10 Facts About Marijuana | Drug Policy Alliance

Get the facts about how marijuana affects your brain and body.

November 2015 Monitor on Psychology

Eating marijuana ("edibles") is perhaps a more obvious means to reduce the respiratory effects when using the drug. Oral administration carries its own challenges, however, as it typically takes longer for the effects of the drug to appear (30–60 minutes compared to seconds), making it more difficult to monitor dose and increasing the risk of overdose. Additionally, the effects last longer than some users prefer (Grotenhermen, 2001). That said, overdosing on marijuana is rare and most likely to happen to naïve users. A marijuana overdose can trigger acute anxiety or panic, increased heart rate, low blood pressure, and additional problems.

Learn About Marijuana: Factsheets: Respiratory Effects …

Being a teenager and raising a teenager are individually, and collectively, enormous challenges. For many teens, illicit substance use and abuse become part of the landscape of their teenage years. Although most adolescents who use drugs do not progress to become drug abusers, or drug addicts in adulthood, drug use in adolescence is a very risky proposition. Even small degrees of substance abuse (for example, alcohol, marijuana, and inhalants) can have negative consequences. Typically, school and relationships, notably family relationships, are among the life areas that are most influenced by drug use and abuse.

Vaporizers, which heat marijuana below combustion point, have been theorized to be a safer method of administration, producing lower levels of tar than cigarettes (Grotenhermen, 2001) and fewer respiratory symptoms reported by users (Earleywine & Smucker Barnwell, 2007). However, these devices have also been shown to release ammonia which, when inhaled, can cause irritation and central nervous system effects, as well as asthma and bronchial spasms (Bloor et al, 2008). More research on the potential use of vaporizers as a harm reduction technique is needed.