Where do you get information about drugs?
If you're like many people, you'd turn to the internet for answers.
There is a lot of information online. And, unfortunately, there's a lot of incorrect info out there -- especially when it comes to drug use.
Are you looking for accurate info about marijuana? We've pulled together a few of the most frequently asked questions about weed online and answered them below.
Q: Is Marijuana Addictive?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
“Marijuana use can lead to the development of problem use, known as a marijuana use disorder, which takes the form of addiction in severe cases.”
In addition, a lot of the marijuana consumed presently has a higher level of THC (the chemical that causes the drug’s “high”). Researchers still don’t know about the long-term effects of using high THC marijuana.
Q: Is Marijuana a Controlled Substance?
Marijuana is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning that it has a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.
Learn more: Drug Scheduling
Q: Is marijuana legal?
A: If you’re under the age of 18, recreational marijuana use is illegal for you in all 50 states.
In recent years, different parts of the country have changed their marijuana laws. But recreational use of the drug for people under 21 is still illegal. Some states have legalized medical marijuana use for people 18 years old (or younger in certain states or instances).
Marijuana is also still illegal on a federal level.
Q: Can I overdose on marijuana?
A: There haven’t been any overdose deaths resulting directly from marijuana use.
But, it is still possible to feel the negative effects of using too much of the drug.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
“The signs of using too much marijuana are similar to the typical effects of using marijuana but more severe. These signs may include extreme confusion, anxiety, paranoia, panic, fast heart rate, delusions or hallucinations, increased blood pressure, and severe nausea or vomiting. In some cases, these reactions can lead to unintentional injury such as a motor vehicle crash, fall, or poisoning.”
Q: How does marijuana affect your brain?
A: The short-term effects of marijuana include:
- Problems with memory and learning,
- distorted perception,
- difficulty in thinking and problem-solving,
- and loss of coordination
The effect of marijuana on perception and coordination are responsible for serious impairments in learning, associative processes, and psychomotor behavior (driving abilities).
Read more: Drugs of Abuse (pdf)
Q: Is marijuana bad for your pet?
A: According to experts, marijuana can be harmful to your pets.
From an article out of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign:
Both dogs and cats can be poisoned by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive substance in marijuana. Dogs are more likely to ingest the drug, while cats are more likely to be sickened by exposure to smoke.
In dogs, the most common signs of marijuana intoxication include dribbling urine, swaying or general unsteadiness, drooling, and being less alert. Cats will show signs that mimic those of neurologic disease, such as appearing to react to visual stimuli that are not actually present. They may also have dilated pupils.
Read more: "Marijuana and Pets Should Not Mix"
Is marijuana bad for your gut?
It is in some cases.
From the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
In rare cases, chronic use of marijuana can lead to Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome—a condition marked by recurrent bouts of severe nausea, vomiting, and dehydration.