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The main active chemical in marijuana is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Read More ›

The main active chemical in marijuana is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Short-term effects of marijuana use include:

  • problems with memory and learning
  •  distorted perception
  • difficulty in thinking and problem-solving
  • loss of coordination
  • increased heart rate, anxiety, and panic attacks.

Usually smoked as:

  • a cigarette or joint
  • in a pipe or bong
  • a "blunts" - cigars that have been emptied of tobacco and filled with marijuana and other drug, such as crack.

Some users also mix marijuana into foods or use it to brew tea.

Health Hazards

Effects of Marijuana on the Brain

Researchers have found that THC changes the way in which sensory information gets into and is acted on by the hippocampus. This is a component of the brain's limbic system that is crucial for learning, memory, and the integration of sensory experiences with emotions and motivations.

Effects on the Lungs

Someone who smokes marijuana regularly may have many of the same respiratory problems that tobacco smokers have. Continuing to smoke marijuana can lead to abnormal functioning of lung tissue injured or destroyed by marijuana smoke.

The amount of tar inhaled by marijuana smokers and the level of carbon monoxide absorbed are three to five times greater than among tobacco smokers.

Source: The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign


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