Cannabis herbal

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Street names

Dope, puff, weed, blow, draw, smoke, shit, spliff, pot, grass, ganja, marijuana, the herb, skunk, hash, hashish, wacky backy, bhang, black, blast, blow, blunts, bush, dope, draw, ganja, grass, hash, hashish, hemp, herb, Mary Jane, Northern Lights, pot, puff, resin, sensi, sensemilla, soap, weed, zero etc. Some names are based on where it comes from… Afghan, homegrown, Morocco, and some names are regional and may also reflect the age of the user.


There are several forms of cannabis.

Cannabis resin
‘Resin’ – a solid block which can be black and looking like liquorice, to a brown block looking like mud (also called hashish or hash). It is the probably the most commonest form of cannabis in the UK. It’s quite often soft and squidgy.
Cannabis grass / herbal
Leaves, stalks and seeds is called ‘grass’. Cannabis oil (not pictured), is hardly ever seen in the UK. It is dark and sticky, looks like tar, and comes usually in a small jar.

Cannabis - skunk
Skunk is a particularly strong smelling herb form of cannabis. It is a subgroup of grass, and is particularly potent. Drug workers are usually more concerned about the risks associated with using skunk, compared the the other forms of cannabis.

Whatever the form, cannabis can be rolled (usually with tobacco) in a spliff or joint, smoked on its own in a special pipe, or cooked and eaten in food.
It is a depressant that alters perceptions, derived from a bushy plant, found in most parts of the world and easily cultivated in Britain.


Varies widely around the country. Average prices per quarter ounce of standard quality herbal resin were £30 in 2010. For good quality herbal cannabis the price rose to £50, while for resin cannabis the average price was £21. Heavy and regular cannabis users might use an eighth of an ounce per day. Many people only smoke occasionally.

According to DrugScope, there has been some indication in recent years that street dealers have moved to metric measurements to weigh sales.

Is it the real thing? It’s been know that some people sell blocks of mud, stock cubes and garden herbs. The most unpure cannabis is called ‘soap bar’. It’s contaminated with all sorts of things. This makes it cheaper but it’s a false economy really as it is often harder to get stoned.

Paraphernalia / what to look out for

  • King-size ‘Rizla’ papers (if available, usually with bits torn off the cardboard packaging).
  • Remnants of unsmoked cigarettes (the tobacco taken out).
  • Bongs or pipes used to smoke cannabis. These could be home made from plastic bottles, biros, tin foil etc.
  • You may be able to detect the distinctive herbal smell of cannabis. Click here to smell. Just joking.

Possible short-term indicators

  • Usually makes people feel relaxed, giggly and talkative.
  • Users may report enhanced awareness and appreciation.
  • Some users may get the ‘munchies’ (a craving for sweet / processed food)
  • Eyes may become bloodshot
  • Used as a relaxant and mild intoxicant. If the user is anxious or depressed, it could make him or her feel worse. Users could feel nauseous, anxious, paranoid, confused, depressed or have panic attacks.
  • Makes concentration and quick reactions difficult. Will affect driving.

Possible longer-term indicators

  • Psychological dependence and respiratory problems possible. If smoked with tobacco, lung cancer is possible.
  • A user may experience the following: – lack of motivation and general lethargy, mood swings possible paranoia, drug induced psychosis (very rare, but rising in total numbers affected), short-term memory loss.
  • Frequent use of cannabis can cut a man’s sperm count and suppress ovulation in women.

The Frank website ( says of cannabis:

Some research has shown that cannabis may worsen mental illnesses like schizophrenia. It may also slow down any recovery from these illnesses. If you’ve got a history of mental illness in the family you should think very carefully about getting stoned. Cannabis can cause a range of mental health problems from short lived and more common problems such as anxiety and paranoid feelings, to less common difficulties with actual psychotic states that may require medical treatment. These problems may fade away over several days after stopping using cannabis but occasionally may require a stay in hospital.

Harm reduction

  • Refer to general suggestions.
  • Stop using. Obviously the most effective way to reduce harm is not to use. Or at least cut down on how much, and how often you use.
  • Don’t use cannabis and drive, or use machinery whilst under the influence.
  • Eating cannabis (cakes or cookies) instead of smoking. But it takes a lot longer to feel the effects after eating cannabis than it does with smoking. This can make it difficult to judge the dose and people can become a lot more stoned than they anticipated. It’s also worth keeping in mind that more time will be needed for the drug to wear off, which may be important when it comes to driving or other tasks.
  • Don’t use cannabis and drive, or use machinery whilst under the influence.

Legal status

  • Cannabis is a Class B drug – it’s illegal to have for yourself, give away or sell.
  • Possession is illegal whatever you’re using it for, including pain relief. The penalty is up to five years in jail.
  • Supplying someone else can get you fourteen years and an unlimited fine.
  • Supplying your mates, even if you give it away, is also considered ‘supplying’ under the law.