Overview

Marijuana can be an addictive substance, particularly for youth. Marijuana use during childhood or adolescence is dangerous because the human brain does not fully develop until around age 26, and drugs like marijuana can have negative effects for young, developing brains.

The younger youth are when they try marijuana, the more likely it is that they will become addicted. To learn more about risks to youth from marijuana use visit Weed to Know.

Although marijuana use by adults (21+) has been made legal in Washington State that does not mean it is without health risks. The safety of marijuana has not been established. Just like tobacco and alcohol, it has been associated with health and social problems.


Risk of Addiction

Marijuana is estimated to produce addiction in approximately one in 11 of those who use it at least once. This rate increases to about one in six, or 17 percent, for users who start in their teens, and 25 percent to 50 percent among daily users

Withdrawal

When people who are addicted to marijuana try to stop using, they may experience withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, sleeping difficulties, anxiety, and cravings.

Health Impacts to Youth

The human brain does not finish developing until age 26. Marijuana use during adolescence can impact memory, concentration, and attention span.


This video was developed as part of Peers Practicing Prevention. These are stories by real youth in Spokane, and the views expressed are those of the individuals represented.


Basics

Retail marijuana use is legal for those ages 21 and over in Washington state and  therefore Spokane County. If you choose to use marijuana, it's important to know  the laws, potential risks and how you can help prevent underage marijuana use.

Marijuana is made from dried flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant.  Marijuana comes in multiple different forms and THC Levels vary depending on the product and method use.

How marijuana affects health is determined by how it's consumed. Marijuana is most commonly smoked, from pipes, bongs, joints, blunts and other paraphernalia including devices that heat or vaporize marijuana. It can also be consumed through foods and beverages, such as brownies or tea.


Short-term effects of Cannabis
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of inhibitions
  • Increased appetite
  • Loss of co-ordination
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Dryness of the eyes, mouth, and throat
  • Anxiety and paranoia
  • Feeling of well-being
  • Talkativeness
  • Decreased nausea


Long-term effects of Cannabis
  • Impact brain development. This may include reduced cognitive abilities (learning and understanding) and memory.
  • Breathing problems.  Marijuana smoke irritates the lungs and can cause problems such as daily cough and phlegm, frequent lung illness and higher risk of lung infections.
  • Increased heart rate.  Marijuana raises heart rate for up to 3 hours after smoking, increasing the chance of heart attack.
  • Problems with infant and child development during and after pregnancy.  Marijuana use during pregnancy is linked to increased risk of brain and behavioral problems in babies and children.

Terminology

Smoking

Marijuana is combustive and the smoke is inhaled which allows the body to absorb THC.  The most common methods of smoking marijuana are joints, pipes, and bongs.


Edibles

Marijuana can be ingested through food, or "edibles" which often includes things like  brownies and other baked goods. Marijuana can also be ingested in liquid form by brewing it as a tea.


Concentrates

Marijuana concentrates are condensed masses of THC.  Concentrates can range from 40% - 90% THC, making them up to four-times stronger than regular high-quality marijuana. Concentrates often go by the following terms: wax, hash, hash oil, honey oil, budder, butane hash/honey oil (BHO),shatter, dabs, black glass, and errl.


Topicals

Lotions, salves, and balms can be infused or other chemicals extracted from marijuana and can be used for pain and inflammation. They do not make a user feel high.


Vaporization

A new form of inhaling marijuana includes vaping, which may involve the use of electronic vaping devices.

Weed to Know

If you choose to use marijuana, it's important to know the laws, potential risks and how you can help prevent underage marijuana use.

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You Can

A marijuana prevention campaign for youth with information about health effects, consequences, and frequently asked questions about marijuana.

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Marijuana Prevention for Health Care Providers

Working closely with health care providers as they are a trusted source for patients seeking information about tobacco, vaping or marijuana.

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