Cannabis remains the most-seized drug across Coventry – and the rest of the country.
But despite the ‘harmless’ reputation it seems to enjoy in some people’s minds, many have no real idea what it actually does to the body, brain, heart and internal organs.
When a joint is smoked, the active chemical Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) travels through the body and effects the brain.
Here’s the essential information you need to know, as first reported by Birmingham Live.
How long does it stay in your body?
THC, the active chemical in cannabis, is stored in the fat cells and therefore takes longer to fully clear the body than any other common drug.
The stronger the strain of cannabis, the more THC it contains.
Drug testing equipment, as used by the police, works by measuring the amount of THC in a urine sample.
A review of data compiled by the US National Drug Court Institute estimated that:
• An occasional or first-time user would probably test positive up to four days after last using
• A frequent user would probably test positive up to 10 days after last using
• A very heavy user could test positive up to one to two months after last using
Long-term use of cannabis can make you depressed and could make you less motivated.
How does it affect your body?
Cannabis messes with the way your brain processes information.
It contains at least 60 types of cannabinoids, chemical compounds that act on receptors throughout our brain.
These keep neurons firing, magnifying your thoughts, imagination and perception, and makes you feel high by boosting your dopamine levels.
But having too much makes you anxious, paranoid or panicky.
Like other drugs, continued use can lead to addiction.
Just minutes after you’ve taken your first puff, your heart rate speeds up by 20 to 50 beats per minute.
This can continue from 20 minutes to three hours later.
Cannabis makes blood vessels expand making your eyes turn red.
It may also make your pupils dilate.
Weed also affects the parts of your brain that process what you see, leading to hallucinations.
People who smoke weed get the “munchies” and feel incredibly hungry.
A study that looked into pot’s effect on mice found the drug basically flips a switch in the brain that is normally responsible for controlling appetite.
Chronic cannabis users, who light up at least three times a day, tend to have smaller grey matter volumes in the orbitofrontal cortex – which unsurprisingly is the part of brain tied to addiction.
But interestingly cannabis use was also linked with greater connectivity in the brain.
There was evidence to suggest that the drug could help fight Alzheimer’s and dispelled the myth that smoking weed lowers IQ.