What is marijuana?

Jump To

Marijuana: Overview

Marijuana, also called cannabis, is a drug that's made up of the leaves, flowers, and buds of the cannabis plant. People may use marijuana for medical or recreational reasons.

The two most active chemicals in marijuana are THC and CBD. THC affects how you think, act, and feel. It can make you feel very happy or "high." CBD can help you feel relaxed without the "high."

There are many types, or strains, of marijuana. Each strain has specific THC-to-CBD ratios. Because of this, some strains have different kinds of effects than others. For example, if a strain of marijuana has a higher ratio of THC to CBD, it's more likely to affect your judgment, coordination, and decision making.

How soon will you feel the effects of marijuana?

How soon and how long you may feel the effects will depend on things like how you took the marijuana. For example, when you smoke it, you can usually feel the effects within seconds after you inhale it. But when you eat it, you may not feel the effects for up to 90 minutes.

How are young people affected by using marijuana?

Using marijuana before the age of 25 can affect a young person's brain development, as well as emotional and social development. Some young people who use marijuana may develop cannabis use disorder. They may find it hard to control their use. They may keep using marijuana even though it's having harmful effects on their lives.

Marijuana affects the parts of the brain that deal with judgment, decision making, and emotions. This can make it harder for young people to think, learn, reason, remember, solve problems, and make good choices. And they may be less able to control their emotions and actions. For example, they may engage in risky behaviors like driving when "high," having unsafe sex, binge drinking, or using other drugs.

Young people who use marijuana may be more likely to have anxiety and depression than others who don't. And they may have more problems in school, relationships, and work.

What can you do to lower your risk when using marijuana?

If you're going to use marijuana, limit how much you use. Don't smoke it. The smoke can damage your lungs. Don't use marijuana with alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs. And don't use it with blood thinners or with medicines that make you sleepy, control your mood, or lower your blood pressure.

What is marijuana?

Marijuana (cannabis) is a drug that's made up of the leaves, flowers, and buds of the cannabis plant. People may use marijuana for medical or recreational reasons. The two most active chemicals in marijuana are THC and CBD. THC can make you feel "high." CBD can help you feel relaxed without the "high."

How is marijuana used?

There are many ways people can use marijuana. For instance, people can smoke it as a dried plant or inhale it as a vapor. They can brew it into tea, spray it under the tongue, or apply it to the skin. Or they can eat it in prepared or homemade foods (edibles).

©2011-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated

The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.