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Cannabis (Marijuana)

Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems and seeds from the Cannabis plant. Cannabis is a term that refers to marijuana and other drugs made from the same plant. Cannabis contains the mind-altering chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other related compounds.

How do people use cannabis (marijuana)?

  • Inhaled
    Smoking a joint, blunt, bong, or bowl. Vaping marijuana extracts/concentrates or dabbing (a highly potent THC-rich resin extracted from the marijuana plant)
    • Hash oil – a gooey liquid 
    • Wax or budder – a soft solid with a texture like lip balm 
    • Shatter – a hard, amber-colored solid
  • Ingested
    Mixed into foods (edibles), such as brownies, cookies and candy, or beverages such as tea, soda and lemonade

Call the 24-Hour Poison Help Line for Additional Support:


Health effects of marijuana

There are a variety of effects you can see with THC use – whether you are using it 1 time or are a chronic user. Below are just a few common examples.

  • Euphoria (high) 
  • Blood-shot eyes 
  • Increased appetite 
  • Altered senses 
  • Impaired short-term memory, perception, judgment and motor skills 
  • Respiratory issues from chronically smoking THC products 
  • Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) in chronic users, which causes vomiting

THC poisoning

It’s a myth that you can’t overdose on THC or cannabis products. Many products, especially edibles, contain higher and higher concentrations of THC. Children are especially susceptible to these effects.

  • Neurological effects, which can vary from agitation to unresponsiveness 
  • Increased or decreased heart rate 
  • Increased or decreased blood pressure 
  • Decreased breathing (especially in children, who are more susceptible)

If you suspect a poisoning or have questions, call 1-800-222-1222.

How to prevent marijuana usage

Marijuana use during adolescence is associated with negative impacts on brain development, poor school performance, increased risk for later depression and suicidal ideation or behavior.

Poison prevention tips

  • If you use marijuana products, keep them up, away and out of reach of children and pets.
    Store in a child-resistant containers.
  • Don't store edibles with other food and beverages.
    Edibles can be mistaken for regular food or candy. In fact, many edible brands look almost identical to actual food brands.  
  • Never consume marijuana edibles in front of children.
    Children often imitate adults. 
  • If using edibles, start slow with small amounts to avoid overdosing.
    Edibles take longer to digest and produce a high.

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