Substance Abuse

Information About Marijuana

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The Facts

  • The main active chemical is THC (tretrahydrocannabinol), which moves quickly through the bloodstream to the brain and other organs throughout the body.
  • Marijuana is a mild hallucinogen that can also act as a depressant or a stimulant.
  • Two forms of synthetic THC tablets are already approved by the FDA (Marinol and Cesamet).
  • Michigan does not have testing or standards for cannabis (levels of THC, mold, fungus, pathogens like bacteria and metals like lead, cadmium, mercury or arsenic) increasing the dangers of using this drug.
  • Medical marijuana does not cure any disease it only diminishes some symptoms.
  • Marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug meaning there are no approved medical benefits
  • Most students do not use marijuana.
  • There are no approved prescriptions that are smoked!

The Risks

  • Although it's true that cannabis has the potential for addressing some medical symptoms (nausea, increase appetite) it's also true that young bodies are still growing, so marijuana actually has the potential of inflicting a long-lasting, negative impact on developing brains.
  • Using marijuana at a young age can result in structural and functional deficits of the brain. This could cause weakened verbal and communication skills, lowered learning capabilities and a shortened attention span.
  • Marijuana limits your brain's effectiveness, slows your thinking and impairs your coordination.
  • Marijuana smoke contains carcinogenic hydrocarbons.
  • According to SAMSHA most youth ages 12 to 17 entering treatment identify marijuana dependence as their primary or secondary drug of choice.


  • Impaired memory and inability to learn
  • Difficulties in thinking and problem solving
  • Distorted Perception
  • Anxiety attacks or feelings of paranoia
  • Impaired muscle coordination and judgment
  • Increased susceptibility to infections
  • Burning and stinging of mouth and throat
  • Impairment in driving skills
  • Increases the heart rate in normal people and worsens heart rate in with heart disease or high blood pressure.


  • In addition to the possible effects on the brain, smoking marijuana may also be hazardous to lungs.
  • Research shows that the earlier you start using marijuana, the more likely you are to become dependent on it or other types of drugs later in life.
  • A number of studies have also shown an association between chronic marijuana use and increased rates of anxiety, depression and schizophrenia.
  • Regular use of marijuana or K2 (synthetic marijuana) shows the same respiratory problems as cigarette smoking. Persistent coughing, symptoms of bronchitis and more frequent chest colds are possible symptoms.
  • Studies shows that long-term use of marijuana suppresses the production of hormones that help regulate the reproductive system both in men and women.
  • Highly increases the risk of heart attack in regular users.
  • Smoking marijuana on regular basis increases the likelihood of developing cancer of the head or neck.
  • It has the potential to promote cancer of the lungs and other parts of the respiratory tract because of the various carcinogens present in it.
  • It may badly affect the immune system’s ability to fight disease.

Information gathered from