Not Just A Plant was created by Safe Communities Regional Coalition of Hunterdon and Somerset, Prevention Resources, Inc. and then expanded by partners such as the Drug-Free Task Force and Positive YOUth, to educate our community on the most recent scientific data regarding marijuana use, and how marijuana use impacts various sectors of our society. We are working to provide information to youth, parents, business owners, local legislators, school faculty members, and the community at large with the goal of helping our community make informed decisions about marijuana.
What is Marijuana?
Marijuana, which can also be called cannabis, weed, pot, or dope, refers to the dried flowers, leaves, stems, and seeds of the cannabis plant.
The cannabis plant contains more than 100 compounds (or cannabinoids). These compounds include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is impairing or mind-altering, as well as other active compounds, such as cannabidiol (CBD).
Methods of use
Marijuana Use Disorder
Approximately 3 in 10 people who use marijuana have marijuana use disorder. Some signs and symptoms of marijuana use disorder include trying but failing to quit using marijuana or giving up important activities with friends and family in favor of using marijuana. The risk of developing marijuana use disorder is stronger in people who start using marijuana during youth or adolescence and who use marijuana more frequently.
Marijuana use directly affects brain function—specifically the parts of the brain responsible for memory, learning, attention, decision making, coordination, emotions, and reaction time. Developing brains, such as those in babies, children, and teenagers, are especially susceptible to the harmful effects of marijuana and THC.
Marijuana can make the heart beat faster and can make blood pressure higher immediately after use. It could also lead to increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and other vascular diseases.
Smoked marijuana, regardless of how it is smoked, can harm lung tissues and cause scarring and damage to small blood vessels.
Marijuana use has been linked to social anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia (a type of mental illness where people might see or hear things that aren’t really there), but scientists don’t yet fully understand the relationships between these mental health disorders and marijuana use.
Consuming marijuana can make children very sick. Since marijuana use has been legalized in some states, unintentional poisonings in children have increased, with some instances requiring emergency medical care.
If you use marijuana products, keep them in childproof containers and out of the reach of children. For additional questions, you can contact your healthcare provider, your health department, your local or regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222, or 911 if it’s an emergency.
Marijuana as Medicine
The Food and Drug Administrationexternal icon (FDA) has approved only one plant-based marijuana drug called Epidiolex, which contains a purified form of CBD. The prescription medication is approved for treating seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy (Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome) as well as seizures associated with a rare genetic disorder called tuberous sclerosis complex.