Page: Immediate Effects of Consumption
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The nature and intensity of the immediate (as opposed to long-term) effects of cannabis consumption vary depending on such factors as dose, potency, cannabinoid (and possibly terpenoid) composition, method of consumption, length of time since last usage, the user's mental and physical state, and their surroundings. These last two factors are sometimes referred to as set and setting. Smoking the same cannabis material in different frames of mind (set) or in different locations (setting) can alter the effects of the drug, or one's perception of the effects. What the user does while under the influence of cannabis can also alter the effects. If the user is inactive they may feel relaxed and sleepy, whereas if the user engages in physical or mental activity they may feel energized. The effects of cannabis consumption may be loosely classified as cognitive and physical. Anecdotal evidence suggests that sativa drug varieties tend to produce greater cognitive or perceptual effects thanindica varieties, which tend to produce more physical effects.
Cannabis intoxication is the act of being intoxicated to a degree that mental and physical facilities are noticeably altered after the consumption of cannabis. The nature of the high may vary upon factors such as potency, dose, chemical composition, method of consumption and set and setting.
According to the Merck Index, the LD50 (dosage lethal to 50% of rats tested) of ?9-THC by inhalation is 42 mg/kg of body weight. That is the equivalent of a 165 lb (75 kg) man inhaling the THC found in 21 one-gram cigarettes of extremely high-potency (15% THC) marijuana all in one sitting, assuming no THC is lost through smoke loss or absorption by the lungs. For oral consumption, the LD50 for male rats is 1270 mg/kg, and 730 mg/kg for females—equivalent to the THC in about a pound of 15% THC marijuana. The ratio of cannabis material required to saturate cannabinoid receptors to the amount required for a fatal overdose is 1:40,000. There have been no reported deaths or permanent injuries sustained as a result of a marijuana overdose. It is practically impossible to overdose on marijuana, as the user would certainly either fall asleep or otherwise become incapacitated from the effects of the drug before being able to consume enough THC to be mortally toxic. While it has never been reported, it is feasible for concentrated THC (hash or oil) to cause an overdose.
Contaminants are rife in street cannabis; low-quality hashish such as soap bar has a reputation for being full of contaminants (some psychoactive, some not) which serve to increase the bulk of the street product. Recently, there have been reports of herbal cannabis being adulterated with minute silica crystals in the UK and Ireland. These crystals resemble THC in appearance, yet are much heavier, and so serve again to increase the weight, and hence value, of the cannabis on the street.
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