What is marijuana? Marijuana is a green, brown, or gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa). It is the most frequently used illegal drug in the country. Strong forms of cannabis included sinse-milla (sin-she-me-yah), hashish (“hash”), and hash oil. The main active chemical in cannabis is THC (delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol) and is a mind-altering (psychoactive) drug. Cannabis also contains more than 400 other chemicals.

Street names/slang terms for marijuana
There are many different names for marijuana such as pot, herb, grass, Mary Jane, reefer, Aunt Mary, skunk, boom, gangster, kif, or ganja.

How is it used?marijuana-sm
Most users roll loose marijuana into a cigarette (a.k.a. joint, nail) or smoke it in a pipe or water pipe called a bong. Some users mix marijuana into foods or use it to brew a tea. It also has been used to replace tobacco in cigars, making a blunt. Joints or blunts often include crack cocaine, and are known as “primos” or “woolies”. Joints and blunts are often dipped in PCP and are called “happy sticks”, “wicky sticks”, “love boat”, or “tical”.

How does it affect the brain? THC affects the nerve cells in the brain where memories are formed. Short team effect include problems with memory, learning, attention, distorted perceptions, problem solving, loss of motor coordination, increased heart rate and anxiety. Marijuana smoke also contains some of the same cancer-causing compounds as tobacco.


Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)