoked.
Marijuana (more casually referred to as 'pot') in Australia, is usually mixed with tobacco and smoked in joints or bongs. A joint is a hand-rolled cigarette while a bong is a specially made water pipe which can be store-bought or made from a soft drink bottle or other household items. Smoking a bong will give you a much stronger high than a joint, as it’s designed to give you a big hit of smoke all at once.
THE EFFECTS + THE RISKS
Smoking pot affects people in different ways. You can feel chilled out and happy, get the giggles and become really talkative. Some people say the drug opens their mind and makes them think more creatively. But it can also make you tired and unmotivated, paranoid, start seeing or hearing things that aren’t there and often stops you from going out and doing anything social.
If you smoke too much in one go it’s possible to ‘green out’ which means you can completely lose touch with reality and feel sick and not be able to move. This feeling will pass, but it’s definitely not a pleasant one.
Some people can become really dependent on smoking pot. People who smoke a lot often lose touch with friends, lack motivation for school, work and creative projects and lose the ability to be in social situations like parties and other fun activities. Regular smokers can experience mood swings and other changes in their behaviour. Smoking pot is also linked to mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and depression. It’s especially important to try and avoid smoking cannabis during your teenage years as certain parts of your brain are particularly vulnerable during this time.
Quitting weed can give you a whole new lease on life. You can feel like you’ve just had a burst of energy and that you’re thinking clearly for the first time in ages. However some nasty, flu-like symptoms can also be involved when you’re withdrawing from pot. Things like headaches, trouble sleeping and feeling annoyed and hating everything. But it will pass. And it’s so worth it. YSAS workers can support you either through home withdrawal or at one of our withdrawal units.
It’s illegal to use, have on you, drive under the influence of, grow or sell cannabis in Australia.
HELP WITH MARIJUANA
If you're worried you might have a problem with marijuana there is free, confidential help available. If you need to chat about anything, give us a call on our 24 hour free YoDAA Line: 1800 458 685 or check out our Programs + Services.