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What is Marijuana?

Marijuana is a greenish-gray mixture of the dried flowers of cannabis sativa.

  • Around nine-in-ten Americans favor some form of marijuana legalization
  • Public support for marijuana legalization differs widely by age and party.
  • There has been a dramatic increase in public support for marijuana legalization in the last two decades.
  • Fewer than half (46%) of U.S. adults say they have never used marijuana.
  • Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have legalized small amounts of marijuana for adult recreational use as of April 2021.
  • 1-in-10 adults who use the drug can become addicted.
  • Approximately 147 million people consume marijuana. 
  • Marijuana is the most commonly used federally illegal drug in the United States; 48.2 million people or about 18% of American, used it at least once in 2019
History of Cannabis
  • The cannabis or hemp plant originally evolved in Central Asia.
  • Hemp fiber was used to make clothing, paper, sails and ripes, and its seeds were used as food.
  • Because it’s a fast-growing plant that’s easy to cultivate and has many uses.
  • The oldest known written record on cannabis use comes from the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung in 2727 B.C.
Why do young people start using Marijuana?
  • Friends and peers – having peers who use substance has is one of the strongest predictors of a young person’s likelihood of trying and using a drug.
  • Media & pop culture – Movies, TV shows, music and social media influences in young people’s lives which tend to praise marijuana use and downplay its harms.
  • Mental health problems and stress – some people us marijuana to try to relieve the feelings of depression or anxiety, sometimes the result of more responsibilities or school pressures.
How does Marijuana change the way the brain works?
  • Endogenous cannabinoids such as anandamide function as neurotransmitters because they send chemical messages between nerve cells throughout the nervous systems.
  • They affect brain areas that influence pleasure, memory, thinking, concentration, movement, coordination, and sensory and time perception.
Risks in the Youth
  • Negative effects on school and social life
    • Decline in school performance
    • Increased risk of mental health issues
    • Impaired driving
    • Potential for addiction
  • Marijuana and the teen brain
    • Difficulty thinking and problem solving
    • Problems with memory and learning
    • Impaired coordination
      Difficulty maintaining attention
How to talk to the young about Marijuana?
  • Be clear about your goals.
  • Know what you want to get from the conversation
  • Be calm and relaxed
  • Try to project objectivity and openness
  • Be positive
  • Don’t lecture
  • Be aware of body language
  • Find a comfortable setting
  • Put yourself in your kid’s shoes
Common Street Names
  • Mary Jane
  • Ganga
  • Herb
  • Chronic
  • Grass
  • Dope
  • Hash
  • Tress
  • Hemp
Types of Cannabis
  • Cannabis sativa
  • Industrial Hemp
  • Marijuana
  • Cannabis ruderalis
  • White widow
  • Quebec Gold
  • NYC Diesel
  • Shaman
  • Nederwist
  • In 2018, more than 11.8 million young adults used marijuana.
  • Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States, with approximately 22.2 million users each month.
  • Marijuana use directly affects the brain – specifically the parts of the brain responsible for memory, attention learning, decision making, coordination, and reaction time.
Medicine Use of Cannabis
  • Doctors may prescribe medical marijuana to treat:
    • Muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis 
    • Nausea from cancer chemotherapy
    • Poor appetite and weight loss caused by chronic illness 
    • Seizure disorders 
    • Crohn’s disease 
Long-term effects of Cannabis
  • Sore throat
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Cancer
Short-term effects of Cannabis
  • Altered senses
  • Changes in mood
  • Impaired body movement
  • Difficulty with thinking and problem solving
  • Impaired memory
Mental effect
  • Temporary hallucinations
  • Temporary paranoia
  • Schizophrenia
Physical Effect
  • Breathing problems
  • Increased heart rate
  • Problems with child developments during and after pregnancy
  • Intense nausea and vomiting
Life Effect
  • Lower life satisfactions
  • Poorer mental health
  • Poorer physical health
  • More relationship problems
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite and upset stomach
  • Sweating, shills and tremors
  • Restless sleep and nightmares
How is Cannabis Used?
  • Smoking in hand-rolled cigarettes or in pipes or water pipes
  • Vaporizers
  • Mix it food
Marijuana and Addiction
  • Symptoms
    • Distorted perceptions
    • Impaired coordination
    • Red, blurry, bloodshot eye 
    • Constant, mucus-filled cough 
    • Rapid heartbeat 
    • Hunger 
    • Dry mouth 
    • Anxiety, paranoia, or fear 
    • Loss of control 
Marijuana use effects during Pregnancy
  • Using marijuana during pregnancy may impact your baby’s development
  • About 1 in 20 women in the United States reports using marijuana while pregnant
  • Using marijuana while pregnant can cause health problems in newborns – including low birth weight
  • It may affect your child on paying attention or to learn

Gulsum Nazli
2021 Red Ribbon Week Team Member at Whitetulip


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