EFFECTS OF CANNABIS, even more than of other hallucinogens, are highly variable from person to person and from one plant strain to another.
This variability comes mainly from the unstable character of some of the constituents.
Over a period of time, for example, the inactive cannabidiolic acid converts to active tetrahydro cannabinol and eventually to inactive cannabinol, such chemical changes usually taking place more rapidly in tropical than in cooler climates.
Material from plants of different ages may thus vary in narcotic effect.
The principal narcotic effect is euphoria.
The plant is sometimes not classified as hallucinogenic, and it is true that its characteristics are not typically psychotomimetic.
Everything from a mild sense of ease and well-being to fantastic dreams and visual and auditory hallucinations is reported.
Beautiful sights, wonderful music, and aberrations of sound often entrance the mind; bizarre adventures to fill a century take place in a matter of minutes.
Soon after taking the drug, a subject may find himself in a dreamy state of altered consciousness.
Normal thought is interrupted, and ideas are sometimes plentiful though confused.
A feeling of exaltation and inner joy may alternate, even dangerously, with feelings of depression, moodiness, uncontrollable fear of death, and panic.
Perception of time is almost invariably altered.
An exaggeration of sound, out of all relation to the real force of the sound emitted, may be accompanied by a curiously hypnotic sense of rhythm.
Although the occasional vivid visual hallucinations may have sexual coloring, the often-reported aphrodisiac properties of the drug have not been substantiated.
In many parts of Asia, the use of cannabis preparations is both socially and legally acceptable.
In predominantly Moslem countries, Cannabis is usually smoked in water pipes sometimes called hookahs.
The illustration shows an Afghani using one of the many kinds of water pipes seen in Asia.