What Is Marijuana?
Marijuana is commonly referred to as pot, weed, hash and Mary Jane.1 It is dried flowers and leaves from the hemp plant. Marijuana can also be concentrated into a resin (hashish), hash oil, and edibles which are more potent.
Signs someone could be misusing:
Increased appetite, clumsiness, bloodshot eyes, and increased heart rate are physical signs of marijuana use. Marijuana has different effects on people. Some users will feel lazy and even laugh a lot. Some who use marijuana feel scared and nervous.2
Someone who is smoking marijuana may use room sprays to attempt to cover the smell. Another sign would be finding paraphernalia like cigarette paper, pipes, lighters and bongs.
Mararijuana is beginning to be legalized and regulated on a state by state basis, both for medicinal and recreational purposes.
Marijuana: How It Is Used
It is most commonly smoked in joints (hand rolled cigarettes), pipes, or water pipes (bongs) For recreational use. Some people include Marijuana in food (edibles), most commonly candy, brownies, and cakes.
left: photo of a joint or hand rolled cigarette.
For medicinal use, patients can smoke marijuana, eat marijuana edibles, or take pills manufactured from cannabis.3
right: photo of a cookie made with marijuana. Other edible examples may be, gummy bear candy and brownies.
What marijuana does
The hemp plant, contains the active ingredient THC).
THC results in a “high” in recreational use. Which gives the user euphoria and altered senses. Difficulty thinking, paranoia, or remembering things.
Marijuana's medicinal benefits also come from THC, plus other cannabinoids contained in the drug. THC increases appetite and reduces nausea, which can be helpful for cancer patients in chemotherapy. THC may also reduce pain and inflammation. Other cannabinoids found in marijuana like CBD have been shown to be effective at treating epileptic seizures as well as other forms of seizures, as well as mental disorders like anxiety.4.
Recent studies have shown that marijuana can also help with the withdrawal symptoms associated with heroin withdrawal and other opioids.
Marijuana is currently unregulated by the FDA. More research and clinical trials are required for marijuana to receive FDA approval. Scientists are conducting trials right now that investigate marijuana's efficiency at treating a range of diseases, from substance use disorders, mental disorders, Alzheimer's, chronic pain and multiple sclerosis.
It’s important to remember that even if marijuana becomes legalized, young people that use it can become more at-risk for developing an addiction.
right: photo of marijuana leaf.