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What Is It?
What Are the Common Street Names?
How Is It Used?
How Many Teens Use Marijuana?
What Are the Short-Term Effects of Marijuana Use?

What Are the Long-Term Health Effects of Marijuana Use?
Does Marijuana Lead to the Use of Other Drugs?
What About Medical Marijuana?
What if a Person Wants To Quit Using the Drug?
Resource Materials
NIDA Scientist Video
Marijuana Information

Facts on Drugs: Marijuana
Ask Dr. NIDA: Marijuana
Real Stories: Marijuana
Brain Games: Marijuana
Parents & Teachers: Marijuana
Mind Over Matter: Marijuana
Additional Resources
What Is It?

Marijuana is a mixture of the dried and shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the cannabis sativa plant. The mixture can be green, brown, or gray.

A bunch of leaves seem harmless, right? But think again. Marijuana has a chemical in it called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC. A lot of other chemicals are found in marijuana, too—about 400 of them, many of which could affect your health. But THC is the main psychoactive (i.e., mind altering) ingredient. In fact, marijuana’s strength or potency is related to the amount of THC it contains. The THC content of marijuana has been increasing since the 1970s. For the year 2007, estimates from confiscated marijuana indicated that it contains almost 10 percent THC on average.

What Are the Common Street Names?
There are many slang terms for marijuana that vary from city to city and from neighborhood to neighborhood. Some common names are: “pot,” “grass,” “herb,” “weed,” “Mary Jane,” “reefer,” “skunk,” “boom,” “gangster,” “kif,” “chronic,” and “ganja.”

How Is It Used?
Marijuana is used in many ways. The most common method is smoking loose marijuana rolled into a cigarette called a “joint” or “nail.” Sometimes marijuana is smoked through a water pipe called a “bong.” Others smoke “blunts”—cigars hollowed out and filled with the drug. And some users brew it...
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