Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the U.S., although currently, several states have made the use of this drug legal for recreational and medical use. Marijuana, also referred to as “pot,” “hash,” and “weed” is made from the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant, which contains the drug’s main chemical, THC.
Marijuana is typically smoked but can also be consumed via “edibles” such as cookies or pot brownies. Like other drugs, marijuana alters the brain. The chemical, THC, gives the user a high that can heighten senses temporarily, alter mood, and cause impaired memory, mild hallucinations, and even paranoia.
In addition to recreational use, medical marijuana is prescribed by a physician to help control nausea and loss of appetite in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, and as a medicinal aid for people who suffer from chronic pain, anxiety, and epilepsy.