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Marijuana

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


Research & Statistics

  • Data Reports by Topic - SAMHSA
  • NIDA Information for Researchers

    Links to various NIDA publications, including research reports, Addiction Science & Clinical Practice journal, NIDA Notes, and more.

  • PubMedPubMed comprises more than 20 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.
  • The Connecticut School Health Surveyhe Connecticut School Health Survey (CSHS) is comprised of the Youth Tobacco Component (YTC) (PDF) and the Youth Behavior Component (YBC) (PDF). These two school surveys have been co-administered since 2005. The YTC is a school-based survey of students in grades 6 - 12, with randomly chosen classrooms within selected schools, and is anonymous and confidential. The YBC is also a school-based survey of students, but only of high-school grades 9 - 12 and it, too, is anonymous and confidential.

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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
  • As "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