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It is known that one of the substances in cannabis is THC. There are many other substances in natural cannabis, including many cannabinoids. The THC is largely responsible for the so-called 'mood enhancement of the senses', the 'high' reported by cannabis users. This high is sometimes said to be a 'spiritual' experience if consumed in large doses, by some users. Coptic Christians, Sadu's, Rastafarians and New Age Travellers all use cannabis to take themselves 'spiritually higher'. Ceremonial and religious use of cannabis can be traced back to the 8th century BC.
Some cannabis has very low levels of THC. You could eat a field full and feel no effects except a full stomach. Here we are generally talking about cannabis with significant to high amounts of THC content.
Cannabis consumption has a different effect on different people, and actually on the same person at different times. It can cause some people, especially novice users, to lose concentration or become distracted easily, slow reaction times or reduce coordination. Sometimes users may even get panic attacks - often caused by the 'paranoia' of being a 'criminal' but these wear off after a time and can easily be controlled. These reactions are very rare and are usually caused by other circumstance in the surroundings.
Cannabis may seem to some people to impair their concentration and coordination but that does not make driving under the influence dangerous for everyone. There were tests, in the USA, which revealed that cannabis users had slightly fewer mishaps whilst driving on an obstacle course, than people 'on' nothing. The cannabis drivers drove slower to compensate. this is unlike the effect of alcohol which both impairs judgement and coordination and boosts confidence - a very dangerous combination. Cannabis users who are extremely stoned sometimes feel that they cannot drive; in an emergency they could drive perfectly safely..
The LaGuardia Subcommittee of New York, 1944, said:
The consensus among marijuana smokers is that the use of the drug creates a feeling of adequacy