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About Marijuana


Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant. Marijuana is a psychoactive drug that contains close to 500 chemicals, including THC, a mind-altering compound that causes harmful health effects.

People smoke marijuana in hand-rolled cigarettes, in pipes or water pipes, in blunts, and by using vaporizers that pull THC from the marijuana. Marijuana can also be mixed in food (edibles), such as brownies, cookies, and candy, or brewed as a tea. 

People also smoke or eat different forms of marijuana extracts, which deliver a large amount of THC and can be potentially more dangerous.


Contrary to popular belief, marijuana is addictive. Research shows that:

  • 1-in-6 people who start using the drug before the age of 18 can become addicted.

  • 1-in-10 adults who use the drug can become addicted.

Over the past few decades, the amount of THC in marijuana has steadily climbed; today's marijuana has three times the concentration of THC compared to 25 years ago. The higher the THC amount, the stronger the effects on the brain—likely contributing to increased rates of marijuana-related emergency room visits. While there is no research yet on how higher potency affects the long-term risks of marijuana use, more THC is likely to lead to higher rates of dependency and addiction.

Rise of Marijuana Use


Today, marijuana use is on the rise among all adult age groups, both sexes, and pregnant women. People ages 18-25 have the highest rate of use.

Marijuana and THC remain illegal at the federal level, even though many states have legalized its use. In states where legal, marijuana is a fast-growing industry with sales to individuals over 21 in retail stores, wineries, breweries, coffee shops, dispensaries, online, as well as grown at home.



Resources to Help Spread Awareness

Watch and Share Informative Videos on Marijuana Risks

Millions of people are using marijuana and use is on the rise. However, the risks of marijuana use are real. Help spread the message of marijuana risks by watching and sharing these informative videos.

Recursos en español:

Consejos para Adolescentes: La Realidad sobre la Marihuana

Efectos de la marihuana en la salud


Individuals and Families

Parents and Caregivers


Community Members and Practitioners

Take the SAMHSA Marijuana IQ Quiz

How much do you really know about the effects and risks of marijuana? You might be surprised. Let’s test your marijuana IQ.

Local Treatment Centers

  1. New Harbor Behavioral Health is a national directory that helps you locate substance abuse and mental health treatment programs across the United States. You can use their search tool to find resources specifically in Norfolk County or anywhere else in the country.

Visit Locator to search for marijuana addiction treatment options near you.

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