Marijuana

Marijuana

Marijuana, also known as “pot,” “weed,” “grass,” and “dope,” is a green, brown, or gray mixture of the dried parts of the Cannabis sativa hemp plant.  The main active chemical in marijuana moves quickly through the bloodstream and to the brain, causing mild hallucinogenic effects.  Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States, and more teens are in treatment with a primary diagnosis of marijuana dependence than for all other illegal drugs combined.  Marijuana is usually rolled up into cigarette form and smoked (a joint) or smoked through a water pipe (bong).  It can also be brewed or mixed with food, such as brownies.

The short term effects of marijuana include but are not limited to skewed coordination, impaired sensory and perception, difficulty with problem solving, and euphoria.  Long-term users often experience lowered motivation, and some can experience anxiety, panic attacks, respiratory illnesses, and increased heart rate and risk of heart attack.

Chronic marijuana use can lead to addiction.  When withdrawing from the drug, chronic users typically experience irritability, sleeplessness, nervousness, changes in appetite, and anger.  Various treatment options, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, medication to treat withdrawal, and motivational incentives are available, and treatment for marijuana addiction is highly effective.