Cannabis

In 2015, 44.7% of 12th graders admitted to using marijuana in their lifetime, with 34.9% having used it in the last month.

Cannabis is the hemp plant from which marijuana and hashish are made. Cannabis can result in a loss of appetite, impaired memory and concentration, loss of coordination and many other side-effects.

MARIJUANA

OTHER NAMES

Cannabis sativa, Pot, Reefer, Bud, Grass, Weed, Herb, Dope, Blunt, Mary Jane, MJ, Skunk, Boom, Chronic, 420

HOW USED

Smoked, eaten, or brewed as a tea

CATEGORY

Cannabis

GENERAL INFORMATION

Marijuana is a greenish gray mixture of dried, shredded flowers and leaves of the hemp plant (cannabis sativa). First used as herbal medicine by the Chinese in the first century, the hemp plant has also been used for birdseed and rope.

Cannabis contains the mind-altering drug tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It also contains at least 421 other chemicals. Scientists are still studying the effects these chemicals have on the mind and body. It is known that the amount of tar, carbon monoxide, and cancer-causing chemicals inhaled in marijuana smoke is significantly greater than that inhaled from the same amount of tobacco smoke.

Marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug in the United States. Typically smoked, either on its own or mixed with tobacco, it can also be eaten or brewed as a tea.

The effects vary from person to person depending on how strong the marijuana is, how it's taken, and whether other drugs or alcohol are involved. THC enters the body as tiny particles in marijuana smoke, mixing with oxygen in the lungs and then move into all parts of the body through the bloodstream. It directly effects the user's judgment, impairs short-term memory, the ability to concentrate, and coordination. It can also heighten the senses, seeming to intensify colors, taste, and sound.

Marijuana's effect on timing, coordination, and movement can last up to 24 hours after use. Some of the chemicals remain in the body and brain long after the drug effects wear off; some for weeks after. Research at the University of Columbia shows that people who regularly smoke marijuana experience withdrawal symptoms.

IMMEDIATE SYMPTOMS

  • Bloodshot/glassy eyes
  • Dry mouth/throat
  • Altered sense of time
  • Impaired judgment
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased breathing

LONG-TERM RISKS/POSSIBLE DAMAGE

  • Immune system deficiency
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Impairs hormones
  • Motivational difficulties
  • Memory and attention problems
  • Lung diseases
  • Cancer

INDICATIONS OF USE

  • Pipes
  • Cigars
  • Rolling papers
  • Roach clips
  • Slurred or hyper speech
  • Bloodshot/glassy eyes

HASHISH / HASHISH OIL

OTHER NAMES

Hash

HOW USED

Smoked

CATEGORY

Cannabis

GENERAL INFORMATION

Hashish consists of the THC-rich resinous material of the cannabis plant, which is collected, dried, and then compressed into a variety of forms, such as balls, cakes, or cookie-like sheets. Pieces are then broken off, placed in pipes and smoked. The Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the main sources of hashish.

The term "Hash Oil" is used by illicit drug users and dealers but is misleading in suggesting any resemblance to hashish. Hash oil is produced by extracting the cannabinoids (chemicals unique to the cannabis sativa - more commonly known as hemp plant) from plant material with a solvent. The color and odor of the resulting extract will vary, depending on the type of solvent used. Current samples of hash oil, a thick, gooey liquid ranging from amber to dark brown in color, average about 15 percent THC. In terms of its psychoactive effect, a drop or two of this liquid on a cigarette is equal to a single "joint" of marijuana.

IMMEDIATE SYMPTOMS

  • Bloodshot/glassy eyes
  • Dry mouth/throat
  • Altered sense of time
  • Impaired judgment
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased breathing

LONG-TERM RISKS/POSSIBLE DAMAGE

  • Immune system deficiency
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Impairs hormones
  • Motivational difficulties
  • Memory and attention problems
  • Lung diseases
  • Cancer

INDICATIONS OF USE

  • HASH: Pipes, Slurred or hyper speech, Bloodshot/glassy eyes
  • HASHISH OIL: Slurred or hyper speech, Bloodshot/glassy eye, Cigarettes and/or cigars, Rolling papers

Learn more about how to talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol.