What is cannabis?

What is cannabis?

Young cannabis leaf

What is cannabis?

Cannabis is a plant with psychoactive properties that produces dried flowers, fruiting tops or leaves of the cannabis sativa or indica plants or a mixture of the two called hybrids (CCSA). Cannabis can be refined to other forms such as oils, extracts or resins. Cannabis goes by many names including weed, marijuana, hash, pot, ganja, bud, etc.

After alcohol, cannabis is the most widely used psychoactive substance in Canada.


Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is one of the chemical compounds in cannabis that is responsible for how your brain and body respond to cannabis. It’s the mind-altering chemical that provides the feeling of being “high” to the user. The concentration or strength of the cannabis is usually shown as a percentage of THC by weight (or volume in oil). Products high in THC are more likely to result in harm. Choose lower THC products to reduce your risks.


Cannabidiol or CBD is another chemical compound found in cannabis. It has no mind-altering effects and may, in fact, block or lower some of the effects of THC on the mind. Choose products with a higher CBD to THC ratio to reduce your risks.

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