Learn the Facts About Marijuana from the Professionals at Rosecrance

Introduction to marijuana

You may know that alcohol is the most widely used addictive substance in this country. But did you know that marijuana is the most commonly used and abused illicit drug in the U.S.? Marijuana use is particularly high among adolescents and young adults. An underlying reason is that legalization for medical and recreational use in certain states has created greater acceptance of marijuana in our society. As a result, teens’ perceptions of the risks associated with its use have declined steadily. There has also been a decline in the awareness of the adverse health effects of marijuana… and in the understanding of the potential therapeutic benefits.

Here are the facts about marijuana


Class of drug: Cannabis
Main active ingredient: THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), which causes the mind-altering effects.
What it looks like: Greenish-gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds and flowers of Cannabis sativa, the hemp plant
Street names: Pot, Grass, Weed, Reefer, Dope, Mary Jane, Sinsemilla, Acapulco Gold, Thai Sticks, Ganja
How it is used: Smoked in hand-rolled cigarettes (joints), water pipes (bongs) or cigars (blunts), eaten in foods, or used to brew tea. Also can be concentrated into a resin called hash oil that is made using butane and other flammable chemical solvents. Hash oil is usually smoked in vaporizers or e-cigarettes.
Duration of high when smoked: Effects begin immediately after the drug enters the brain and last from one to three hours.
Duration of high when ingested: Effects begin one-half to one hour after it is ingested and last as long as four hours.
Withdrawal symptoms: Irritability, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, depression
Detected in the body: Occasional use – one to seven days. Chronic use – one to four weeks.
Effects: THC concentrations in marijuana are much higher today than in the past, causing harsher effects including psychosis, hallucinations and more hospitalizations.
Physical effects: Increased heart rate, bloodshot eyes, dry mouth and throat, increased appetite.
Mental effects: Pleasant sensations and colors, intensified perception of sounds, impaired or reduced short-term memory and comprehension, altered sense of time, reduced ability to perform tasks requiring concentration and coordination.
Long-term effects: Damage to the tissue of the lungs and pulmonary system, cancer, negative effect on the development of adolescents, impaired immune system.

Teen Marijuana Use in the U.S.

Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States.

45% of 12th graders in the U.S. have tried marijuana.

In 2017, 29% of 12th graders in the U.S. viewed regular use of marijuana as harmful, compared to 58% 20 years ago. 40% of 12th graders who report marijuana use in states with legal medical marijuana have consumed it in edible form, compared to 26% in non-medical marijuana states. Marijuana sends more 12-24 year olds to the ER than any other illicit drug. Common reasons include anxiety, confusion, panic attacks and hallucinations. Primary marijuana use disorders account for 77% of admissions to treatment centers for ages 12-17.

Sources: American Medical Association, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Drug Abuse Warning Network, 2002 and 2003 National Survey on Drug Use, The Office of National Drug Policy-Drug Policy Clearinghouse, American Counsel for Drug Education, Monitoring the Future Survey, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, SAMHSA

Want to know more about marijuana? Are you ready for the first step toward a life free from substance abuse? Call Rosecrance at (866) 330-8729.