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Marijuana

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What are the street names/slang terms?

Aunt Mary, Boom, Chronic, Dope, Gangster, Ganja, Grass, Hash, Herb, Kif, Mary Jane, Pot, Reefer, Sinsemilla, Skunk, Weed

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana, the most often used illegal drug in this country, is a product of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. 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.

What does it look like?

Marijuana is a green or gray mixture of dried, shredded flowers and leaves of the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa).

How is it used?

Most 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 mixed into food or brewed as tea. It has also appeared in cigars called “blunts.”

What are its short-term effects?

Short-term effects of marijuana include problems with memory and learning, distorted perception (sights, sounds, time, touch), trouble with thinking and problem solving, loss of motor coordination, increased heart rate, and anxiety. These effects are even greater when other drugs are mixed with weed. A user may also experience dry mouth.

What are its long-term effects?

Marijuana smoke contains some of the same cancer-causing compounds as tobacco, sometimes in higher concentrations. Increases risk of chronic cough, bronchitis, increases risk of schizophrenia in vulnerable individuals. May increase risk of anxiety, depression, and a series of attitude and personality changes, known as “amotivational syndrome.” This syndrome is characterized by a diminished ability to carry out long-term plans, a sense of apathy, decreased attention to appearance and behavior, and decreased ability to concentrate for long periods of time. These changes can also include poor performance in school. Marijuana, just like any other drug, can lead to addiction. It affects the brain’s reward system in the same way as all other drugs of addiction2 – and the likelihood of addiction increases considerably for those who start young.

What is its federal classification?

Schedule I

[Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)]

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