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Everyone knows about cannabis, it's been around for centuries, so what's all the fuss about? One of the reasons cannabis is still big news today is that the nature of the drug has changed a lot over the years. Cannabis has become one of the most trafficked illegal drugs in the world. It no longer just grows naturally but it's grown under conditions that make it much more potent.

The potency relates to the THC content -  the chemical in cannabis that gets you high. Some types of cannabis are grown to be unnaturally high in THC. This means that there is a higher risk of negative effects from using it. The more potent forms may have more risks. Learn about cannabis and the effects here.

Cannabis and your mental health

Cannabis can cause mental health issues for some people.


You may be more at risk of experiencing negative effects on your mental health if:

Each person’s mental health status is unique to them. Similarly, each person will have a different relationship with substances.

The area of drugs and mental health is complex. Some people may be more at risk to experiencing negative mental health effects than others. Therefore, what causes a positive effect for one person may cause a negative effect for another.

Remember, what others choose to do may not be the right choice for you and your mental health.


See our key facts for teens regarding risks and mental health:

My friend is using cannabis, is there anything I can do?

It's a very sensitive topic but you should talk with your friend and listen to what they have to say. It is a good idea to find out all you can about cannabis from online or helpline services, guidance counsellors or someone else you trust. Tell your friend that there are support services they can use to find out information and get advice. Tell your friend about the risks and let them know that you are worried about them.

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The HSE and Union of Students in Ireland (USI) ask students to think about drug safety measures when using club drugs
Harm reduction messages from the #SaferStudentNights campaign.
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