19401 Northline Road (Bldg. 5) , Southgate, MI 48195

Marijuana Prevention & Education

Resources designed to help teens and parents learn about the consequences of smoking cannabis.

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana is a psychoactive drug derived from the Cannabis plant. It contains a chemical compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for its mind-altering effects. When consumed, marijuana produces a range of effects, including relaxation, euphoria, altered perception of time and space, increased appetite, and changes in mood and cognition.

According to a 2022 CDC report, 30% of 12th graders reported using marijuana in the past year, with 6% using it daily. Teens who use marijuana may be less likely to graduate from high school or college compared to those who abstain.

The Dangers of Marijuana Use

Teenagers may experiment with marijuana for various reasons, including peer pressure, curiosity, stress relief, and the influence of media and pop culture. Societal attitudes and the legalization of marijuana have contributed to its growing normalization.

Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of marijuana because of ongoing brain development. Regular use of marijuana during adolescence can lead to cognitive impairment, memory problems, and decreased academic performance. Marijuana use has been linked to an increased risk of mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, and psychosis.

person rolling up cannabis

Marijuana Use FAQs

Marijuana is different from cannabidiol (CBD). Marijuana refers to the dried flowers, leaves, stems, and seeds of the cannabis plant. CBD is one of the many compounds, along with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), that can be present in the cannabis plant. CBD does not cause a “high” by itself. CBD can be derived from hemp, which is defined as any part of a cannabis sativa plant with no more than 0.3% of THC, or non-hemp plants.
In 2018, the U.S. Congress passed and signed into law the Agriculture Improvement Act This law removed hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act, effectively legalizing CBD if it comes from hemp.
However, a few states have not removed hemp from their state’s controlled substances acts, so legality of CBD products differs across states.
Marijuana can be used in a number of ways. Marijuana can be smoked in joints (like a cigarette), in blunts (cigars or cigar wrappers that have been partly or completely refilled with marijuana), or in bongs (pipes or water pipes). Marijuana also can be mixed or infused into foods like cookies, cakes, or brownies (called edibles) and can be infused in drinks.
It can be vaped using electronic vaporizing devices (i.e., e-cigarettes or vape pens) or other vaporizers. Compounds (or cannabinoids) in marijuana can also be extracted to make oils and concentrates that can be vaped or inhaled. Smoking oils, concentrates, and extracts from the marijuana plant, known as “dabbing,” is on the rise. Health and safety risks exist for each of the different ways of using marijuana.
Marijuana products that contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can have health risks regardless of how they are used because THC is impairing and can affect memory, attention, decision-making, and risk-taking.
Health and safety risks exist for each of the different ways of consuming marijuana, and scientists do not have enough evidence to say that consuming marijuana in one way is safer than another. For example, smoking marijuana can expose you and those around you to harmful chemicals.
Oils and concentrates used in vaping and dabbing (which is a specific method of inhaling THC concentrates) often have highly concentrated forms of THC and may contain additives or be contaminated with other substances. The effects of using these more concentrated forms of THC are not well understood but may include higher risk of developing cannabis use disorder. Vaping has also been linked to lung injury.
How marijuana affects a person depends on several factors, including:
  • Previous experience with marijuana or other drugs
  • Biology (e.g., genes)
  • Sex (e.g., women may experience more dizziness after using marijuana compared to men)
  • How the drug is taken (e.g., consuming edibles or products with high tetrahydrocannabinol [THC] concentration can have delayed or unpredictable effects and increases the risk of overdose or poisoning)
  • How much of the drug is used
  • How often it is used
  • If it is used in combination with other substances (using marijuana with alcohol or other drugs could lead to increased risk of harm, especially with unknown drug-to-drug interactions)
Yes. Research suggests that 3 in 10 people who use marijuana may have some form of marijuana use disorder, meaning they are unable to stop using marijuana even though it is causing health and social problems in their lives. For people who begin using marijuana before the age of 18 and who use marijuana often (daily/near daily), the risk of developing marijuana use disorder is even greater.
In addition, the concentration or strength of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana products is increasing, and daily or near daily use of marijuana is increasing, both of which could make addiction and other health consequences more likely.

SUDDs is committed to building healthier communities in Downriver, Michigan by empowering our youth to make informed choices. We encourage you to share the information and resources you’ve discovered here with others. If you have any questions or need further assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Talking to Your
Teen About Marijuana

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