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). CBD is not impairing, meaning it does not cause a “high”. 1
Marijuana is the most commonly used federally illegal drug in the United States, with an estimated 48.2 million people using it in 2019. 2 Marijuana use may have a wide range of health effects on the body and brain. Click on the sections below to learn more about how marijuana use can affect your health.
Although marijuana is used for medical and non-medical adult use, this does not mean it is safe. Scientists are still learning about the health effects and the potential health benefits of using marijuana.
One study estimated that approximately 3 in 10 people who use marijuana have marijuana use disorder. The risk of developing marijuana use disorder is stronger in people who start using marijuana during youth and who use marijuana more frequently.
How Can Marijuana Affect Your Heath?
These compounds include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is impairing, and cannabidiol (CBD), which is not impairing–meaning it does not cause a “high.”
Polysubstance Use— The use of more than one drug. This includes when two or more drugs are taken together or within a short time period, either intentionally or unintentionally: