WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Marijuana is a psychoactive drug that can have both short-term and long-term effects on a person's physical and mental health.
How is Marijuana Consumed?
Marijuana can be consumed in a variety of forms, including smoking/vaping, edibles, and extracts/dabbing:
Smoking/Vaping: Smoking and vaping are the most common ways of consuming marijuana. Smoking involves rolling marijuana into a joint, packing it into a pipe or bong, and lighting it on fire to inhale the smoke. Vaping involves heating marijuana in a device, such as a vaporizer, to create a vapor that is inhaled.
Edibles: Edibles are food or drink products that are infused with marijuana, such as brownies, gummies, and chocolates. The effects of edibles can be more intense and longer-lasting than smoking/vaping, as the marijuana is metabolized differently when eaten.
Extracts/Dabbing: Extracts are concentrated forms of marijuana that are made by extracting the active ingredients using solvents. Dabbing involves heating the extract and inhaling the vapor. Extracts can be much more potent than other forms of marijuana, with higher levels of THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana).
Topicals: Marijuana can also be used topically as a highly potent lotion, cream, or even in patch form. While cannabis topicals generally tend to be the safest form of consumption, with most lotions and creams having no psychoactive effects, there are risks in using highly concentrated topical applications, especially transdermal patches.
All forms of marijuana use carry risks and can have both short-term and long-term effects on a person's physical and mental health. It's important to be informed about the potential risks and effects of each form of consumption.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What is marijuana?
A: Marijuana, also known as cannabis, is a plant that contains chemicals called cannabinoids. The two most well-known cannabinoids are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
Q: How is marijuana used?
A: Marijuana can be smoked, vaporized, or consumed in edible products. It can also be made into oils or tinctures for use as a topical treatment.
Q: What are the effects of using marijuana?
A: The effects of using marijuana can vary depending on the individual and the amount consumed. Common effects include relaxation, altered perception of time and space, increased appetite, and dry mouth. Higher doses or use of stronger strains of marijuana can lead to more intense effects, including anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, and impaired judgment.
Q: Is marijuana legal?
A: The legality of marijuana varies by country and state. In some areas, it is legal for medical or recreational use, while in other areas, it remains illegal. In CT, recreational and medical marijuana are both legal.
Q: What are the risks of using marijuana?
A: The risks of using marijuana include impaired judgment, decreased coordination, and impaired driving ability. Long-term use of marijuana has been linked to respiratory problems, mental health issues, and decreased cognitive function. Use of marijuana during pregnancy may also harm the developing fetus.
Q: Is marijuana addictive?
A: Yes, marijuana can be addictive. It is estimated that around 9% of people who use marijuana will become addicted. Withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability, anxiety, and insomnia, may occur when someone stops using marijuana after regular use.
Q: Can marijuana be used for medical purposes?
A: Yes, marijuana has been used for medical purposes to treat conditions such as chronic pain, nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis, and seizures caused by epilepsy, among others. Medical marijuana is legal in some areas (such as CT) with a prescription or recommendation from a healthcare provider.
The Effects of Marijuana on Teens
Marijuana use can have significant impacts on the developing teen brain, both in the short-term and the long-term.
Impaired short-term memory and concentration - This can make it difficult for teens to learn and retain information.
Altered judgment and decision-making - Teens may have trouble making good decisions and evaluating risks.
Increased heart rate and blood pressure - This can lead to feelings of anxiety or panic.
Red eyes and dry mouth - These are common side effects of smoking or vaping marijuana.
Decreased coordination and balance - This can increase the risk of accidents and injuries.
Reduced IQ and cognitive function - Studies have found that teens who use marijuana regularly may have lower IQ scores and reduced cognitive function.
Increased risk of addiction - Teens who start using marijuana before age 18 are four to seven times more likely to develop a cannabis use disorder.
Increased risk of mental health problems - Marijuana use has been linked to an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and psychosis.
Changes in brain structure and function - Regular marijuana use during adolescence can lead to structural and functional changes in the brain that can persist into adulthood.
Lower academic achievement and reduced life satisfaction - Teens who use marijuana regularly may have lower grades and reduced life satisfaction compared to their peers who do not use marijuana.
Marijuana and Sports Performance
Marijuana can have significant impacts on the body, which can in turn affect sports performance. Here are some of the potential effects:
Respiratory problems - Smoking marijuana can irritate the lungs and lead to respiratory problems, including chronic bronchitis and lung infections.
Decreased lung capacity - Regular marijuana use can lead to decreased lung capacity, which can make it harder to breathe during exercise.
Increased heart rate - Marijuana use can cause a temporary increase in heart rate, which can be dangerous during intense physical activity.
Impaired coordination and reaction time - Marijuana use can impair coordination, balance, and reaction time, which can increase the risk of injuries during sports activities.
Impaired judgment and decision-making - Marijuana use can impair judgment and decision-making, which can increase the risk of making poor decisions during sports activities.
Increased risk of injury - Marijuana use can increase the risk of injuries during sports activities due to impaired judgment, coordination, and reaction time.
Decreased motivation - Marijuana use can lead to decreased motivation and energy, which can negatively impact sports performance.
It's important for athletes to be aware of the potential impacts of marijuana use on their body and sports performance. Many sports organizations, including the World Anti-Doping Agency, prohibit the use of marijuana and can impose sanctions on athletes who test positive for the drug. Additionally, athletes who use marijuana may be putting themselves and others at risk for injury. Make informed decisions about marijuana use and prioritize safety and well-being during sports activities.
Safe Storage and Disposal of Cannabis
Safe storage and disposal of marijuana products is important to prevent accidental ingestion, overdose, or unauthorized use, especially in households with children or pets. Here are some tips for safe storage and disposal of marijuana products:
Keep marijuana products in their original packaging and store them in a secure, locked location that is out of reach of children and pets.
Use child-resistant packaging whenever possible and make sure it is properly closed and secured.
Avoid storing marijuana products in the refrigerator or freezer, as this can make them more accessible to children and pets.
Keep marijuana products separate from other food or drinks to avoid accidental ingestion.
Consider using a safe or lockbox to store marijuana products for additional security.
Dispose of marijuana products in their original packaging or in a child-resistant container to prevent accidental ingestion by children or pets.
Do not flush marijuana products down the toilet or sink, as this can harm the environment.
Check local regulations to determine the proper way to dispose of marijuana products. In some areas, it may be legal to dispose of them in the trash, while in other areas, you may need to take them to a special disposal facility.
If you are unsure how to dispose of a particular marijuana product, contact your local waste management agency or a licensed marijuana retailer for guidance.
By following these guidelines for safe storage and disposal, you can help prevent accidental ingestion or unauthorized use of marijuana products and keep your household safe.
Medical Marijuana vs. Recreational Adult Use
By understanding the differences between recreational adult use and medical use of marijuana, you can make informed decisions about your own use or the use of loved ones. It's important to follow all CT laws and regulations regarding marijuana, and to consult with a healthcare provider for guidance on using marijuana for medical purposes.
Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about recreational adult use vs. medical use of marijuana:
Q: What is the difference between recreational adult use and medical use of marijuana?
A: Recreational adult use of marijuana is when someone uses marijuana for non-medical purposes, such as to relax, have fun, or socialize. Medical use of marijuana is when someone uses marijuana to treat a specific medical condition or symptom, under the supervision of a healthcare provider.
Q: How do the laws differ between recreational adult use and medical use of marijuana?
A: The laws regarding recreational adult use and medical use of marijuana vary by state and country. In some areas, like CT, recreational adult use of marijuana is legal, while medical use may be legal with a prescription or recommendation from a healthcare provider. In other areas, both recreational and medical use may be illegal.
Q: What are the benefits of medical use of marijuana?
A: Medical use of marijuana may provide relief for symptoms such as chronic pain, nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis, and seizures caused by epilepsy, among others. Medical marijuana may also help improve appetite, reduce anxiety, and improve sleep.
Q: How is medical use of marijuana different from traditional medical treatments?
A: Medical use of marijuana is different from traditional medical treatments in that it uses the active compounds found in the marijuana plant, known as cannabinoids, to treat specific symptoms or conditions. Traditional medical treatments may use pharmaceutical drugs or other therapies to treat symptoms or conditions.
Q: Do I need a prescription to use medical marijuana?
A: The requirements for using medical marijuana vary by state and country. In CT, a medical card or license is required.
Q: Are there different types of marijuana products available for medical use?
A: Yes, there are a variety of marijuana products available for medical use, including dried flower, oils, tinctures, capsules, and topical creams or patches. These products may contain different ratios of cannabinoids, depending on the specific symptom or condition being treated.
Resources for Parents & Educators
Talk openly and honestly with your children about the risks associated with marijuana use, including impaired judgment, memory problems, and decreased motivation.
Set clear expectations for your children regarding drug use and communicate the consequences for violating those expectations.
Be a positive role model by avoiding marijuana use and other substance abuse.
Monitor your child's behavior, including changes in mood or behavior, to identify potential drug use early.
Be involved in your child's life by knowing their friends, activities, and whereabouts.
Educate students about the risks associated with marijuana use and the potential consequences of violating school policies.
Provide resources for students who may be struggling with drug use, such as counseling or support groups.
Encourage positive behaviors and activities, such as sports, music, or volunteering, as alternatives to drug use.
Create a safe and supportive environment that promotes healthy behaviors and discourages drug use.
Educate yourself about the risks associated with marijuana use and m