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Marijuana Facts & Resources

Marijuana is the most often used illegal drug in this country, and several states have legalized the possession of small amounts of the drug.

From The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids:

“The main active chemical in marijuana, also present in other forms of cannabis, is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Of the roughly 400 chemicals found in the cannabis plant, THC affects the brain the most.

Many users roll loose marijuana into a cigarette called a “joint.” Marijuana can also be smoked in a pipe or water pipe (called a “bong”) or vaporized using a “vape” pen. A single intake of smoke from a joint or pipe is called a hit. Marijuana can also be mixed into food or brewed as tea and ingested. It has also appeared in cigars called “blunts.”

In states where marijuana has become legalized, more and more marijuana “edibles” are seen in retail establishments where marijuana is sold, including baked goods and candy that closely or even exactly resemble well-known foods (example: brownies, chocolate, cookies, pizza or gummy bears). It may also come in a “wax” form that resembles lip balm that can be eaten or smoked.”

Facts about Marijuana:

  • The immediate effects of using marijuana include rapid heart rate, disorientation, lack of physical coordination, often followed by depression or sleepiness. Some users suffer panic attacks or anxiety. (Foundation for a Drug-Free World)
  • Medical marijuana is marijuana used in the treatment of certain diseases and medical conditions in a handful of states. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) states that the cannabis plant contains active ingredients with the potential for relieving pain, controlling nausea, stimulating appetite, reducing inflammation and decreasing anxiety. Medical marijuana is still controversial and not-perfectly defined as marijuana is not an approved medicine under any provision of Food and Drug Administration (FDA). (How High Ventura County)

  • It was once believed that marijuana was not addictive; many people still believe this to be the case. But recent research shows that use of the drug can indeed lead to dependence. Some heavy users of marijuana develop withdrawal symptoms when they have not used the drug for a period of time. (Office of National Drug Control Policy)

  • Regular marijuana use by young people can have long-lasting negative impacts on the structure and function of their brains. Research shows that those who used marijuana heavily in their teens and through adulthood had a significant drop in IQ. (National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA))

  • It’s not always about the smell anymore. The practice of consuming marijuana extract — a yellow, waxy substance that can contain high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the chemical in unprocessed marijuana that produces a high — has risen rapidly in recent years. Called “dabbing,” this wax has greater concentrations of THC and hardly has a smell, contrary to marijuana smoke. (The New York Times)
  • About one in eight high school seniors nationally reported driving under the influence of marijuana. Using marijuana compromises judgment, alertness, concentration, coordination and reaction time, skills required for safe driving. (NIDA)
  • Marijuana use, particularly long-term, chronic use or use starting at a young age, can lead to dependence and addiction. One in six users who start young will become addicted to marijuana. (Office of National Drug Control Policy)
  • More than 40% of teen marijuana smokers say that they first tried to drug before the age of 15. (Partnership for Drug-Free Kids)
  • Of 12th grade students, 6% reported using marijuana daily, compared to 1.3% who reported drinking alcohol every day. (2016 Monitoring the Future Survey)


The physical & mental effects of marijuana, via Business Insider:


Resources to learn more about Marijuana:

Office of National Drug Control Policy – FAQs about Marijuana

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids – Marijuana Drug Guide

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute at the University of Washington – Learn about Marijuana

National Institute on Drug Abuse – Marijuana: Facts Parents Need to Know

National Families in Action – The Marijuana Report

Related Pelham PACT Events and Resources:

Healthy Teen Brain Day: April 20, 2016

Marijuana Awareness Month: February 2017