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Frequently Asked Questions About Marijuana

What Is It?

Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant. The main psychoactive part of cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol, one of 483 known compounds in the plant, including at least 65 other cannabinoids

While the marijuana plant has chemicals that can help with some health problems, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the marijuana plant as a medicine. Legalization has occurred in several states, however marijuana is still illegal at the national level.

Common Names

Marijuana can also be under several other names including: weed, pot, dope, izzle, herb, fire, cabbage, bud, cannabis, indo, boom, grass, ganja, sticky icky, reefer, asparagus, dank, Mary Jane, chronic, sensi, skunk, broccoli, 420

Side Effects

THC acts on specific brain cell receptors that ordinarily react to natural THC-like chemicals. These natural chemicals play a role in normal brain development and function.

 

Marijuana over-activates parts of the brain that contain the highest number of these receptors. This causes the "high" that people feel. Short term effects include:

  • altered senses (for example, seeing brighter colors)

  • altered sense of time

  • changes in mood

  • impaired body movement

  • difficulty with thinking and problem-solving

  • impaired memory

  • hallucinations (when taken in high doses)

  • delusions (when taken in high doses)

  • psychosis (when taken in high doses)

In the long term, marijuana abuse can potentially cause health problems, such as

  • Problems with brain development. People who started using marijuana as teenagers may have trouble with thinking, memory, and learning.

  • Coughing and breathing problems, if you smoke marijuana frequently

  • Problems with child development during and after pregnancy, if a woman smokes marijuana while pregnant

Treatment

While not physically additive, prolonged consistent marijuana use can lead to dependence—in which a person feels withdrawal symptoms when not taking the drug.

 

People who use marijuana frequently often report irritability, mood and sleep difficulties, decreased appetite, cravings, restlessness, and/or various forms of physical discomfort that peak within the first week after quitting and last up to 2 weeks.

 

No medications are currently available to treat marijuana dependence, but behavioral support has been shown to be effective. Examples include therapy and motivational incentives. 

If you or someone you know may be experiencing addiction or dependency please contact a medical professional

Please Note

All drugs including marijuana will affect each person differently depending on the persons characteristics (such as physical size, gender, mood, diet, fitness, age, expectations and health), the drug itself (such as the amount used and its purity), and how it is taken and the environment a person is in when using the drug