Medicinal plants

Cannabis: forms, effects and risks

Cannabis: forms, effects and risks

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Cannabis in Latin means the hemp plant. The dried flowers of the female plant are the basis for marijuana. They carry glands that contain resin with THC, CBD and other cannabinoids. These run through the plant in 60 different forms - one of them, THC, has a psychoactive effect.

Marijuana and hashish

Marijuana varies in color from whitish to brown and green to light violet tones. The color depends on the origin, the cultivation method and the dryness of the fabric. Hashish, on the other hand, means the pressed resin of the flowers and leaves. The color is from gray-brown to a matt black and a shiny black, if there is a lot of so-called hashish oil. Hashish has a crumbly to firm consistency, depending on the degree of freshness, it can also be greasy up to a paste. For sale, it is pressed into plates, rolled into balls or chopsticks (sausages).

It can be mixed with tobacco and smoked as a joint in cigarette papers. However, this method is relatively new - the traditional hashish cultures in Morocco, Lebanon, Pakistan or Afghanistan used pipes with long stems, so-called shillums, i.e. tubes that widen towards the end, or also called the shisha. You can also eat hashish, for example in cookies, or develop its effects in a tea.


Tetra hydrocamabinol (THC) is the main raw material for hemp. The THC content fluctuates considerably for the individual hemp varieties. Plants that are approved as useful plants in Germany, but are not allowed to produce hashish, carry around 1.5% THC, varieties in Iran or Afghanistan over 5% and new "high-performance breeds" over 20%.

A medicine

Uruguay now offers marijuana in pharmacies at a price of around one euro. The aim of this legalization is on the one hand to dry out the illegal market and on the other hand to offer the sick a medically effective substance. In Germany, cannabis can only be sold for purely medical purposes, and the need is checked by a doctor for individual patients. There are currently a few hundred pain patients and multiple sclerosis sufferers who receive cannabis on sick leave. In fact, the substance has been known for thousands of years as a pain reliever.

Canada, Israel, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic go much further than Germany in legalizing THC-containing hemp, but not as far as Uruguay. Cannabis is allowed for medical purposes in 20 states of the United States and is mainly used against headaches and sleep disorders.

Indians and China already cultivated hemp 5000 years ago, on the one hand they used the fibers for clothing and baskets, and on the other hand they used the plant as a remedy.


The body itself produces cannabinoids that are similar to the substances in hemp. They have an effect on the vegetative nervous system and lead to slight euphoria such as relaxation, they also change the perception of colors and sounds, so they are hallucinogens.

Long-term use of cannabis can have a negative impact on memory and concentration. In the long run, the hallucinogenic quality harbors the danger of chronic psychological changes up to persistent psychoses.

Hashish oil

Of all cannabis products, hashish oil has the strongest effect because it is an extract of the THC-containing resin, so it is not a real oil. The content of the active ingredient can be 70%. Samples from the Federal Criminal Police Office were between 5 and 41%.

Cannabis oil usually has a golden yellow color and is liquid. One drop in a joint is enough to achieve the desired effect. It is also prohibited in small quantities in Germany.

Medicinal effects

Although hemp has been used in medicine for thousands of years, the effect as a medicine has not been sufficiently researched. The cannabinoid CBD does not lead to intoxication, but is probably effective against inflammation, arthritis and nerve pain. It also reduces the symptoms of mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder.

The discussion about the legalization of cannabis is highly ideological in western countries, and that's one reason why a factual examination of cannabis in medicine is pending: opponents demonize the substance, proponents praise hemp as a miracle cure for everything and everyone.

No side effects?

An American study with a hundred cannabis users suggests that long-term use inhibits the development of white blood cells, weakens the immune system and makes them susceptible to various diseases.

Cannabis also appears to decrease the production of the male sex hormone testosterone, so chronic use could harm male potency. Just like alcohol, it breaks down the sex drive.

Is cannabis addictive?

The strength of a drug differs classically, among other things, by whether it makes it “only” psychologically or physically dependent. However, the neurosciences today show that the strict separation between physical and psychological cannot be maintained: psychological processes lead to biochemical changes in the body, physical processes are accompanied by changes in the psyche.

The same applies to psychological dependency: A person who feels psychologically dependent on something shows physical symptoms - the body now releases hormones when it only thinks about the substance. Researchers in San Francisco assume that hashish will become physically dependent in the long run. Addicts would experience the same withdrawal symptoms as with hard drugs.

Another undesirable side effect is the flood of information. In the long run, cannabis users can hardly differentiate between important and unimportant information.

Hashish - resin in a thousand shapes

The yellow-brown hashish platter typically comes from Morocco. The traditional growing area is in the central Rif Mountains. Over the past few decades, producers have introduced hybrid varieties and artificial irrigation, and both combined have resulted in an increased quality and quantity of the Moroccan fabric.

Zero-Zero is pure hashish from the resin gland after the first seven. It doesn't last long, but it is very psychedelic.

Double Zero-Zero stands out due to its excellent quality, contains almost no foreign dust or plant parts. Normal zero arises after the second sieving and contains more flower parts, but is cheaper. Casablanca corresponds to this type and tastes similar to ginger in tea.

Sputnik is dark brown, very resinous and comes from the high mountains of the Rif Mountains, Chocolata has a green-black color, is picked before the actual harvest, has the best quality, and that is why the Moroccans usually consume it themselves. Black Moroccan smells of mint and has a strong effect psychedelic. Agadir, named after the tourist stronghold on the Atlantic, is dark with a sweet taste.

Pakistani, Afghans, Arabs or Kashmiri not only stand for the origin, but also for effective hashish with a dark color.

"Balls" are very potent hashish that comes in balls that can be kneaded by hand. Caramellos are hand-rolled "sausages" that are soaked in hashish oil.

King Mohammed describes a high-quality light hashish, King Hassan II a darker one. Sierra Ketana stimulates and relaxes.

Puck is meant pejoratively. It describes dark brown fabric that is stretched and scratches in the throat when smoking.

Eiermarokk is artificial hashish in that hashish oil is dripped onto plant fibers.

Green Turk and Red Lebanese

Green Turk comes from Turkey, was widespread in Germany until the 1970s, but was pushed out of the Turkish market by the more lucrative heroin trade. “Kurds”, hashish from the Diyarbakir region, are currently rampant in this country.

"Lebanese" is hardly on the market due to the "War against drugs" in Lebanon. It has a red color, a high CBD content as well as a high THC content, which, according to users, led to mental clarity with physical inertia, i.e. the state of drowsiness.

Black Afghan is black on the outside and brownish on the inside. It has an intense smell, a high THC content and is usually made supple with sheep or goat fat. Afghanis burn very slowly and heavily and quickly make you tired. The same applies to black Pakistani, but it has a harder consistency.

Bhang and Chassas

India is one of the hashish centers in the world. The oral intake of products from the leaves is legal here, and this bhang is sold in state-licensed stores. However, hashish oil and hashish are illegal, as is the sale of female inflorescences. Chassas, the Indian term for hashish, are available on the subcontinent as bars or strips.

Other spectra of hashish varieties include "Tibetans", "Nepalese", "Jamaicans", "Mexicans", "Yunanni" or "Bhutani", all of which refer to the countries of origin.

CBD (cannabidiol)

Cannabis with THC is only legally available in Germany on prescription. Dabenben has recently found hemp products with the active ingredient cannabidiol (CBD) in drugstores. Recent research suggests that CBD is a good anti-inflammatory, pain reliever, and can positively affect mood. Since there is no THC, there are no noise conditions. If taken regularly, a doctor should be consulted, as CBD can interact with other medicines. For example, cannabidiol changes the effects of blood thinners and some chemotherapy drugs for cancer treatment. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dr. phil. Utz Anhalt, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch


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  • Bröckers, Mathias: Don't be afraid of hemp !: Why cannabis has to be legalized, Westend Verlag, 2014
  • Weilemann, Sascha; Sauer, Oliver: Drugs: Properties - Effects - Intoxications, Schlütersche Verlag, 2001
  • Grotenhermen, Franjo: CBD: A cannabinoid with potential, Nachtschatten Verlag, 2017
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  • Bastigkeit, Matthias: Drugs: a natural science manual, Govi, 2003
  • Kim, Philip S .; Fishman, Michael A .: "Cannabis for Pain and Headaches: Primer", in: Current Pain and Headache Reports, 2017, Springer Link
  • Karila, Laurent et al .: "Acute and long-term effects of cannabis use: a review", in: Current Pharmaceutical Design, Volume 20 Issue 25, 2014, Bentham Science
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  • Mayo Clinic: Is CBD safe to use? (Accessed: September 17, 2019),

Video: Marijuana Effects on the Brain, the Goods and the Bads, Animation. (June 2022).


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