"What is it?"

Marijuana Leaf

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Marijuana is a tobacco like substance produced by drying the leaves and flowering tops of the cannabis plant.

Marijuana can be smoked, using a pipe, a bong or by rolling a joint (cigarette). It's not the leaves that are smoked, it's the buds of the plant.

Marijuana can be eaten by baking cookies with hash in them.

The main ingredient in marijuana is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), but more than 400 other chemicals are in the drug.

A marijuana joint (cigarette) is made of dry particles from the plant. The amount of THC will determined how strong the effect will be. The strength of marijuana today is ten times stronger than the marijuana in the 1970's.

Marijuana for medical use uses the oil from the female marijuana plant to treat certain conditions, but no proper trials, testing or regulation of this has been done. This needs to be put in place before any legalisation of the drug for medical use takes place.

Common Names

The common names for this drug are:

  • Marijuana

  • Weed

  • Pot

  • Reefer

  • Grass

  • Dope

  • Ganja

  • Mary Jane

  • Hash

Did You Know??

Research shows that nearly 50 percent of teenagers try marijuana before they graduate from high school.

Marijuana Plant

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Short Term Effects

Marijuana User

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Again, the effects of marijuana depends on the amount taken and on the person.

But some short term effects may include:

  • Sleepiness or drowsiness

  • Difficulty in keeping track of the time

  • Short-term memory loss

  • Dizzy or disorientated

  • Increased heart rate

  • Bloodshot eyes

  • Dry mouth and throat

  • Anti-social behaviour

  • Paranoia or hallucinations

  • Finding it hard to learn, speak, judge, listen or remember

  • Intense anxiety

  • Panic attacks

Long Term Effects

Long term effects of the drug may include:

  • A higher risk of developing cancer for women

  • Increased risk of infertility, (not being able to get pregnant) due to its effects on both male and female reproductive organs

  • A dependence on the drug

  • Psychosis or schizophrenia


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Last updated: Sunday, 5 October, 2014