Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD
Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Marijuana facts
- What is marijuana, and how is it abused?
- What is medical marijuana? How is medical marijuana prescribed?
- What are other names for marijuana?
- What is the history and different types of marijuana?
- Is marijuana addictive?
- What are the psychological and social effects of abusing marijuana?
- What are the physical effects of abusing marijuana?
- What are the treatments for marijuana abuse and addiction?
- Can marijuana abuse and addiction be prevented?
- What is the prognosis of marijuana abuse and addiction?
- Where can people find more information about marijuana abuse and addiction?
What are other names for marijuana?
There are many, many ways of referring to marijuana. The technical term for marijuana is cannabis. Some terms like pot, hemp, herb, reefer, ganja, and weed refer to the substance itself. A higher potency form of marijuana is often called hashish or hash. Other words like joints, blunts, backwoods, buds, or bongs refer to the way that marijuana is smoked. Marijuana is also often smoked in pipes or baked in food, like brownies.
What is the history and different types of marijuana?
The history of marijuana goes back for thousands of years. It was only made illegal in many countries during the 20th century. In the past 20 years in the United States, the legalization pros and cons of medical marijuana have been intensely debated as it has become legal to use it in 20 states and the District of Columbia. In those jurisdictions, people for whom medical marijuana has been specifically recommended by a physician must carry a (medical) marijuana card that indicates their use of the substance for a clear medical purpose. Individuals who do not carry such a card risk prosecution for marijuana possession. Different states that allow for legal use of marijuana have different guidelines for the legality of possessing and using medical marijuana. For example, at least one bans home cultivation, and there are regulations concerning the operations of dispensaries in some states.
Federal laws continue to deem marijuana possession, as well as its distribution, as illegal, whether it is used for medicinal purposes or not. While the prosecution rates of individuals who carry small amounts of the substance along with a medical marijuana card tend to be low, dispensaries in states that have legalized medical marijuana remain criminalized and are therefore often raided by law-enforcement agencies.
Attempts to completely legalize the use of marijuana, whether for medicinal purposes or not, remain strongly contested in most jurisdictions. For example, in 2010, Proposition 19, a measure that would have completely legalized possession and growing marijuana then taxed and regulated its use was defeated in the state of California. However, California already reduced legal sanctions for possessing small amounts of marijuana to the level comparable to the penalty for speeding on a freeway.
There are a variety of marijuana types, also called strains. Strains tend to be based on leaf color as indicated in pictures, as well as the strains' potency and medical purpose. Medical strains of marijuana are specifically grown for a particular health benefit, like pain management or reduction of nausea. Some states place restrictions on the strains of marijuana that may be legally used and sold. Marijuana dispensaries often sell hydroponic marijuana seeds through mail order, which can be grown in nutrient solution, with or without soil.
Next: Is marijuana addictive?
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