BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuSubstance use - marijuanaSubstance abuse - marijuana; Drug abuse - marijuana; Drug use - marijuana; Cannabis; Grass; Hashish; Mary Jane; Pot; WeedMarijuana comes from a plant called hemp. Its scientific name is Cannabis sativa. The main, active ingredient in marijuana is THC (short for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). This ingredient is found in the leaves and flowering parts of the marijuana plant. Hashish is a substance taken from the tops of female marijuana plants. It contains the highest amount of THC.Marijuana is called by many other names, including cannabis, grass, hashish, joint, Mary Jane, pot, reefer, weed.Some states in the Unites States permit marijuana to be used legally to treat certain medical problems. Other states have also legalized its use.Treat certain medical problemsMarijuana is best known as a drug that people smoke or eat to get high. It is derived from the plant Cannabis sativa. Possession of marijuana is il...Read Article Now Book Mark Article This article is on the recreational use of marijuana, which may lead to abuse.Marijuana's Effects on Your BrainThe THC in marijuana acts on your brain (central nervous system). THC causes brain cells to release dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that is involved with mood and thinking. It is also called the feel-good brain chemical. Using marijuana may cause pleasurable effects such as:Feeling "high" (pleasant sensations) or very relaxed (marijuana intoxication) Marijuana intoxicationMarijuana ("pot") intoxication is the euphoria, relaxation, and sometimes undesirable side effects that can occur when people use marijuana. The abi...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Having an increased appetite ("the munchies") Increased sensations of sight, hearing, and taste How fast you feel the effects of marijuana depends on how you use it:If you breathe in marijuana smoke (such as from a joint or pipe), you may feel the effects within seconds to several minutes. If you eat foods containing the drug as an ingredient, such as brownies, you may feel the effects within 30 to 60 minutes. Harmful Effects of MarijuanaMarijuana can also have unpleasant effects:It can affect your mood -- You may have feelings of panic or anxiety. It can affect how your brain processes things around you -- You may have false beliefs (delusions), become very fearful or confused, see or hear things that are not there (hallucinations). HallucinationsHallucinations involve sensing things such as visions, sounds, or smells that seem real but are not. These things are created by the mind.Read Article Now Book Mark Article It can cause your brain not to work as well -- For example, you may not be able to concentrate or pay attention at work or at school. Your memory may weaken. Your coordination may be affected such as with driving a car. Your judgment and decision making can also be affected. As a result, you may do risky things such as drive while high or have unsafe sex. Marijuana's other health effects include:Bloodshot eyes Increased heart rate and blood pressure Infections such as sinusitis, bronchitis, and asthma in heavy users Irritation of the airways causing narrowing or spasms Sore throat Weakening of the immune system Marijuana can be AddictiveSome people who use marijuana get addicted to it. This means their body and mind are dependent on marijuana. They are not able to control their use of it and they need it to get through daily life.Addiction can lead to tolerance. Tolerance means you need more and more marijuana to get the same high feeling. And if you try to stop using, your mind and body may have reactions. These are called withdrawal symptoms, and may include:Feeling fear, unease, and worry (anxiety) Feeling stirred up, excited, tense, confused, or irritable (agitation) AgitationAgitation is an unpleasant state of extreme arousal. An agitated person may feel stirred up, excited, tense, confused, or irritable.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Trouble falling or staying asleep Treatment OptionsTreatment begins with recognizing there is a problem. Once you decide you want to do something about your marijuana use, the next step is getting help and support.Treatment programs use behavior change techniques through counseling (talk therapy). Some programs use 12-step meetings to help people learn how not to relapse. The goal is to help you understand your behaviors and why you use marijuana. Involving family and friends during counseling can help support you and keep you from going back to using (relapsing).If you have severe withdrawal symptoms, you may need to stay at a residential treatment program. There, your health and safety can be monitored as you recover.At this time, there is no medicine that can help reduce the use of marijuana by blocking its effects. But, scientists are researching such medicines.Your Ongoing RecoveryAs you recover, focus on the following to help prevent relapse:Keep going to your treatment sessions. Find new activities and goals to replace ones that involved your marijuana use. Spend more time with family and friends you lost touch with while you were using marijuana. Consider not seeing friends who are still using marijuana. Exercise and eat healthy foods. Taking care of your body helps it heal from the harmful effects of marijuana. You will feel better, too. Eat healthy foodsSubstance use harms the body in two ways:The substance itself affects the body. It causes negative lifestyle changes, such as irregular eating and po...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Avoid triggers. These can be people with whom you used marijuana. They can also be places, things, or emotions that can make you want to use marijuana again.ResourcesResources that may help you on your road to recovery include:Marijuana Anonymous -- www.marijuana-anonymous.org SMART Recovery -- www.smartrecovery.orgYour workplace employee assistance program (EAP) is also a good resource.When to Call the DoctorCall for an appointment with your health care provider if you or someone you know is addicted to marijuana and needs help stopping. Also call if you are having withdrawal symptoms that concern you. Open ReferencesReferencesKowalchuk A, Reed BC. Substance use disorders. In: Rakel RE, Rakel DP, eds. Textbook of Family Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 50.National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice; Committee on the Health Effects of Marijuana: An Evidence Review and Research Agenda. The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2017.National Institute on Drug Abuse website. Marijuana. www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/what-marijuana. Updated April 2020. Accessed June 26, 2020.Weiss RD. Drugs of abuse. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 31.AllVideoImagesTogRelated Information Review Date: 5/10/2020 Reviewed By: Fred K. Berger, MD, addiction and forensic psychiatrist, Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla, CA. 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