Mental health articles

OF mental health care and mentally ill

Cannabis Side Effects

Cannabis (there is still uncertainty as to what type of drug cannabis is – Drugscope advises that it can be termed both a cannaboid and a hallucinogen) is frequently in the news and the subject of debate in terms of the relationship between its use and mental illness. Its use is more widely acceptable socially and, in 2002, it was reclassified as a class C from a class B drug. Cannabis is the most commonly used
illegal substance.
Cannabis is generally regarded as a depressant but can have both hallucinatory and stimulant effects (Hawkins & Gilburt 2004). Debate continues as to the role of cannabis in triggering or causing mental illness. High doses and continued use can lead to a toxic confusional state and acute psychotic reactions that are difficult to distinguish from schizophrenic-type psychosis can also occur. Other features associated with mental illness include:
• lethargy
• panic attacks
• paranoia
• short-term memory loss
• demotivation.

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