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.
does it look like?
Marijuana is a green or gray mixture of dried, shredded flowers and leaves
of the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa).
are the street names/slang terms for it?
Weed, pot, reefer, grass, dope ganja, Mary Jane, sinsemilla, hash, herb,
Aunt Mary, skunk, boom, kif, gangster, chronic.
is it used?
Most users roll loose marijuana into a cigarette called a "joint". It
can be smoked in a water pipe, called a "bong", or mixed into food or
brewed as tea. It has also appeared in cigars called "blunts".
are its short-term effects?
Short-term effects of marijuana include problems with memory and lea rning,
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 marijuana. A user may also experience dry mouth and throat.
are its long-term effects?
Cancer-It is hard to find out whether marijuana alone causes cancer because
many people who smoke marijuana also smoke cigarettes and/or use other
drugs. Marijuana smoke contains some of the same cancer-causing compounds
as tobacco, sometimes in higher concentrations. Studies show that someone
who smokes five joints per week may be taking in as many cancer-causing
chemicals as someone who smokes a full pack of cigarettes every day. Studies
have also shown a relationship between heavy marijuana use and a higher
probability for head and neck cancer. Reproductive System-Heavy marijuana
use can affect hormones in both males and females, so it can affect sexual
characteristics and reproductive function.
doses of the drug may delay the onset of puberty in young men. Marijuana
also can have adverse affects on sperm production. Among women, regular
marijuana can disrupt the normal monthly menstrual cycle and inhibit ovulation
(the regular discharge of eggs from the ovaries). Respiratory System-Someone
who smokes marijuana regularly may have many of the same respiratory problems
as tobacco smokers. They have symptoms of daily cough and phlegm (chronic
bronchitis) and more frequent chest colds. Continuing marijuana smoking
can lead to abnormal functions of the lungs and airways. Scientists have
found signs of lung tissue injured or destroyed by marijuana smoke.
users of cannabis may develop psychological dependence and require more
of the drug to get the same effect. A long-term user may need increasingly
larger doses of a drug to get the same desired affects previously obtained
from rk. Scientists are still studying these problems.
is its federal classification?
Marijuana is a Schedule I drug classified under the heading of Cannabis.
are some signs and symptoms of use?
If someone is high on marijuana, he or she may seem dizzy and have trouble
walking. Eyes may appear very red and bloodshot and he/she may have a
hard time remembering things that just happened. When the early effects
fade, over a few hours, the user can become sleepy. After some time, you
may notice withdrawal, depression, fatigue, carelessness with grooming,
hostility and deteriorating relationships with family members and friends.
In addition, changes in academic performance, increased absenteeism or
truancy, lost interest in sports or other favorite activities, and changes
in eating or sleeping habits could be related to drug use. In addition
parents should also be aware of traces of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia
odor on clothes and in the bedroom, use of incense and other deodorizes,
use of eye drops, and clothing, posters, jewelry, etc. promoting drug