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What is it?

Marijuana is the dried leaves and flowers of the hemp (cannabis) plant.

Slang Terms:

Grass, dank, bud, zig zag, hydro, cannabis, bud, smoke, chronic, herb, reefer, pot, weed, ganja, dope, mary jane, skunk

Intoxicated Terms:

High, loaded, baked, roasted, buzzed, or stoned

How is it used?

Dried leaves are hand-rolled into cigarettes called joints or stuffed into hollowed-out cigars called blunts. Marijuana is also smoked in small pipes known as one-hitters or tooters, or in a larger water pipe called a bong.

Smoke is inhaled and held in the lungs as long as possible to maximize effects. Marijuana is also mixed into food and eaten or brewed with hot water into tea.

Sign of usage:

Dilated pupils, a lack of focus or slowed/changed speech.

Use of heavy perfumes or air fresheners to cover the distinctive odor of marijuana smoke.

Effects of usage:

Impaired brain functions resulting in the following:

Marijuana use can result in attention deficit, impaired memory, impaired learning, and difficulty with sensory experiences. Individual may also be unmotivated and experience impaired reaction time, motor skills, and ability to maintain and shift attention.

How long do the effects last?

Effects peak within 20 minutes and last 2-3 hours.

Effects of withdrawal:

Cravings, irritability, insomnia, anxiety

Adverse reactions:

Resembles a panic or anxiety attack.

Effects of prolonged usage:

Respiratory problems, nagging coughs, frequent chest colds, chronic bronchitis, and risk of pneumonia. Long term use can adversely affect the immune system and reproductive system.

Usage by 12th graders:

49% of High School seniors report having tried marijuana

32% of High School seniors report having used marijuana in the past year

22.4% of High School seniors report being current regular users of marijuana

Recent Developments:

Marijuana is being used in combination with other drugs of abuse and is a delivery medium for other drugs. Crack, psilocybin mushrooms, ketamine, and PCP are sometimes added to marijuana joints. Slang names for the combinations vary according to geographic locations around the country. Joints or blunts containing PCP are known as love boats, honey-dipped joints, happy sticks, sherms, or dust blunts. Dipping marijuana joints into other chemicals such as formaldehyde, embalming fluid, or formaldehyde mixed with PCP enhances the effects of marijuana and makes the joints and blunts burn longer. The PCP combination produces aggressive behavior in the users. Variations make marijuana smoking more unpredictable, particularly for novice users.

Information provided by Dr. Barbara A. Krantz, Chief Medical Officer at the Hanley Center

First Check Diagnostics, LLC is offering these resources for informational purposes only, and the Hanley Center is no way affiliated with any of the entities that provide the resources.