Marijuana is made from the dried leaves and flowers of the Cannabis Sativa plant. The active ingredient in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. Marijuana may be green, brown or grayish in color. Marijuana can be inhaled through smoking with the use of rolled papers, a pipe, in a blunt or using a vaporizer. Marijuana can also be consumed as an "edible" which is the product of a food or beverage that includes marijuana. Marijuana is a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance. Some states have legalized marijuana for medical and/or recreational use. Marijuana is illegal in Iowa.
There is significant evidence that shows adverse and permanent changes to the functioning of the brain when marijuana is used during the developing years in humans.
Also, the effects of marijuana differ depending upon the method of consumption. Both the onset of symptoms and the length in which the symptoms last depends upon if marijuana is inhaled or ingested. Ingestion of 'edibles' has caused significant concern across the United States, as legalization has led to statistically higher incidences of children ingesting marijuana, and increased hospitalizations of children and adults following exposure to marijuana or ingestion of marijuana.
Within a few minutes after inhaling marijuana smoke, a person’s heart rate speeds up, the bronchial passages (the pipes that let air in and out of your lungs) relax and become enlarged, and blood vessels in the eyes expand, making the eyes look red. While these and other effects seem harmless, they can take a toll on the body.
- Increased heart rate is common and may increase by 20 to 50 beats per minute or, in some cases, even double. This effect can be greater if other drugs are taken with marijuana. The increased heart rate forces the heart to work extra hard to keep up.
- Similar to the effects of regular cigarettes, marijuana smoke irritates the lungs and can cause a chronic cough, often resulting in respiratory (lung and chest) problems.
- The risk of experiencing depression and anxiety is increased with marijuana use.
- Marijuana use during pregnancy is linked to lower birth weight and a higher risk for many developmental issues.
- Marijuana. (n.d.). Retrieved June 08, 2017, from https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/marijuana
- Panlilio, LV, et al. Prior exposure to THC increases the addictive effects of nicotine in rats.
- The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Health and Medicine Division, Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice, Committee on the Health Effects of Marijuana: An Evidence Review and Research Agenda. The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence
Marijuana is often called weed, pot, grass, reefer, Mary Jane or MJ, fire or ganja, but has many other names, as well.
- Marijuana Comprehensive information for teens from NIDA.
- Marijuana Legalization in Iowa Iowa Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy.
- Marijuana Facts Marijuana information from the United States Drug Enforcement Administraiton.
- Marijuana Presents science-based information on the effects of marijuana use on the body and brain. A National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) sponsored site.
- Is Marijuana Medicine? Drug facts from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
- Scientists Warn About Mental Health Consequences of Using Marijuana April 21st, 2016 A group of scientists in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe and Australia is warning about the potential mental health consequences of marijuana use, The Guardian reports. They say frequent use of marijuana increases the risk of psychotic disorders in vulnerable people.
- Profile: Marijuana fact sheet from Center for Substance Abuse Research
- Casual Marijuana Use Linked with Brain Abnormalities The study's findings, published recently in the Journal of Neuroscience April 16, 2014
- Speaking Out Against Drug Legalization DEA booklet dispels misinformation.
- What Americans Need to know about Marijuana Important facts about our nation's most misunderstood illegal drug.