What do we know about marijuana? (2023)

Marijuana, which may also be called cannabis, weed, weed, or drug, refers to the dried flowers, leaves, stems, and seeds of the cannabis plant. The cannabis plant contains over 100 compounds (or cannabinoids). These compounds include harmful or mind-altering tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as well as other active compounds such as cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is not harmful, which means it doesn't cause a "high".1

Marijuana can be used in many ways.2,3The most common forms include:

  • Smoked in joints (like a cigarette), in blunts (cigars or cigarette cases partially or completely filled with marijuana), or in bongs (pipes or hookahs).
  • Vaporizing with electronic vaporizers (such as vape pens) or other vaporizers
  • Mixed or infused into food or drinks (called edibles), such as cookies, cakes, brownies, tea, cola, or alcohol

Also, some people inhale the oil concentrates and other extracts of the cannabis plant, which is known as dabbing. THC oils and concentrates used in vaping and dabbing often involve the use of highly concentrated forms of THC and may contain additives or be contaminated with other substances that could be harmful.4

How marijuana affects a person depends on several factors, including:

  • Amount of marijuana consumed
  • Frequency of marijuana use
  • Using marijuana with other substances (such as alcohol or other drugs) that may increase the risk of harm5
  • Type of marijuana consumption (for example, consumption of edibles or products with a high concentration of THC can have delayed or unpredictable effects and increases the risk of overdose or poisoning)5)
  • Previous experience with marijuana or other drugs
  • Biology (from B. Gene, DNA)
  • Gender (for example, women may feel more dizzy than men after using marijuana)6)

marijuana as medicine

ANDFood and drug managementexternal symbolThe FDA has approved a marijuana-based drug namedEpidiolex, which contains a purified form of CBD. The prescription drug is approved for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy (Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome) and seizures associated with a rare genetic disorder called tuberous sclerosis complex. The FDA has also approved two drugs (dronabinol [brand names:MarinoljSyndrome] and nabilone [trade name:cesamet]) that are made from a synthetic or lab chemical that mimics THC. These drugs are used to treat nausea in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and to increase appetite in people with AIDS who don't feel like eating (waste syndrome). These approved products are available only by prescription from an approved healthcare professional. There are currently no other FDA-approved uses for cannabis or its derivatives.

(Video) Everything we know about the health effects of marijuana

Health effects and risks

There are health risks associated with marijuana use, regardless of how it is used. These include:

Marijuana Use Disorder

About 3 out of 10 people who use marijuana have a marijuana use disorder.7Some signs and symptoms of marijuana use disorder include trying to stop using marijuana when you can't, or giving up important activities with friends and family in favor of using marijuana.8The risk of developing marijuana use disorder is higher in people who start using marijuana in their teens or teens and who use marijuana more frequently.9

brain health

Marijuana use directly affects brain function, specifically the parts of the brain responsible for memory, learning, attention, decision-making, coordination, emotions and reaction time.5,10Developing brains, such as those of babies, children and teenagers, are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of marijuana and THC.5,10

(Video) Five Things Medical Marijuana Won't Tell You | Medical Marijana

heart health

Marijuana can make the heart beat faster and raise blood pressure immediately after use.11,12It can also lead to an increased risk of stroke, heart disease and other vascular diseases.13-17


Like alcohol, marijuana negatively affects many skills needed for safe driving. This can slow down your reaction time and your ability to make decisions.5,18

  • Marijuana can impair coordination and distort perception.5,18
  • Concomitant use of multiple substances (such as marijuana and alcohol) can increase impairment.19
  • Some studies have shown a link between marijuana use and car accidents; however, more research is needed.5,19

lung health

Smoked marijuana, regardless of how it is smoked, can damage lung tissue, causing scarring and damage to small blood vessels.20,21While more research is needed on the health consequences of inhaling secondhand marijuana smoke, there are concerns that it could have adverse health effects, including in children.

Mental health

Marijuana use has been linked to social anxiety, depression and schizophrenia (a type of mental illness in which people may see or hear things that aren't really there), but scientists still don't fully understand the links between these mental health disorders. . and marijuana use6,22

accidental poisoning

Marijuana-infused edibles or foods and beverages carry some different risks than smoked marijuana, including an increased risk of poisoning. Children may mistake food for regular food or sweets. Marijuana use can make children seriously ill. Since marijuana use became legal in some states, accidental poisoning among children has increased, with some cases requiring emergency medical attention.23

(Video) Medical marijuana: Know a lot about your pot!

If you use marijuana products, store them in child-proof containers and out of reach of children. If you still have questions, you can contact your doctor, your health department,Your local or regional poison control centerEm1-800-222-1222, Ö911if it's an emergency.

To know more

(Video) Is marijuana bad for your brain? - Anees Bahji

  • Marijuana: What We Knowpdf icon
  • Marijuana and Public Health from the CDC
  • Driving under the influence of the CDC
  1. Rosenberg EC, Tsien RW, Whalley BJ, Devinsky O. Cannabinoids and epilepsy. Neurotherapeutics. October 2015; 12(4):747-68.
  2. Schauer GL, Njai R, Grant-Lenzy AM. Types of Marijuana Use: Smoking, Vaping, Eating and Dabbing: BRFSS 2016 Results in 12 States. Alcohol dependent drugs. April 1, 2020; 209: 107900.
  3. Schauer GL, King BA, Bunnell RE, Promoff G, McAfee TA. Smoking, Vaping, and Eating for Health or Fun: Patterns of Marijuana Use in Adults, EE. UU., 2014. Am J Prev Med. 2016 Ene;50(1):1-8.
  4. Raber JC, Elzinga S, Kaplan C. 2015. Understanding dabbing: Concerns about contamination of cannabis concentrates and transmission of cannabinoids during dabbing. Journal of Toxicological Sciences 40(6):797-803.
  5. National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, "The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research", Washington, DC, 2017.
  6. Fattore L, Fratta W. How important are sex differences in the effects of cannabinoids?Br J Pharmacol. 2010;160(3):544-548.
  7. Hasin DS, Saha TD, Kerridge BT, Goldstein RB, Chou SP, Zhang H, Jung J, Pickering RP, Ruan WJ, Smith SM, Huang B, Grant BF. Prevalence of marijuana use disorders in the United States between 2001-2002 and 2012-2013. JAMA Psychiatry. December 2015; 72(12):1235-42.
  8. American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th ed. Arlington, Virginia, 2013.
  9. Winters KC, Lee C-YS. Probability of developing alcohol and marijuana use disorder in adolescence: association with recent use and age. Alcohol dependent drugs. 2008;92(1-3):239-247.
  10. Batalla A, Bhattacharyya S, Yücel M, Fusar-Poli P, Crippa JA, Nogué S, Torrens M, Pujol J, Farré M, Martin-Santos R. Structural and functional imaging studies in chronic cannabis users: a systematic review of teens and findings for Adult. Another. 2013;8(2):e55821.
  11. Sidney S. Cardiovascular consequences of marijuana use. J Clin Pharmacol. November 2002; 42(S1): 64S-70S.
  12. Subramaniam VN, Menezes AR, DeSchutter A, Lavie CJ. The Cardiovascular Effects of Marijuana: Are They Worth the Potential Side Effects? Med. 2019 Mar-Apr;116(2):146-153.
  13. Wolff V, Armspach JP, Lauer V, Rouyer O, Bataillard M, Marescaux C, Geny B. Cannabis-related stroke: myth or reality? Attack. 2013 Feb;44(2):558-63.
  14. Wolff V, Zinchenko I, Quenardelle V, Rouyer O, Geny B. Characteristics and prognosis of ischemic stroke in young cannabis users compared to non-cannabis users. J Am Coll Cardiol. November 3, 2015;66(18):2052-2053. CA Franz and WH Frishman, "Marijuana Use and Cardiovascular Disease."CardioRev, Bd. 24, No. 4, p. 158–162,
  15. Franz CA, Frishman WH. Marijuana use and cardiovascular disease. Cardiol Rev. 2016 Jul-Aug;24(4):158-62.
  16. Rumalla K, Reddy AY, Mittal MK. Association of recreational marijuana use with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. J Cerebrovascular Accident Dis. Cerebrovac. February 2016; 25(2): 452-60.
  17. Rumalla K, Reddy AY, Mittal MK. Recreational marijuana use and acute ischemic stroke: a population-based analysis of hospitalized patients in the United States. J Neurol Sci. May 15, 2016; 364:191-6.
  18. Compton R. (2017, July). Driving under the influence of marijuana: a report to Congress. (DOT SA 812 440). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  19. Lacey JH, Kelley-Baker T, Berning A, Romano E, Ramirez A, Yao J, and Compton R. (December 2016). Risk of accidents with drugs and alcohol: a case-control study (Report No. DOT HS 812 355). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  20. Tashkin DP, Simmons MS, Tseng CH. Impact of changes in regular marijuana and/or tobacco use on chronic bronchitis. COPD. August 2012; 9(4):367-74.
  21. Wang X, Derakhshandeh R, Liu J, Narayan S, Navavizadeh P, Le S, Danforth OM, Pinnamaneni K, Rodriguez HJ, Luu E, Sievers RE, Schick SF, Glantz SA, Springer ML. One minute of passive marijuana smoke significantly impairs the functioning of the vascular endothelium. J Am Heart Association, July 27, 2016; 5(8): e003858.
  22. Volkow ND, Swanson JM, Evins AE, DeLisi LE, Meier MH, Gonzalez R, Bloomfield MA, Curran HV, Baler R. Effects of cannabis use on human behavior, including cognition, motivation, and psychosis: a review. JAMA Psychiatry. 2016 Mar;73(3):292-7.
  23. Richards JR, Smith NE, Moulin AK. Accidental marijuana use in children: a systematic review. J Pediatrics November 2017; 190: 142-152.
(Video) How Weed Works: THC


What are important facts about marijuana? ›

High doses of marijuana may result in image distortion, loss of personal identity, and hallucinations. The abuse of marijuana also can cause serious physical and mental problems including frequent respiratory infections, impaired memory and learning ability, increased heart rate, anxiety, and panic attacks.

What are three interesting facts about marijuana? ›

10 Cannabis Fun Facts - By the Numbers
  • $326 is the average price for 1oz of high-quality marijuana.
  • Cannabis raises the heart rate for up to 3 hours after smoking.
  • 24% of young adult Americans use marijuana.
  • In 2017, sales of medical and recreational cannabis in the US were nearly 9x higher than sales of Oreo cookies.
Feb 27, 2020

What is the main purpose of marijuana? ›

The most common use for medical marijuana in the United States is for pain control. While marijuana isn't strong enough for severe pain (for example, post-surgical pain or a broken bone), it is quite effective for the chronic pain that plagues millions of Americans, especially as they age.

What is a fun fact about weeds? ›

Weeds can be prolific seed producers.

Most plants only produce several hundred seeds, but weeds are especially prolific. One single weed can produce anywhere from 10,000 to over 100,000 seeds. With these odds, it's easy to see how weeds can quickly take over your garden or lawn if left untreated.

What are the pros of recreational marijuana? ›

What are the personal or recreational benefits of cannabis? People have many different reasons for choosing to use cannabis, but some commonly reported reasons are relaxation, stress relief, and to generally feel better. Many patients report using cannabis for both symptom relief and recreation.

What are sad facts about marijuana? ›

Marijuana Risks

Brain health: Marijuana can cause permanent IQ loss of as much as 8 points when people start using it at a young age. These IQ points do not come back, even after quitting marijuana. Mental health: Studies link marijuana use to depression, anxiety, suicide planning, and psychotic episodes.

What is the most common type of marijuana? ›

The most popular weed strains are Blue Dream and Girl Scout Cookies. These two have a variety of effects, but they're both known for making you feel happy or euphoric in some way while also being great at relieving stress when used before bedtime.”

What are the three names of marijuana? ›

Cannabis is often divided into 3 species—Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis—but there is significant disagreement about this, and some consider them subspecies of the same parent species. Cannabis sativa can grow to 5–18 feet or more, and often has a few branches.

What are the pros and cons of medical Marijuanas? ›

Summary. Medical marijuana is increasingly available in the U.S. It is often used to treat chronic pain, muscle spasms, and nausea and vomiting, and to increase appetite. However, it can affect thinking and memory, increase the risk of accidents, and smoking it may harm the lungs and lead to cancer.

What are two negatives for medical marijuana? ›

Further study is needed to answer this question, but possible side effects of medical marijuana may include:
  • Increased heart rate.
  • Dizziness.
  • Impaired concentration and memory.
  • Slower reaction times.
  • Negative drug-to-drug interactions.
  • Increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Increased appetite.
  • Potential for addiction.

What are the side effects of medical Marijuanas? ›

Some of the most common side effects are dizziness, fatigue, dry mouth, light-headedness, drowsiness, and nausea. Side effects are usually mild or moderate and usually stop quickly, but sometimes severe side effects occur. Talk to a pharmacist at a Medical Cannabis Dispensary if side effects appear.

Do weeds have any benefits? ›

Weeds can perform vital ecosystem services such as protecting and restoring exposed or degraded soils. In addition, some weeds provide habitat for beneficial organisms, and thereby contribute significantly to natural and biological control of some insect pests. Certain weeds also make nutritious food or fodder.

Why are weeds so strong? ›

First, they are very hardy and can survive in locations that are inhospitable to more desirable plant species. They might have waxy leaves that prevent water loss, which makes them more tolerant of drought and heat. Some have deep rooting root systems that can access water more shallow rooted species can't.

Why are weeds so powerful? ›

Weeds grow fast by having competitive genetics that allows rapid growth and reproduction. They are superior at outgrowing surrounding plants by adapting to a range of environmental conditions. Weeds are also dominant in reproducing by having very efficient seed-dispersing mechanisms.

Why is marijuana good for the economy? ›

Increased Tax revenue

Like all goods, the cannabis industry can bring considerable tax revenues. Since its legalization in 2016, the state of California is able to collect a 15% state tax excise on retail cannabis sales.

What are the social benefits of marijuana? ›

Crime and Social Justice

Numerous studies as well as law enforcement data have shown that cannabis legalization reduces some types of crime. In fact, arrests and court filings related to marijuana possession, cultivation, and distribution drop significantly after legalization.

Why should marijuana be decriminalized? ›

Perhaps the most powerful and appealing argument for marijuana decriminalization (and the decriminalization of other illegal drug laws) is that it would save a huge amount of government money now being spent on the enforcement of such laws.

How does marijuana affect behavior? ›

Laboratory studies have found that individuals under the influence of marijuana displayed systematic changes in interpersonal behavior and experience, including a pattern of interpersonal withdrawal, hostility, and diminished interpersonal skills (Janowsky et al., 1979; Roser et al., 2012).

What is stronger sativa or indica? ›

Indica strains tend to be more potent, with higher THC levels. They are also known for being more relaxing and providing a "body high." Sativa plants are taller and thinner than indica plants. They have narrower leaves and are lighter in color.

Does indica make you laugh? ›

In fact, both indica and sativa can cause a laughing fit. Energizing sativa is perfect for shifting perspective: boosting creativity and the ability to see humor in any situation.

What was the first marijuana? ›

An archeological site in the Oki Islands near Japan contained cannabis achenes from about 8000 BC, probably signifying use of the plant. Hemp use archaeologically dates back to the Neolithic Age in China, with hemp fiber imprints found on Yangshao culture pottery dating from the 5th millennium BC.

Does sativa or indica make you sleepy? ›

Indica is thought to be more calming, and may help produce feelings of relaxation and sleepiness. People appear to prefer indica for pain management, relaxation, and sleep. Sativa is considered more stimulating, and it may produce feelings of euphoria for some. People tend to use sativa to gain an energy boost.

What does indica do to you? ›

Cannabis indica:

Has a sedating effect. Makes you feel more mellow and calm. Helps to relieve stress. Works for pain relief.

Are there harmful chemicals in Marijuanas? ›

Some of the known carcinogens or toxins present in marijuana smoke include: acetaldehyde, ammonia arsenic, benzene, cadmium, chromium, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide, isoprene, lead, mercury, nickel, and quinoline. Marijuana smoke contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active chemical in cannabis.

What are the side effects of CBD? ›

Though it's often well-tolerated, CBD can cause side effects, such as dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness and fatigue. CBD can also interact with other medications you're taking, such as blood thinners. Another cause for concern is the unreliability of the purity and dosage of CBD in products.

Why are weeds called weeds? ›

The definition of a weed is a plant growing where it is not wanted. It can also include plants that were not intentionally sown in a specific location or plants that are more competitive or interfere with the activity of people.

What are 3 characteristics of weeds? ›

Common characteristics of weedy species include aggressive growth, competition with other plants for light, water, nutrients, and space, an ability to grow in a wide range of soils and adverse conditions, and resistance to control measures.

Where did weeds come from? ›

Centuries ago, when immigrants brought hay and other goods to America, weed seeds traveled along from Europe and Asia. Creeping Charlie was even considered decorative at one point and planted on purpose. Other weeds got help from Mother Nature. "Weeds are good at disseminating, meaning they move," he said.

How harmful are weeds? ›

Weeds affect the growth of the crop as they compete with crops for sunlight, water and nutrients.


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