Popularly called marijuana, cannabis is a plant that is used illicitly for its euphoric effects. Weed, Igbo, Indian hemp, goof etc. are all names by which people refer to the Cannabis Sativa plant. Cannabis Sativa is grown in the South-Western and south-south parts of Nigeria. People who smoke it are seen as irresponsible people because it is illegal by Nigerian laws. Despite its use in the medical field, cannabis is yet to be legalised in Nigeria and many countries.

Recently, however, as medical cannabis continues to gain popularity, people have started to use the fact that it is medicinal to justify the illicit use of this plant. Working and schooling in the south-southern region of Nigeria, I saw firsthand how a cannabis addiction caused mental illnesses, wrecked families’ finances, and brought discord and disunity in many homes. Undergoing rehabilitation following an addiction doesn’t come easy in terms of the financial implications. Furthermore, the chances that there will be a relapse after a few months of leaving the rehabilitation centre was always a present source of worry for loved ones.

Marijuana leaf

Is there a difference between medical cannabis and commercial cannabis?

Marijuana or cannabis in many countries is an illicit drug. It is classified as such because of concerns about abuse and the addictive nature of the vital ingredients in this plant. Manufacturers can extract either of these components alone. It is common knowledge that marijuana can be used medically and beneficial in diseases such as epilepsy, chronic pain, vomiting, post-traumatic stress disorder, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and cancer. However, the cannabis extract that gives these medical benefits is different from the type that gives the feeling of being high.  Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the component that causes euphoria while cannabidiol (CBD) is the medically beneficial component. Medical cannabis is often reserved as a last resort in the treatment of chronic resistant disease. 

Marijuana use is illegal in Nigeria

Why people use cannabis

Some people argue that smoking makes them more productive, understand better and makes their creative juices flow easily. People have used it to grow their hair and for cooking and baking.

Diseases in which medical marijuana can be used include epilepsy, cancer and chronic pain conditions. It has also been used for psychiatric disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder.


the legalisation of medical marijuana

In some states in the United States of America, marijuana has been legalized. However, there are still strict restrictions on the prescription of medical cannabis. It is not every medical doctor is licenced to prescribe it. Only a few specialities have the license to prescribe.

Why you should not smoke cannabis

Addictive smoking and graduating to other illicit substances will always be a concern. Most people who abuse cannabis will also abuse other illicit substances. It is better to be safe than sorry.