Marijuana (Cannabis) | Ambrosia Drug & Alcohol Addiction Treatment Center
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Marijuana (Cannabis)

In the U.S., about 4.5 million people use marijuana, starting at the average age of 18. It is the most common illicit drug, and contrary to popular belief, marijuana can be addictive. In fact, 1 in 11 users become addicted to marijuana.

Various brand names in states where the sale of marijuana is legal
Blunt, Bud, Dope, Ganja, Grass, Green, Herb, Joint, Mary Jane, Pot, Reefer, Sinsemilla, Skunk, Smoke, Trees, Weed, Hashish, Boom, Hash & Hemp
Greenish-gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seed, and/or flowers; resin (hashish or sticky black liquid (hash oil)
Smoked & Eaten (mixed in food or brewed as tea)

Effects of Marijuana

The euphoria of marijuana use lasts from three to six hours. The reactions of anxiety, fear or panic are common, but symptoms of hallucinations, paranoia and delusional behavior are usually due to the potency or consumption of a large amount of marijuana.

Physical Changes

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Fast heart rate
  • Sleepy, lethargic
  • Lack of coordination
  • Increased appetite
  • Memory impairment
  • Altered senses
  • Temporary hallucinations
  • Temporary paranoia
  • Impaired body movement
Affect on the Brain
Marijuana has both short and long-term effects on the brain. The active ingredient, THC, quickly enters the bloodstream from the lungs. The blood carries the chemical to the brain and other organs throughout the body. Marijuana over-activates parts of the brain that contains the highest number of natural THC-like receptors, which causes the "high" feelings.

Change in Actions

  • Confusion, lack of focus & difficulty with problem-solving
  • Unusually talkative
  • Disinterest in usual activities
  • Altered sense of time
  • Changes in mood


  • Grouchiness & sleeplessness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Cravings

Serious Effect

  • Lung & breathing problems (from the smoke)
  • Increases risk of heart attack (because of increased heart rate)
  • Problems with child development during and after pregnancy
  • Severe mental disorders worsen (i.e. schizophrenia)
  • Linked to mental health problems like depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts

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