Marijuana is the dried leaves that come from the Cannabis Sativa or Cannabis Indica plants. They contain the mind-altering chemical, THC, and other similar compounds. There are other extracts which also come from the cannabis plant such as CBD (which can also be extracted from the Hemp plant). 

The most-commonly used illicit drug in the US is Marijuana, or “pot.” Currently, there is a widespread push to legalize the drug, as many young adults don’t see the drug to be as risky as others

Marijuana methods of use

There are many different methods of administration including smoking, vaping, and eating either marijuana leaves or the oils:

  • It can be smoked  through hand-rolled cigarettes (usually called joints), in pipes, or water pipes (called bongs). Blunts, or emptied cigar casings can also be filled with the leaves and smoked.
  • More recently, people are using vapes to avoid the smoke. They pull the active ingredients from the dried leaves and collect the vapor, which is then inhaled. Some vapes used a liquid form of the marijuana extract.
  • Marijuana can be ingested. The leaves are baked into either brownies, cookies, or candies, and then eaten. This can be more potent than smoking, but can also take a longer time to feel the effects. 
  • The leaves can also be brewed as tea.
  • Recently, “dabbing” was introduced, which means users will smoke the THC-rich resins from the marijuana leaves. They can deliver extremely large amounts of THC to the body. This can be dangerous and send users to the emergency room. Preparing the extracts can be dangerous as well – they require the use of butane (lighter fluid). Many people have caused fires and explosions, leading to severe burns.
    • The extracts come in forms:
      • Hash or honey oil, which is a gooey liquid
      • Wax or budders, which is a soft solid, much like lip balm
      • Shatter, which is a hard, amber-colored solid

For more about the effects of marijuana, click HERE.

Marijuana THC levels are rising

The amount of THC in marijuana has been increasing steadily over the past few decades. For a person who’s new to marijuana use, this may mean exposure to higher THC levels with a greater chance of a harmful reaction. Higher THC levels may explain the rise in associated emergency room visits.

The popularity of edibles also increases the chance of harmful reactions. Edibles take longer to digest and produce a high. Therefore, people may consume more to feel the effects faster, leading to dangerous results. Higher THC levels may also mean a greater risk for addiction if people are regularly exposing themselves to high doses.

Marijuana use is rising, but so are the questions. Click HERE to learn more about marijuana use disorder and a deeper look into its effects.

This type of addiction can be effectively treated. If you or someone you know needs help, visit Recovery Guidance for a free and safe resource to find addiction and mental health professionals near you.


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