Smoking weed causes a major disease

Cannabis products: hashish, marijuana

Cannabis is the most commonly used illegal intoxicant in Germany. In 2011, 6.7% of adolescents aged 12 to 17 and 39.2% of 18 to 25 year olds in Germany tried cannabis at least once. While these numbers have declined compared to 2004, the number of adolescents and young adults who use cannabis occasionally or frequently is increasing across Europe. Many young people just try this drug and quickly stop using it. However, 600,000 people in Germany regularly use cannabis.

The police seized 36.5% more hashish and 24.9% more marijuana as well as 665 plantations in Germany compared to the previous year 2012.

Type of ingestion

  • Smoke
    o mixed with tobacco (joint)
    o in water pipes to achieve more intense intoxicating experiences
  • tea
  • Eating (mixed in dishes, e.g. in cake or cookie dough)

Intoxication effect

  • Depending on the consumer's initial mood, heightened euphoric or depressive moods
  • relaxing and calming
  • Expansion and change of consciousness
    o changes common thought patterns: on the one hand, consumers hope for good ideas from them, on the other hand, their thinking becomes very erratic. In extreme cases, consumers are no longer able to have a clear thought. Short-term memory is noticeably impaired - up to and including memory gaps.
    o changes the sensory perception, especially the perception of sounds and colors - up to hallucinations
    o changes the feeling of time and space

The onset of action and the duration of the effect depend on the THC content of the drug and the type of consumption. When inhaled, THC spreads quickly through the airways throughout the entire organism. The effect occurs within 20 to 40 minutes and lasts for approx. 2-3 hours. If cannabis is smoked together with tobacco, the intoxicating effect is less than with inhalation with a water pipe.

If cannabis, on the other hand, is ingested with food, it takes longer for the effects to occur - usually very suddenly. The intoxication effect is often more intense than when smoking.

Physical effects on cannabis high

  • Indifference to the environment
  • Apathy, listlessness
  • Personality changes
  • sleep disorders
  • decreased performance and concentration
  • Nausea / nausea
  • Tremble
  • unsteady gait
  • Racing heart
  • dizziness
  • Circulatory collapse


The risks depend on, among other things. on the type of consumption. With a “” soft consumption pattern, those affected only consume cannabis occasionally and in low doses (a maximum of two to three times a month). The consumption is not very important to them and is not mixed with other drugs.

In contrast, one speaks of a “hard pattern of consumption” when cannabis is consumed habitually, almost daily or several times a day in high doses. These users have firmly integrated cannabis use into their everyday lives and usually also take other drugs, e.g. alcohol.

The risk of negative health and social effects increases the more often cannabis is consumed, the more often other drugs are added and the more natural it is used in everyday life. Depending on the individual disposition, the consequences are:

  • psychological addiction with severe drug craving
  • Reduced cognitive performance with impaired concentration and memory
  • Developmental Delays in Puberty
  • Withdrawal from the social environment up to isolation with loss of job
  • Outbreak of temporary psychoses lasting up to several days, e.g. with disorientation, hallucinations, disturbed sense of self and paranoia
  • Outbreak of schizophrenia
  • Physical dependence with withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, nervousness, anxiety or depression - physical dependence is of minor importance in the case of cannabis compared to psychological dependence
  • Committing crimes related to cannabis use (cannabis offenses)
  • The number of consumption-related crimes recorded by the police has been increasing since 2008 and reached its provisional high of 145,013 crimes in 2013.
  • a small proportion of cannabis users later switch to harder drugs.

Through the use of cannabis, school performance can deteriorate, so that those affected may have a poorer school-leaving qualification. Young people who are in training appear listless and may therefore not be taken on by the employer. The chances of a good income decrease as well as satisfaction with the life situation, which may increase the need for the next joint. A vicious circle can develop that can only be escaped with great determination.

A joint is usually inhaled more deeply than cigarette smoke (when smoking, by mixing it with tobacco). As a result, more pollutants get into the lungs, which increases the risk of cancer. Regular consumption over a long period of time can cause damage to the respiratory tract.

The ESPAD study (European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs), in which 45,000 adolescents aged 15-19 took part, found that regular cannabis use is associated with a 1.4-fold increased risk of attempting suicide .

If cannabis is used during pregnancy, harm to the unborn child cannot be ruled out. Lower birth weight and abnormal behavior in the child are possible consequences.


Since THC is fat-soluble, it takes a long time to break down in the body. This is why evidence in the urine or in the blood is still possible 30 days after consumption.


Possession of cannabis and cannabis products is a criminal offense. If only small amounts are found on a person for personal use, the public prosecutor can refrain from prosecuting them. The limits vary depending on the state. If you pass on cannabis or cannabis products to others, you are definitely liable to prosecution.

In addition, the ability to drive is impaired by the consumption of cannabis. The detection of cannabis in the urine or blood can therefore lead to the withdrawal of the driver's license.

Offers of help

The following institutions have specialized in the subject of "cannabis":

Early intervention

  • FreD - Early Intervention for First-Time Drug Users
    The project, supported by the Federal Ministry of Health, offers the police, public prosecutor's offices and juvenile courts an opportunity to intervene in order to have a preventive and educational effect on young people and adolescents in criminal proceedings.
  • MOVE
    Three-day advanced training in "motivational conversation" for contact persons of people who consume drugs, to promote the willingness to change as well as to accompany and support the change process

Therapy offers

  • CANDIS - targeted therapy for cannabis disorders
    Behavioral therapy-oriented weaning program for adolescents from 16 years of age and adults with problematic cannabis use
  • AVerCa
    Establishing an effective supply structure for the early detection and early intervention of juvenile cannabis abuse.
    The project supported by the Federal Ministry of Health lists equipment lists on its website

Addresses & links

Federal Center for Health Education
Ostmerheimer Str. 220
51109 Cologne
Tel. 0221 / 8992-0
Advice line: 0221 / 8920-31
Fax 0221 / 8992-300
Email: [email protected]

German Central Office for Addiction Issues (DHS) e.V.
West Wall 4
59065 Hamm, Germany
Phone: +49 2381 9015-0
Fax: +49 2381 9015-30
Email: [email protected]

The drug commissioner of the federal government
in the Federal Ministry of Health

Friedrichstrasse 108
10117 Berlin
Phone: 03018-441-1452
Fax: 030-20640-4960
Email: [email protected]

MOVE - motivational short intervention for consuming adolescents
Intervention concept to promote and support the willingness to change young people with problematic drug consumption published by the Federal Center for Health Education.