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Responsible cannabis consumption
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In this blog item UP 'n DownConsciousness modifierWhat happens physically?What happens psychologically?Smoking with tobaccoTolerance breakQuitting cannabisTips for cutting down or stopping
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Responsible cannabis consumption

Cannabis is classified as a drug in the Netherlands. Although it is a soft drug, excessive use can lead to problem use. In general, drugs are divided into three categories: Uppers, downers and psychedelics.

  • Uppers, stimulants. These are substances that temporarily make you feel more energetic or stimulate a creative boost. Substances such as coffee, cocaine, amphetamine and XTC.
  • Downers, narcotics. These drugs give the effects of sedation and sedation. You enter a state of intoxication. For example, alcohol, painkillers, heroin and other opiates.
  • Psychedelics, mind-altering drugs. Here changes occur in how you see, feel, hear things etc. You experience it all in a different way. Examples include: truffles, mushrooms and LSD.

UP 'n Down

Because cannabis affects the human endocannabinoid system, it has mixed effects. It can be either uplifting, sedative or mind-altering. This is because cannabis comes in many varieties. A cannabis strain with a high THC content doesn't really say anything about the effect it gives. And because every person is different, the effect will also vary from person to person. A cannabis sativa strain generally has a stimulating effect. It gives you energy and the creative mind is stimulated. You get "high" from it. A cannabis indica strain generally has a narcotic and sedative effect. It makes you "stoned." This can be a lot of fun, but as you know, a stone doesn't do much. It is incredibly relaxing to hang out stoned on the couch with a bag of chips and watch a nature documentary. This is called a "couch-lock." But the danger is that you keep smoking and don't get off the couch anymore. And thus let the beautiful and important moments in life pass you by.

A high dose of cannabis can cause a change in consciousness. Not only the type of cannabis plays a role in this. With cannabis oil or edibles (cannabis in edible form) cannabinoids enter your body in a different way and work on other parts of the endocannabinoid system. Because of this, the effect can be experienced as very strong. Therefore do not eat your edible in one go! Eat a piece of the edible first, or start with one drop of the oil, wait an hour and see what it does to you. Consuming cannabis concentrates in the form of dabs can produce unpleasant effects in inexperienced consumers. The concentrates contain a high dose of active ingredients. The dabs are delicious in taste and you quickly take one puff too many.

Consciousness modifier

Consuming cannabis changes your consciousness and your view of reality. It is not bad to look at things from a different angle. But realize that the people around you live in a completely different consciousness. If you smoke too much, there is a chance that the change in your consciousness is continuous. You have to have a good head or a lot of life experience to be able to see the differences in reality. Misunderstanding and alienation from society is then a great danger. Sometimes a person becomes socially isolated, leading to depression, neglect and addiction.

How cannabis works depends on the person. How his biochemistry looks like and the reason why someone consumes cannabis. In health care and in politics there is still too little focus on the person. They usually look at the drug. But if someone has a problem with cannabis it says a lot about that person, but not necessarily about the cannabis. By looking at the drug, especially in politics, people often come up with solutions to the symptoms rather than person-oriented solutions to the underlying problem.

What happens physically?

Physical effects occur with the consumption of cannabis. These effects may include:

  • An increase in appetite. You will especially crave sweet things.
  • You become dizzy.
  • You may experience nausea and vomiting as a result.
  • Your muscles weaken, making your arms and legs feel heavy. You are stoned.
  • Your blood pressure goes down while smoking. If you smoke regularly, for example every day, you run the risk of getting too high a blood pressure.
  • You get a dry mouth.
  • You can get a headache, especially in combination with tobacco.
  • Your eyes turn a red color.
  • Your heart starts beating faster.

Possible negative side effects of consuming cannabis (physical)

Blow smoking, smoking hash or weed has a number of adverse effects. The effects are greatest when blowing with tobacco. If you blow a lot for a long time, you run the risk of developing any of the following symptoms:

  • Damage and inflammation of the airways. You may suffer from frequent coughing, coughing up phlegm and wheezing. The chance that you will get these symptoms from smoking cannabis is much higher than for people who do not smoke cannabis.
  • You are more likely to develop lung disease, such as asthma and emphysema.
  • Smoking increases your risk of cancer.
  • You become forgetful. For example, sometimes you don't remember what you said five minutes before.

What happens psychologically?

With cannabis, psychological effects also occur. These effects are:

  • Your mood is boosted. If you are cheerful, you will become even more cheerful. But if you are feeling gloomy, for example, it will be amplified.
  • You may become calm and relaxed.
  • You may get the weak laugh, called the laughter kick.
  • Your sense of time changes.
  • You make contact more easily when you are high. This is less when you are stoned.
  • You perceive things differently. Physical touch becomes more sensitive, you see colors differently and music is perceived differently.
  • You find it harder to concentrate.
  • You start to fantasize a lot.
  • If you have been smoking a lot in a short period of time you may become introverted.
  • It is possible to be tripping if the cannabis is dropped incorrectly, especially with a large amount or with edibles. Tripping means that you can become very anxious and confused, this may be accompanied by hallucinations.

Possible negative side effects of consuming cannabis (mentally/psychologically)

If you smoke cannabis for a long time and often, you are more likely to experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • If you have a biological predisposition to get schizophrenia or psychosis, you increase your risk of actually getting it if you smoke regularly and a lot. Schizophrenia is a disorder in which you see and hear things that are not there, you become confused, you don't feel like doing anything and your interactions with others deteriorate. If you do not have this biological predisposition, then this risk is much lower. But the risk is still greater than if you did not use cannabis.
  • You can suffer from panic attacks when you blow. It can also occur if you have only blown once. This stops again when the THC has worn off or extra CBD is added.
  • Research has shown that people who use cannabis weekly to (almost) daily have a 1.6 times higher chance of developing depression and a 5 times higher chance of developing manic-depression.
  • You can get memory problems. This means that you have a poor ability to remember things that have recently happened. If you have been smoking a lot of weed for a long time and you suddenly stop smoking weed, you can still suffer from memory problems up to 7 days later. These then decrease very rapidly until they are completely gone after about 28 days.
  • If you are pregnant, it is better not to smoke cannabis at all. Cannabis gets into the unborn child. If you have already given birth and are breastfeeding, you should also avoid smoking cannabis. Cannabis ends up in the breast milk. Smoking cannabis during pregnancy has a negative influence on the further development of the child. Also after birth. Breast milk naturally contains enough enzymes to build up the baby's endocannabinoid system.

Smoking with tobacco

Smoking a joint is the most common way to consume cannabis. Unfortunately, cannabis is still often mixed with tobacco. According to the guidelines of the RIVM, tobacco is number 4 on the list of most dangerous drugs, cannabis is number 11. The risk of addiction is much more prevalent here. The tobacco-joint smoker is more likely to be addicted to nicotine than to cannabis. Cigarettes are gross and taste better when a little cannabis is added. But before you know it, you're just smoking one "luxury" cigarette after another.

Tolerance break

By consuming cannabis frequently and a lot, you increase your tolerance to cannabis. This means that the more you consume, the better you can handle it. On the other hand, you need more cannabis, or cannabis in a stronger form, to get a desired effect. In other words, your intoxication becomes your normal and it still does little for you. If you are experiencing this, it is advisable to take a tolerance break. By reducing or discontinuing your cannabis use, your tolerance decreases. This makes it possible to fully enjoy cannabis again after a while. With a tolerance break, you can even change your daily routine. If you start smoking in the morning, you won't notice much of a joint in the evening. When you then change your daily routine, it already affects how your body and mind reacts to cannabis. So if you start smoking cannabis in the evening it will have a completely different effect. The best way to lower your tolerance level is to go through a period of total abstinence. Reducing or stopping the consumption of cannabis may not sound like a fun thing to do. Yet there are reasons to do this, sometimes advisable, sometimes even necessary. Also for financial reasons this is not a bad thing to do once. Just a few days of abstinence is enough to regain most of the effects. You will also get a different perspective with your thoughts, this will give you the insight that cannabis is an enrichment of life and not what life is all about.

Quitting cannabis

THC and other cannabinoids remain in the body for up to 30 days. So if you want to be completely "clean," you will need to not use cannabis for at least one month. For most blowers this sounds heavy but it is doable. Try to change your thoughts about cannabis. Look for yourself.

The pros and cons of cannabis consumption. Draw the conclusion for yourself what you want from cannabis. What is an advantage for one person may be a disadvantage for another. While the following advantages and disadvantages are noted side by side, they are not necessarily the opposite of each other.

 Advantages

Disadvantages

I can relax better

Smoking cannabis costs me a lot of money

I feel calmer

I get money owed to me by smoking cannabis

I feel less anxious

It is bad for my health

I am less depressed

I suffer more from shortness of breath

I suffer less from boredom

I am less fit

I can sleep better

I am lacking energy

I am more creative

I have more arguments

I experience less trembling, shaking or feeling sick

I have difficulties getting up in the morning

I feel less physical pain

I don't remember everything in the morning

I feel less emotional pain

School is harder for me

I have more energy

My work is not going as well

The taste of smoke is good

I have problems at work because of smoking

I am less bothered by pondering thoughts

I feel dependent on weed/hash

It increases the party mood

I lose friends and/or family

I have less problems with bad memories

I have problems at home because of weed/hashish

I feel more at home

Sex is more difficult

I feel tougher

I have trouble concentrating

I find myself more fun when I smoke

I become more forgetful

I have fewer problems after an unpleasant event

I suffer from sleeping disorders because of weed/hashish

I get on better with people  

I feel more depressed

I can have better, easier seks

I am ashamed

I have more courage

I feel guilty

I make contact easier

I leave the house less often

I feel better

I eat too much

It gives me comfort

I become more indifferent

I am less inclined to hurt myself

I am dangerous while driving on the road

I dare to do more

I feel like a loser

I feel an increase in appetite

I have less desire for sex

I am better at driving

I take worse care of myself

I worry less about things

I smell of smoke

I have fewer suicidal thoughts

I get angry more quickly after using cannabis

I am less bothered by voices in my head

I sometimes regret things I have said or done

Smoking cannabis makes things more pleasant

Friends are dissaproving me when I smoke

I dare to say what I think

My parent(s) has/have criticized me when I smoke

Others like me more when I blow

My boyfriend/girlfriend criticizes me when I smoke

I feel more attractive when I smoke

I take worse care of chores around the house

I can express myself better emotionally

I see fewer and fewer people

It gives me satisfaction after a difficult task

I hear voices

I feel less insecure

I see things and/or people who are not really there

When I blow, I feel good on my own

I taste things that are not real

I find the world less rotten when I smoke

I feel things that are not real

The music or the movie is much more beautiful

I smell things that are not there

I am better able to put everything into perspective

 


After reading this list, are there more disadvantages than advantages for you? Then it's a good idea to take a critical look at your cannabis consumption. If there are people around you, who have your best interests at heart, who are concerned about your use? Don't disregard their advice! Also, take a good look around you. Are there addiction problems in your family? This can be hereditary.

Tips for cutting down or stopping

  • Set a goal for yourself: reduce or stop.
  • Write down for yourself the advantages and disadvantages from the list above and prepare yourself accordingly.
  • Plan the date when you want to start cutting back or stopping. Do not postpone it too long, but plan a moment on short term. For example, next week, or tomorrow or now.
  • Determine how much you want to cut down, you can describe this in grams or in the    number of joints.
  • Determine the maximum you want to smoke.
  • Decide which days you want to smoke and which you absolutely do not want to smoke.
  • Decide for what period, i.e. how long you want to stick to this goal. After this period you can simply adjust your goal or add another period.
  • Set only attainable goals, do not set the bar too high! Then you avoid disappointment.
  • Write your goal on paper, so you can read it again later.
  • Whenever you have achieved your goal, you can reward yourself with something you like. If you have not achieved your goal, postpone the reward. In this way you can keep yourself motivated.
  • When you have not achieved your goal, think about what you can do differently next time to achieve it. Do not doubt yourself and do not feel guilty. If you don't succeed once in a while, it might be a pity, but it's not a disaster. Reducing or stopping smoking cannabis is a process of trial and error. Be proud of the moments when you do succeed.
  • Prepare yourself for cravings. Write down the situations in which there is a risk that you will start to smoke weed and how you can respond in a different way than with cannabis.
  • Keep up the courage and do not give up.

One consolation, there are no known deaths as a result of cannabis consumption. Cannabis is not toxic. But if for some reason you have a problem with or because of cannabis, alcohol or other drugs? Seek help! It's never too late.

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