About Marijuana

Slang terms for cannabis

Including the term marijuana, cannabis may be known by different names across different cultures, communities and social groups. These names include:

  • pot
  • bud
  • wax
  • errl
  • purp
  • keef
  • dope
  • herb
  • joint
  • rosin
  • spliff
  • trees
  • boom
  • weed
  • ganja
  • skunk
  • reefer
  • doobie
  • shatter
  • budder
  • gangster
  • honeycomb
  • Mary Jane (MJ)
  • dank or dank krippy

Cannabis can be taken in many different ways, including:

  • smoking by:
    • joints or spliffs (cannabis wrapped in partially translucent paper and can be mixed with tobacco)
    • pipes, such as bongs
    • blunts (partially or entirely hollowed out cigar wrappers filled with cannabis)
  • drinking or eating through:
    • teas
    • sodas
    • baked goods
  • vaping (breathing in cannabis and cannabis concentrate vapours through a vaporizer)
  • dabbing (breathing in vapours from heating cannabis concentrates with a blowtorch)

Kief or hashish

Kief is a powder made from the trichomes of the cannabis plant.

Hashish is made from kief. It is the resin that comes from the trichomes when they are pressed. Hashish may be soft and flexible or firm and brittle. It can be different colours, including:

  • gold
  • black
  • green
  • brown

Hashish can also be made into various forms or shapes, such as:

  • balls
  • bricks
  • sticks
  • cakes

There is more THC in both kief and hashish than in dried cannabis. The amount of THC in hashish can be as high as 60% while the amount of THC in cannabis is usually much lower, such as 37%. Kief and hashish can be smoked, mixed with foods or liquids and eaten or drunk.

Hash oil (errl)

Hash oil, which is also called errl, is made by mixing cannabis plant material with petroleum-based solvents like butane. This pulls the cannabinoids out of the plant and into the butane. This method is dangerous and can cause fires or explosions. The resulting product is called butane hash oil or butane honey oil (BHO). The colour of this oil can be:

  • red
  • gold
  • dark brown

Hash oil is usually a thick, sticky liquid and may contain more THC than dried cannabis plant material. The amount of THC in hash oil can be as high as 80%.

Shatter, budder, wax, honeycomb and rosin

Shatter, budder, wax, honeycomb and rosin are often the strongest cannabis products. Some of these can have up to 90% THC. Many are made from butane hash oil (BHO) using different processes while others, like rosin, are made without solvents. These products each have a different look and feel:

  • shatter is hard, brittle and amber-coloured
  • budder or wax is soft and feels like lip balm
  • honeycomb looks like a honeycomb

After using cannabis (it is typically smoked), the THC is absorbed into the bloodstream and it travels to the brain. Here the THC will bind to specific receptors, called cannabinoid receptors. This binding reaction in the brain is what produces the "high" and the resulting effects felt by the user.

It is variable in terms of how quickly cannabis reaches the brain based on how the cannabis was ingested. If the user smokes, the effects are felt almost instantaneously and usually last for one to three hours. If the user eats cannabis (for example in something like brownies baked with marijuana) it takes about an hour for it to take effect and the effects may last for as long as four hours.

THC is stored in fat cells. It takes a long time to completely clear from the body. In typical users this does not produce long-lasting psychoactive effects (effects which alert the mind, mood or mental processes) but it can result in a positive drug test long after the drug has been taken and the effects have worn off.

This Checklist shows what information is required to apply to become a Licensed Producer.

You can view more information on the application process here.

Cannabis refers to the plant Cannabis sativa. The cannabis plant grows and is grown around the world, but originally comes from Asia.

The flowers and leaves of the plant are used for their ability to cause psychoactive effects, or effects on the mind, including:

  • euphoria (feeling high)
  • a sense of well-being
  • relaxation
  • heightened sensory experiences:
    • sight
    • taste
    • smell
    • sound

The cannabis plant is also used for medical, social or religious purposes. Marijuana is a slang term for the dried flowers, leaves, stems and seeds of the cannabis plant. A lot of cannabis products come from or can be made using the flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant, including:

  • dried herbal material
  • oil, such as hash oil
  • concentrates, such as shatter
  • hash, which is compressed resin
  • foods and drinks containing extracts of cannabis

Chemical substances in cannabis

Cannabis contains hundreds of chemical substances. Over 100 of these chemicals are known as cannabinoids. This is because they come from the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are made and stored in plant's trichomes, which are tiny, clear hairs that stick out of the flowers and leaves of the plant. Cannabinoids are chemicals that have an effect on cell receptors in the brain and body and can change how those cells behave.


The most researched cannabinoid is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is responsible for the way your brain and body respond to cannabis. While THC has some therapeutic effects, it also has harmful effects.

The potency (concentration) of THC in cannabis is often presented as a percentage of THC by the weight of a specific part of the plant. The THC potency in dried cannabis has increased from an average of 3% in the 1980s to around 15% today. Some strains can have an average of as high as 30% THC.

Cannabis that contains very low amounts of THC in its flowers and leaves (less than 0.3%) is classified as hemp.


Another cannabinoid is cannabidiol (CBD). Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. There is some evidence that CBD may block or lower some of the psychoactive effects of THC. This may occur when the amount of CBD in the cannabis is equal to or higher than the amount of THC. CBD is also being studied for its potential therapeutic uses.


Terpenes chemicals are made and stored in the trichomes of the cannabis plant, along with the cannabinoids. Terpenese gives cannabis its smell. Cannabis has been described as smelling like:

  • pine
  • spice
  • citrus
  • skunk
  • diesel
  • cheese

Talking With Teens

Set rules. Let your teen know that drug and alcohol use is unacceptable and that these rules are set to keep him or her safe. Set limits with clear consequences for breaking them.

Praise and reward good behaviour for compliance and enforce consequences for non-compliance.

Know where your teen is and what he or she will be doing during unsupervised time. Research shows that teens with unsupervised time are three times more likely to use marijuana or other drugs. Unsupervised teens are also more likely to engage in risky behaviours such as underage drinking, sexual activity, and cigarette smoking than other teens. This is particularly important after school, in the evening hours, and also when school is out during the summer or holidays.

Talk to your teen. While shopping or riding in the car, casually ask him how things are going at school, about his friends, what his plans are for the weekend, etc.

Keep them busy — especially between 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and into the evening hours. Engage your teen in after-school activities. Enroll your child in a supervised educational program or a sports league. Research shows that teenagers that are involved in constructive, adult-supervised activities are less likely to use drugs than other teens.

Check on your teenager. Occasionally check in to see that your kids are where they say they’re going to be and that they are spending time with whom they say they are with.

Establish a "core values statement" for your family. Consider developing a family mission statement that reflects your family’s core values. This might be discussed and created during a family meeting or over a weekend meal together. Talking about what they stand for is particularly important at a time when teens are pressured daily by external influencers on issues like drugs, sex, violence, or vandalism. If there is no compass to guide your kids, the void will be filled by the strongest force.

Spend quality time together as a family regularly and be involved in your kid's lives. Create a bond with your child. This builds up credit with your child so that when you have to set limits or enforce consequences, it’s less stressful.

Take time to learn the facts about marijuana and underage drinking and their use of other substances. Then talk to your teen about the harmful health, social, learning, and mental effects on young users.

Get to know your teen’s friends (and their parents) by inviting them over for dinner or talking with them at your teen’s soccer practice, dance rehearsal, or other activities.

Stay in touch with the adult supervisors of your child (camp counsellors, coaches, employers, teachers) and have them inform you of any changes in your teen. Warning signs of drug use include distance from family and existing friends, hanging out with a new circle of friends, lack of interest in personal appearance, or changes in eating or sleeping habits.

While shopping or riding in the car, casually ask him how things are going at school, about his friends, what his plans are for the weekend, etc.

Get to know your kids' friends (and their parents) by inviting them over for dinner or talking with them at your teen’s soccer practice, dance rehearsal, or other activities.


What do we know about the link between cannabis and psychosis?

In the last few years there have been an increasing number of studies examining the relationship between cannabis and psychosis. This has captured not only the attention of the research community but also the popular media and public in general. Although it is well known that using cannabis can induce temporary psychotic/hallucinatory symptoms this accumulating body of evidence has suggested that there is an association between some youth who use cannabis regularly and enduring psychosis. Several recent studies suggest that frequent cannabis use during adolescence is associated with a clinically significant increased risk of developing schizophrenia and other mental illnesses which feature psychosis.

Some of the headlines about these studies in the media may be leading the everyday reader to believe that there is a direct casual relationship between marijuana and psychosis, i.e. that the average person who smokes some pot may become psychotic. Though this definitely makes for a gripping news story and there are some studies that suggest this causal link, according to the abundance of scientific literature and various other forms of information (e.g. web and print-based resources, anecdotal evidence, documentaries evidence) the nature of the link between the two seems to be more complicated than this. Before we take a closer look at this link, let's first review the basic facts about psychosis and cannabis.

What is psychosis?

Psychosis describes conditions that affect the mind. There is a loss of contact with reality and many of the following symptoms may occur:

Positive symptoms (which reflect a change or increase in regular functioning)

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Feelings of paranoia and suspiciousness
  • Disorganized thinking
  • Disorganized speaking

Negative symptoms (which reflect a decrease or loss "normal" functions)

  • Loss of or decreased motivation
  • Loss of or decreased in ability to take initiate or come up with new ideas
  • Loss of or decreased talking
  • Difficulties expressing emotion
  • Difficulties thinking and/concentrating

Some other problems that may occur concurrently with psychosis are:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Substance abuse
  • Difficulties sleeping

It is important to note that although psychosis is usually thought of in association with schizophrenia it is also present to varying degrees in many other mental disorders including:

  • Schizophreniform disorder: A person has some psychotic symptoms for less than six months.
  • Bipolar disorder: With this type of illness, the symptoms of psychosis relate more to mood disturbance than to thought disturbance.
  • Schizoaffective disorder: A person will have symptoms of schizophrenia and symptoms of a mood disturbance, either at the same time or alternating over time.
  • Depression with psychotic features: A person has severe depression and symptoms of psychosis without the mania associated with bipolar disorder.
  • Drug-induced psychosis: The use of drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, LSD amphetamines and alcohol can sometimes cause psychotic symptoms to appear.
  • Organic psychosis: Symptoms of psychosis may appear as a result of a physical illness or a head injury.
  • Brief psychotic disorder: This illness usually lasts less than a month. It is usually triggered by a major stress in the person's life, such as a death in the family.
  • Delusional disorder: This type of psychosis consists of very strong and fixed beliefs in things that are not true.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder: This usually lasts more than a month, and happens after a person has seen or experienced a very traumatic event. The person may have flashbacks or hallucinate.

Source: www.camh.net

How common is it?

About three out of every 100 people will have a psychotic episode in their lifetime. Psychosis usually first appears in an individual's late adolescence or early twenties. It occurs in both men and women and across all cultures and socioeconomic groups. Women seem to be affected by psychotic illnesses at a later age than men and on the whole women respond better than men to most treatments However, women have times when the risk of relapse is greater (e.g. right before menstruation, right after childbirth and other "hormonally-significant" times in their lives).

What are the phases of psychosis?

1. The Prodromal Phase

There are subtle changes in thinking, perception and behavior. Some of the signs may include:

  • feel spacey, or disoriented
  • difficulty concentrating or remembering things
  • suspiciousness
  • mood swings
  • sleep disturbance
  • change in appetite
  • loss of energy
  • withdrawal from family and friends
  • loss of interest in activities
  • intense dislike of being touched by others
  • unusual sensitivity to noise, light, colour and texture

Source: www.gethelpearly.ca

2. Acute Phase

Symptoms are now full blown and affect and impede on the individual's daily living. *See Positive and Negative symptoms in "What is Psychosis?" section*

3. Recovery Phase

The pattern of recovery varies from person to person. *See information on recovery in "How is Psychosis treated?" section*

What causes psychosis?

Psychosis is a very complicated condition. Its exact cause is unknown but it is likely to have multiple, interacting causes. It is believed that some individuals are vulnerable to psychosis due to various biological and genetic risk factors and that other environmental factors (such as stressful life events or marijuana use for example) in combination with this vulnerability can bring on a psychotic episode.

How is psychosis treated?

Treatment for psychosis is usually a combination of psychosocial interventions (such as counseling) and antipsychotic medication. It is also extremely important for the individual with psychosis to have a good network of emotional and social supports, which can include close family members, friends, case managers, therapists and a variety of programs and services in the community.

Many people make a good recovery, especially if the psychosis is detected early. The process of recovery though can be quite variable from person to person. In some cases people are able to resume their regular life relatively quickly as their symptoms disappear almost right away while other people may need weeks, months or even years to recover. Others will need medication and some form of support for the rest of their lives. The key to a successful recovery seems to be early detection and intervention, i.e. in the prodromal phase of psychosis.

Use Of Cannabis

Yes. But please be aware that cannabis taken orally has a slower onset time than smoked or vaporized cannabis because it is absorbed through the liver. This may result in taking a larger than intended dose.

Cognitive impairment may be greatly increased when cannabis is consumed along with alcohol or other drugs which affect the activity of the nervous system (e.g. opioids, sleeping pills, other psychoactive drugs)

Using cannabis or any cannabis product can impair your concentration, your ability to think and make decisions, and your reaction time and coordination. This can affect your motor skills, including your ability to drive.

Consult your physician for advice on the type of strain that’s best for your needs.

Oils are to be used orally, either by placing droplets under the tongue or swallowing the dose. If you are new to oils please remember to start with a very low dose, no more than 0.5 ml to start and move up from there.

Dried cannabis is generally vaporized, smoked or baked into ‘edibles’. CanniMed recommends vaporization as the optimal delivery method.
Why is vaporization the preferred method for dried cannabis?

Unlike smoking, vaporization is achieved by heating the cannabis to temperature that vaporizes, but does not burn the cannabinoids. This method virtually eliminates the health risks associated with smoking. Also, the effects of inhaled cannabis (whether smoked or vaporized) will be felt within a matter of minutes, thus reducing the likelihood of overconsumption.

Medical cannabis can be administered using a variety of methods. The length of effectiveness as well as overall effect itself will vary depending on the method of Intake.
  • Vaporization: Vaporization is an effective way to deliver the therapeutic effects of cannabis without the toxic by-products of burning plant matter. Vaporizers work by heating the cannabis past the boiling point of the active compounds but below the point of plant matter combustion. Vaporization is generally accepted as a method that is safer than smoking.
  • Tea: Cannabis tea is usually made by infusing the leaves of the plant in hot water or milk. While water based tea is generally not very efficient, using milk, which contains fat, proves to be more effective.
  • Cannabis Oil: A concentrated form of medical cannabis typically ingested in small doses either by tincture or in capsule form.
  • Edibles: Cannabis can be infused into butter or oil that is then cooked in food. Edibles, as they are generally referred as, usually take longer to take effect than smoking or vaporizing and will last much longer.

Although it is known that THC content in cannabis degrades over time, there has been no data to suggest a firm “expiry date”. Store your medication in a cool, dark location for the best results. Health Canada stated: “The ideal storage temperature for the finished dried cannabis product is 2 °C to 6 °C with a shelf life of 12 months.”

Patients with valid prescriptions and documentation are allowed to carry 30 times their daily limit, up to 150g within Canada. Traveling inside Canada is allowed, but make sure you have your prescription documentation with you. Carrying medical cannabis outside of Canada is strictly prohibited.

There is no scientifically defined dose of cannabis for any specific medical condition. If you have not consumed cannabis before, it would be prudent to have someone with you the first time you use it. Dosing remains highly individualized and relies greatly on titration (i.e. finding the right dose where potential therapeutic effects are maximized while adverse effects are minimized). The current available information suggests most individuals use less than 3 grams daily of dried marijuana whether that amount is taken orally, inhaled, or a combination of both.

As per Health Canada’s regulations you can order up to a 30 day supply or 150 grams at a time. Patients may order as many times as they wish within their 30 day limit.

Here is an example. If your doctor’s authorization on the medical document is for 2 grams/day then your monthly allowance is 60 grams (2 grams x 30 days). You can order the entire amount, or break it into a few orders throughout the month. Patients with limits greater than 5 grams per day will need to order multiple times within the 30 day limit due to the 150 gram maximum.

Though marijuana is illegal to grow, sell or use recreationally in Canada, it is not a particularly unusual behavior among the general Canadian population. In fact, in 2007 the United Nations reported that Canada was the number one country in terms of percentage of marijuana users (17 % vs. 3.4 % world use)

There is no scientifically defined dose of cannabis for any specific medical condition. If you have not consumed cannabis before, it would be prudent to have someone with you the first time you use it. Dosing remains highly individualized and relies greatly on titration (i.e. finding the right dose where potential therapeutic effects are maximized while adverse effects are minimized). The current available information suggests most individuals use less than 3 grams daily of dried marijuana whether that amount is taken orally, inhaled, or a combination of both.

Health Considerations

This can only be determined by discussing with your physician the possible health benefits and potential risk factors associated with using medical cannabis

Much like any medication, medical cannabis has both benefits and risks. Visithttp://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/alt_formats/pdf/marihuana/info/cons-eng.pdffor more information.

Your actions should directly reflect the severity of your reaction. If severe, please call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. If your reaction is mild, contact your Physician as soon as possible. Either way, please let your physician know about your reaction. 3 You can report any suspected adverse reactions associated with the use of this product to the Canada Vigilance Program, but it is important to note that this program does not provide medical information and you should still contact your physician.

Like anything, there is potential for abuse and addiction with cannabis. Studies have shown that the addiction rate for cannabis is estimated to be 9%. Speak with your physician to learn more. 2 “Notably, the lifetime risk of developing cannabis dependence among those who had ever used cannabis was found to be lower than that estimated for tobacco (32%), heroin (23%), cocaine (17%), alcohol (15%) and stimulants (11%).” (Substance Abuse in Canada: The Effects of Cannabis Use During Adolescence; Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (2015), page 53.

Medical cannabis has been thought to effectively decrease nausea and stimulate appetite to aid symptoms from conditions such as cancer and AIDS. And while an increased appetite is one of the beneficial effects many people experience, there are strains available that are high in THCV that can actually suppress appetite – if that’s the effect needed for your condition. It’s important to discuss your medical symptoms and your concerns with your physician to address your specific needs.

Cannabis is known to have an impact on wake/sleep cycles. Discuss your intended use of cannabis with your physician and the licensed producer’s client support staff to best address your needs.

Registering for Medical Cannabis

Yes. The ACMPR (Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations) guidelines allow you to register with more than one licensed producer. However, in order for the medical documents to be valid, you must use separate, original medical documentation for each licensed producer. It is at the discretion of physicians to permit splitting prescriptions for this purpose.

Most insurance plans do not cover the cost of medical cannabis at this time. Some plans do offer coverage, so we suggest contacting your insurance company directly to learn your specific scope of coverage.

Medical cannabis purchased from a licensed producer can be claimed on your personal tax return, and if you are a veteran, you may have coverage through Veterans Affairs Canada.

Yes. You can claim your sales receipts from your medical cannabis on your income taxes.

Medical cannabis purchased from a licensed producer can be claimed on your personal tax return, and if you are a veteran, you may have coverage through Veterans Affairs Canada.

In order to comply with the ACMPR (Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations) and prove to authorities you’re legally allowed to possess medical cannabis, it is necessary to keep your patient label or container the medicine came in with you at all times.


Cannabis Canada Association, collectively, represents the majority of Licensed Producers of cannabis for medical purposes as licensed and regulated by the Office of Medical Cannabis and the Controlled Substance and Tobacco Branch, under the Health Canada’s Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR), in force as of April 1, 2014, recently modified on August 24, 2016 and renamed Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR).

Science and Technology

Much of the evidence to support the therapeutic value of cannabis comes from anecdotal reports, but there is a steadily growing body of published scientific study helping bring cannabis more in line with traditional medicine.

Two published clinical studies demonstrating the safety and efficacy of cannabis use can viewed HERE.


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