Wednesday September 26th 2018

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What is marijuana?

Marijuana is a preparation made from parts of the cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa)  which often appears as dry crumbly mixture of leaves, flowers, seeds and stems. Each part of the cannabis plant has different concentrations of THC, and the flowers have the highest concentrations followed by the leaves. Therefore, most marijuana preparations are made from flowers and leaves.

THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the principal psychoactive constituent of marijuana. THC has a chemical formula C21H30O2 and is the psychoactive element which triggers euphoria in users. Still, marijuana is just one of many psychoactive products made from the cannabis plant. Other psychoactive preparations made from cannabis include kief (trichomes from the flower), hashish (concentrated resin from the flowering buds), hash oil (highly concentrated oil from the plant) and edibles, which are food and drink prepared with added cannabis extracts or actual marijuana.

Why do people use marijuana?

Several factors may trigger marijuana use. These include medical or therapeutic use, euphoric effect, or as a coping mechanism for psychological/emotional issues.

In fact, marijuana can subjectively help people relieve the stress, anxiety, fear, pain or anger related to personal, psychological or family issues. And, because popular culture increasingly endorses marijuana use with a low perception of harm, some people use marijuana to relax.

Further, people may use marijuana recreationally to feel altered senses and perception of time, place and present situation. Therapeutic uses of marijuana include treatments for:

  • as an adjunct cancer therapy
  • diseases affecting the nerves or nerve cells
  • glaucoma
  • migraines
  • movement disorders
  • pain caused by structural, muscular, or psycho-physiological disorders
  • to address symptoms of AIDS
  • to treat malnutrition (an appetite stimulant)

Marijuana effects

Marijuana mainly targets the nervous system. Our brain, made of nerve cells, include areas called cannabinoid receptors, which are places at which THC can attach and cause effects. However, these cannabinoid receptors are located in areas of the brain involved with memory, concentration, perception and movement. Therefore, marijuana use often cause changes to these cognitive functions. Marijuana can affect:

  • concentration
  • memory
  • movement
  • perception

In low to moderate doses, marijuana can cause the following effects:

  • a sense of relaxation
  • an altered sense of time, sound and space and sight
  • bloodshot eyes
  • dryness of the mouth
  • lowered attention
  • lowered inhibition
  • nausea
  • sleepiness

High doses of marijuana can cause hallucinations, delusions and disorientation, and/or impaired memory. Regular marijuana users report hunger and increased appetite for food, altered ‘magical’ or ‘random’ sense of thinking, inability to concentrate, paranoia, anxiety, or depression.

Is marijuana addictive?

Absolutely. The marijuana abuse potential is great, since it is a psychoactive drug. Users can become addicted to marijuana, and develop both physical and psychological marijuana dependence. If you use marijuana, you may be addicted to it if you use it daily, experience cravings for marijuana, or if you are having drug-related problems that affect your school, work, or home life.

For more on marijuana, see:


Is Your Teen Smoking Pot? Here’s 5 Next Steps to Take

Is Your Teen Smoking Pot? Here’s 5 Next Steps to Take

September 24th, 2018

If you suspect that your teen may be smoking marijuana, here’s a few steps you should take to make sure that s/he does not face the consequences of becoming a chronic user.

Detox From Marijuana

Detox From Marijuana

September 5th, 2018

Marijuana withdrawal is a real thing! Learn how it’s treated medically. A full guide to detox protocols here.

Hey Teens! Is Cannabis Bad for Your Brain or Mental Health?

Hey Teens! Is Cannabis Bad for Your Brain or Mental Health?

August 6th, 2018

With marijuana becoming legal in states across the nation, people are taking up a new perspective. What was once considered a dangerous narcotic is now finding positive light in medical use. But can cannabis harm the brain and associated mental health? More here.

1 Marijuana’s Street Names and Nicknames | A Guide for Parents of Teens

Marijuana’s Street Names and Nicknames | A Guide for Parents of Teens

July 9th, 2018

A table outlining the more common synonyms for marijuana, weed, THC, hash … etc. Plus, a list of common symptoms of the use of marijuana and ideas on how you can address marijuana abuse in teens

Is it Difficult to Quit Marijuana?

Is it Difficult to Quit Marijuana?

June 22nd, 2018

If addicted to marijuana you might need medical assistance in order to successfully overcome all the aspects of your addiction problem and recover fully. Read more about the PROs and CONs of different marijuana quitting methods here.

3 Marijuana Detection Timelines (INFOGRAPHIC)

Marijuana Detection Timelines (INFOGRAPHIC)

June 6th, 2018

Do you have a marijuana test coming up? Eager to know if your test will show positive or negative? We outline the basic guidelines for marijuana detection for hair, blood, saliva, and urine tests in this infographic. Get prepared!

The Legal Status of Marijuana in the U.S. and Implications for Addiction Treatment

The Legal Status of Marijuana in the U.S. and Implications for Addiction Treatment

April 11th, 2018

A look at the implications of increasing legal status of marijuana across the U.S. from the perspective of an M.D. who treats addiction.

2 Marijuana Withdrawal Timeline and Symptoms Duration [INFOGRAPHIC]

Marijuana Withdrawal Timeline and Symptoms Duration [INFOGRAPHIC]

December 19th, 2017

A VISUAL GUIDELINE that outlines common marijuana withdrawal symptoms by day and week.

3 Myths about Marijuana: How Marijuana Causes Addiction and is Not Harmless

Myths about Marijuana: How Marijuana Causes Addiction and is Not Harmless

October 24th, 2017

A medical explanation of how marijuana is addictive AND causes harm here.

1 Marijuana rehab treatment: What to expect?

Marijuana rehab treatment: What to expect?

October 14th, 2017

A look at the services provided in treatment for marijuana addiction…and a guide on what to expect!

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Leave a Reply

8 Responses to “Marijuana
5:22 am December 14th, 2016

Please help me as I am forgetting that I am a dad and my kids are young and they need me to sober up and be responsible for them.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
2:09 pm December 19th, 2016

Hi Tokey. I suggest that you call the helpline you see on the website to get in touch with a trusted treatment consultant.

10:10 am June 3rd, 2017

Marijuana is not physically addictive. It is, however, emotionally addictive. Withdrawal side affects from cannabis could hardly classify it as physically addictive.

9:08 pm February 11th, 2018

I weigh 170 lbs how long will 2 hits stay iny sysyem

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
11:24 am February 13th, 2018

Hi Kenna. Usually, marijuana can be detected up to 3-4 days after the last use. But, this detection period is longer for long-term users and/or binge users. If you want to learn more about drug testing and detection period of certain substances, download our free e-book ‘The Definitive Guide To Drug Testing’ here:

10:54 am April 21st, 2018

I agree about the benefits of cannabis. I had the worse insomnia ever, but when I started vaping cannabis and eating edibles with cannabutter, I always have the most relaxing sleep ever! Thanks for the informative article here!

12:28 pm July 4th, 2018

Hi there.
I know for sure that marijuana is addictive. My husband likes such things and sometimes he relaxes in such a way. But a few weeks ago we’ve realised that our son has maybe allergy or so for these smells.
Can someone help and give a piece of advice? What should we do?
I’ve read a lot of information about that, but still confused. I’ve read about vapes on the Vapingdaily. Maybe it’s not that dangerous while using vape? Have someone tried? Or maybe someone knows?
Would be grateful for any advice.

10:44 am August 9th, 2018

There’s no such things as addiction when you know your limitations. Just use Marijuana with a proper usage . Just limit your self and use it moderately.

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