Topics: Cannabis, Cannabis smoking, Psychosis Pages: 6 (1641 words) Published: June 1, 2014
The DSM 5 describes the essential feature of substance use disorders as a cluster of cognitive, behavioural and physiological symptoms indicating that the individual continues using the substance despite significant substance-related problems. Cannabis-related disorders are one of the 10 classes of substance use disorders classified under the category of substance-related disorders in the DSM 5. The following cannabis-related disorders are listed in the DSM 5: Cannabis use disorder

Cannabis intoxication
Cannabis withdrawal
Other cannabis-induced disorders
Unspecified cannabis-related disorder.

Classification of cannabis:
Cannabis is derived from the cannabis plant and chemically similar synthetic cannabinoid compounds. In small doses, it is classified as a depressant. In larger doses, it can be a hallucinogen. The slang names for cannabis are: marijuana, dope, weed, herb, grass, pot, hashish, hash, reefer, mary jane, dagga, bhang, skunk, boom, gangster, kif, and ganja. It is also available in synthetic oral formulations which are prescribed for approved medical conditions e.g. vomiting caused by chemotherapy, for anorexia and weight loss associated with AIDS.

Methods of Use:
It is most commonly smoked by different methods e.g. pipes, water pipes (bongs or hookahs), cigarettes (joints or reefers) or in hollowed out cigars (blunts). It is also mixed into food and tea and consumed orally. About two to three times as much cannabis must be taken orally to be as potent as cannabis taken by inhaling its smoke. Cannabis is also inhaled via a method called vaporisation. In this method it is heated and psychoactive cannabinoids are released. More rapid onset and intense experiences of the desired effects is achieved via smoking or vaporising the substance.

Speed of effects:
The most prevalent psychoactive substances in cannabis are cannabinoids, most notably delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The main mind-altering (psychoactive) ingredient in cannabis is THC. More than 400 other chemicals are also in the plant. The amount of THC in the substance determines how strong its effects are on the user. The effects from smoking cannabis are felt as soon as the THC enters the bloodstream and last from 1-3 hours. Some motor and cognitive effects last 5 to 12 hours. Absorption of THC is slower if cannabis is ingested, typically producing effects 30 minutes to an hour after exposure and lasting up to 4 hours. Cannabis increases the heart rate, relaxes and enlarges bronchial passages, and dilates the blood vessels in the eyes, which may cause them to appear bloodshot. THC causes dopamine release, which produces euphoria. Colours and sounds may seem more intense, time may appear to pass more slowly, and pleasant sensations may be experienced. Dry mouth is common, as are intense thirst and hunger. After the euphoria passes, a user may feel sleepy or depressed. Some users experience anxiety or panic. Some of the short-term physical effects of cannabis use include increased heart rate, dry mouth, reddening of the eyes, muscle relaxation and a sensation of cold or hot hands and feet.

Effects the user wants:
Substance users use cannabis for a variety of reasons viz. cope with mood, sleep, pain, physiological and psychological problems. Cannabis is also used to experience euphoria, to forget about problems, in response to anger and as a social activity. Cannabis also produces many subjective and highly tangible effects, such as greater enjoyment of food taste and aroma, an enhanced enjoyment of music and comedy, and marked distortions in the perception of time and space. Some effects may include a general alteration of conscious perception, feelings of well-being, relaxation or stress reduction, increased appreciation of humour, music or the arts, joviality, increased sensuality, increased awareness of sensation, increased libido and creativity. Abstract or philosophical thinking, disruption of linear memory and paranoia...
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