Journal of Mental Health and Human Behaviour

: 2015  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 28--31

Assessment of the use and misuse of Cannabis sativa amongst some residents of Jos metropolis, Nigeria

NS Jimam1, DA Dangiwa1, LN Jimam2, E Idoga3,  
1 Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria
2 Department of General and Applied Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria
3 Department of Science Laboratory Technology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
N S Jimam
Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Jos, Jos


Background: Cannabis can be used for its medicinal properties when used appropriately. However, the misuse of the product can cause some unwanted effects such as psychological dependence, and therefore addiction. Objective: The objective of the study was to determine the extent of misuse of Cannabis sativa in Jos and environs. Materials and Methods: The use and misuse of C. sativa in Jos metropolis was studied using a structured self-administered questionnaire which was administered to 400 respondents in the metropolis. Result: The result showed that 59.9% of the participants were male while 40.1% were female with 88.2% of the population being youth between the ages of 20-35 years. The result also shows that at least 31.3% of the studied population had used C. sativa, for different reasons including among others: to boost confidence (11.4%), 5.1% take it to increase alertness, 5.1% take it to decrease fatigue, 0.3% take it to decrease stress, 5.4% take it to get high while 4% take it for other reasons. Conclusion: The result of the study showed an observed high incidence of C. sativa intake among the study population who were mostly youths for different purposes, including to: Boost confidence, feel high, increase alertness, and decrease fatigue. Similarly, a high percentage of the respondents said the drug is used for hair treatment.

How to cite this article:
Jimam N S, Dangiwa D A, Jimam L N, Idoga E. Assessment of the use and misuse of Cannabis sativa amongst some residents of Jos metropolis, Nigeria.J Mental Health Hum Behav 2015;20:28-31

How to cite this URL:
Jimam N S, Dangiwa D A, Jimam L N, Idoga E. Assessment of the use and misuse of Cannabis sativa amongst some residents of Jos metropolis, Nigeria. J Mental Health Hum Behav [serial online] 2015 [cited 2022 May 21 ];20:28-31
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Full Text


Substance abuse is a pattern of harmful use of any substance for mood-altering purposes. The broad range of substance abuse in today's society is not that simple. [1] Buddy further started that marijuana users can become psychologically dependent, and therefore addicted.

Marijuana (also known as grass, pot, weed, and herb); comes from the plant C. sativa, which belongs to the genus-cannabis, of the family-cannabaceae. [2],[3] The major psychoactive chemical compound in cannabis is d, 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Cannabis contain more than 400 different chemical compounds including at least 66 other cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol, THC, and tetrahydrocannabivarin etc., which can result in different effects from those of THC alone. [4]

The uses of cannabis for both beneficial and unbeneficial purposes have been documented as far back as the 2 nd millennium. [5] In modern times, the drug has been used for recreational, religious or spiritual, and medicinal purposes. The UN estimated that in 2004, about 4% of the world's adult population (162 million people) uses cannabis annually, and about 0.6% (22.5 million people) uses it on a daily basis. [6] Though, THC is typically considered the primary active component of cannabis plant, various scientific studies have suggested that certain other cannabinoid like CBD may also play a significant role in its psychoactive effects. [7]

The psychological effects of cannabis use have been described quite many years before the physical effects. [8] It has both psychoactive and physiological effects when consumed; aside from a subjective change in perception and most notably, mood, the most common short-term physical, and neurological effects include increased heart rate, lowered blood pressure, and impairment of short-term working memory. [9] Cannabinoids can serve as an appetite stimulant, antiemetic and antispasmodic, antioxidant activity, and have some analgesic activity. [10],[11],[12] CBD has been shown to relieve convulsion, inflammation, anxiety, cough, congestion, nausea, atherosclerosis, multiple sclerosis, and inhibit cancer cell growth. [13],[14],[15],[16],[17] Recent studies have shown CBD to be as effective as atypical antipsychoactive compound in treating schizophrenia. [18] Cannabigerol has been shown to relieve intraocular pressure, which may be of benefit in the treatment of glaucoma. [19],[20]

Studies conducted in HIV/AIDS patients in Columbia showed an increased in food intake with little evidence of discomfort and impairment of cognitive performance, hence, concluded that marijuana has a clear medical benefit in HIV-positive patients. [21] Similar studies conducted in California, also revealed that marijuana significantly reduced HIV related neuropathic pain. [22]

A study done by McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts showed that cognitive impairment among college students who were regular users of marijuana (had used 27 of the last 30 days) had impaired skills related to attention, memory, and learning for up to 24 h after they last used the drug. [23] Various studies have claimed that cannabis destroys brain cells. [24]

Correlations between cannabis use and low sperm counts in human male have been reported. [25] Though, when cannabis is stopped, sperm counts return to normal. [26] The most serious danger of using cannabis is in smoking it. Inhaling any sort of burnt plant matter is not very good for the lungs. Decreased in gas exchange capacity and the existence of particle residue in the lungs of marijuana smokers several times greater than for tobacco smokers have been reported. [27] Similarly, it has been noted that marijuana is several times more carcinogenic than tobacco. [28]

Although cannabis has some medicinal properties when used appropriately, the misused of the products can cause some unwanted effects. [29],[30] Some of these attitudes linked to substance abuses have been observed in many people and has been a major cause of concern, because a society with a large number of nuisances ends up with a large number of illiterates and criminals. To date, little research has been done to document information on the use and misuse of C. sativa in Jos, Plateau State; hence, the need for this study to determine the degree of use and misused of C. sativa in Jos metropolis with the purpose of reducing the number of illegal drug users in the society through counseling.

 Materials and Methods

Study location

This study was carried out in Jos and environs. Jos is the capital of plateau state with an estimated population of about 900,000 with a density of 1.012.7/sq. The altitude ranges from around 1200 m (about 4000 feet) to a peak of 1829 m above sea level in the Shere Hills range near Jos. Located in North Central Nigeria, Plateau State occupies 30,913 km 2 .

The survey was carried out in some parts of Jos that were randomly selected based on the fact that youths were perceived to be dominant residents of the areas. The selected areas included the University of Jos, Kyan Rikkos, Filin Sokuwa, Abuja hostel, and the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), Psychiatric Department. The selection of JUTH was to obtain information on probable psychological effects of C. sativa on the users.

Ethical considerations

General approval for consultation with community members was obtained from the community leaders in the study areas prior to approaching individuals. The study participants were also informed about the general objectives of the study and that the questionnaires were anonymous in order to ensure the confidentiality of the information provided, after which verbal consent was obtained from each participant prior to administration of the questionnaires.

Data collection and analysis

Semi-structured questionnaires with close-ended and open-ended questions were used for the study. The questionnaires were distributed between June and August, 2013. Four hundred copies of the questionnaires were distributed and returned immediately after the respondents must have filled in the necessary information.

The data obtained were entered, processed, and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20.0 software programmer, IBM Incorporation.


Out of the 400 copies of questionnaires randomly distributed, only 297 copies (74.3%) were returned, as some respondents insisted on going home with the questionnaires but failed to return same. From the responses, the following results or information were extracted.


Results [Table 1] show that 59.9% of the participants were males while 40.1% were female. More than 10% (10.1%) were between the ages of 13 and 19, 88.2% were between the ages of 20 and 35 and 1.7% was between the ages of 36 and 60. Close to 90% (89.9%) of the participants were single while 10.1% were married. Showing occupation of the participants, 10.8% were civil servants, 9.1% were business men/women, 78.5% were students, and 1.7% were involved in other activities.{Table 1}

[Table 2] shows that at least 31.3% of the studied population had used C. sativa which showed high rate of used, though lower than that of America where it was estimated in the late 1980s that not <50-60% of people between the ages of 21 and 29 years had tried marijuana at least once. [31] Some of the reasons why people take it included; to boost confidence (11.4%), 5.1% take it to increase alertness, 5.1% take it to decrease fatigue, 0.3% take it to decrease stress, 5.4% take it to get high while 4% take it for other reasons. While 2.4% take it at home, 10.8% take it at the bar/restaurant, 1% takes it at the joint, and 17.2% take it in other places such as bush and jungle.{Table 2}

The observed untoward effects in [Table 3] were similar to a study done by McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts. [23] On a personal level a recreational to the chronic user can experience relational problems, occupational and learning problems, absenteeism, and/or memory problems. Later teen users also tend to have more sexual partners and are more likely to engage in unsafe sex. [8],[32]{Table 3}

[Table 4] shows that 53.9% were aware of its therapeutic uses which were similar to the documented therapeutic uses of marijuana in previous studies. [31] When asked further to assess their levels of knowledge on the uses of this substance of abuse, 53.5% of them said it was use for hair treatment; while not many people were aware of the unwanted effects associated with the consumption of cannabis as reported by other users in previous studies. [23],[33] Many studies have also shown that there are deaths, illnesses, and disabilities from substance abuse than from any other preventable health condition. [34] This can be exemplified by the study carried out by Cavanagh et al. who found out that not <38% of suicides cases are as a result of substance abuse. [35] Therefore, there is a need for more attention on educating the populace on the danger involved in the use of such substance, especially the youth who were the most dominant group observed in this studies.{Table 4}


The result of the study showed an observed high incidence of C. sativa intake among the study population who were mostly youths for different purposes, including to: Boost confidence, feel high, increase alertness, and decrease fatigue. Similarly, a high percentage of the respondents said the drug is used for hair treatment.


The authors wish to appreciate the assistance of all those that helped in seeing that the research was a success.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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