Cannabis is the plant that hashish and marihuana (grass) are harvested from. The active agent tetrahydrocannabinol or THC for short, is one of the most commonly used drugs in Germany.
Cannabis can induce euphoria as much as it can relax a person; it alters the perception of the senses considerably and increases sexual desire.
Consuming cannabis regularly can cause concentration problems and psychological problems such as anxiety and psychosis. It is possible to become psychologically addicted to cannabis and physically addicted when it is consumed over long periods.
Cannabis, however, can also have therapeutic effects. Some people with HIV use it to stimulate the appetite or as a painkiller. The agent THC can even be prescribed in the form of the medication Marinol, though the health insurance will not cover the costs.
THC, the agent in cannabis, can diminish the level of effective agents in protease inhibitors (a special kind of HIV medication). This can, at the same time, result in an increased THC content in the blood. According to current medical knowledge, however, the changes do not normally compromise the effectiveness of HIV therapy, as long as the cannabis is not consumed in huge quantities.
People who consume cannabis more frequently and take protease inhibitors should talk to a doctor and have the effects on their HIV therapy examined, if necessary.