About Marijuana (Cannabis)
Marijuana is a mixture of the dried and shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of Cannabis sativa—the hemp plant. It can be green, brown, or gray. Stronger forms of the drug include sinsemilla (sin-seh-me-yah), hashish (“hash” for short), and hash oil. Of the 400 chemicals in marijuana, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, is responsible for many of the drug’s psychotropic (mind-altering) effects. (Source: NIDA)
Marijuana is usually smoked through a joint, blunt, pipe, or bong, but it can also be cooked into foods. A product called the e-joint is also now on the market, which combines the concept of the e-cigarette with marijuana.
Teen marijuana use has clear links to unhealthy and risky behaviors, including unprotected, unplanned, unwanted sexual activity and STDs; impaired motor vehicle driving or riding with an impaired driver; involvement with the juvenile justice system; and poor academic performance and dropping out. (Source: 2010 Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association)
Teen use can also lead to stunted brain development and a potential IQ loss. The brain is not fully developed until ages 22-24 and can be more vulnerable to the effects of drugs and alcohol. The part of the brain to develop last is the prefrontal cortex, responsible for decision-making and moderating social behavior. (Source: Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and National Academy of Sciences)