What Is Cannabis?

Also known as

  • Marijuana, Pot, Grass, Joints, Ganja, Hashish, Weed



  • Cannabis comes from the hemp plant. It can come in various forms – ‘loose’ cannabis leaves, compressed blocks, corn cob-shaped, oil, etc.
  • It contains THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which affect one’s mood – causing euphoria, and also anxiety, disorientation or paranoia.
  • Cannabis can affect concentration and memory which weakens the abuser’s ability to learn.


What Are The Effects of Cannabis?

Adverse effects of short-term use and long-term or heavy use of cannabis[1]


Effects of short-term use

  • Impaired short-term memory, making it difficult to learn and to retain information.
  • Impaired motor co-ordination, interfering with driving skills and increasing the risk of injuries.
  • In high dose, can cause paranoia and psychosis.


Effects of long-term or heavy use

  • The earlier one begins to abuse drugs, the higher the risk of addiction.
  • Altered brain development. Adults who smoke cannabis regularly during adolescence have impaired neural connectivity (fewer fibres) in specific brain regions.
  • Cognitive impairment, with lower IQ among those who were frequent users in adolescence.
  • Symptoms of chronic bronchitis.
  • Poor education outcome, with increased likelihood of dropping out of school.


Cannabis withdrawal symptoms

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Craving for the drug

Cannabis is also listed as a Schedule I drug in the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.  The 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs is an international agreement to control the cultivation of opium poppy, coca bush, cannabis plant, and their products which are referred to as “narcotic drugs”.  Singapore is one of the 184 signatories to the Convention.  Together with the other signatories, we are committed to prevent the misuse and illicit trafficking of these drugs, which include cannabis.


What Are The Penalties of Possession or Consumption of Cannabis?


Cannabis is classified as a Class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Possession or consumption of cannabis:

  • Up to 10 years of imprisonment or S$20,000 fine or BOTH

Illegal traffic, import or export of:

  • Cannabis of more than 500 grams > May face the death penalty
  • Cannabis resin of more than 200 grams > May face the death penalty
  • Cannabis mixture of more than 1,000 grams > May face the death penalty


[1] “Adverse Health Effects of Marijuana Use”, The New England Journal of Medicine, 5 June 2014 National Institute on Drug Abuse


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