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Marijuana is the dried flowers, leaves, stems, and seeds of the cannabis plant. The cannabis plant has over 100 cannabinoids including THC and CBD. THC causes the ‘high’. The 2021/2022 Michigan Profile for Healthy Youth (MPFHY) report showed 12% of West Michigan students used marijuana in the past 30 days.

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Why it's dangerous

  • Health risks caused by using marijuana may include increased heart rate and blood pressure and a greater chance of bronchitis, respiratory infections, or lung cancer, hallucinations, and paranoia.
  • Marijuana smoke deposits four times more tar in the lungs and contains 50-70% more cancer-causing substances than tobacco smoke.
  • The National Institute of Health states that regular marijuana use can reduce IQ by 8 points and may be permanent.
  • The risk of schizophrenia and psychosis increases with the frequency of use and potency.
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Fast Facts

  • • Marijuana plants contain greater than 0.3% THC while hemp plants have less than 0.3% THC.
  • • Ways teens use marijuana: smoking, dabbing, edibles, vaping, and in beverages.
  • • Edibles (foods and drinks with marijuana) include a greater risk of poisoning compared to smoking marijuana.
  • • The effects of smoking or vaping marijuana begin after a few minutes. It can take 1-3 hours after eating marijuana to start feeling its effects.
  • • Mixing marijuana and alcohol may increase the risk for nausea, vomiting, panic attacks, anxiety, and paranoia.
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With cannabis dispensaries popping up nearly everywhere, the perception of marijuana’s harmful impacts on teens/adolescents seems to have waned. But make no mistake, marijuana use during adolescence and young adulthood may harm the developing brain. Negative effects could include:

• Trouble thinking and problem-solving
• Problems with memory and learning
• Reduced coordination
• Trouble maintaining attention
• Problems with school and social life

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Q: Is marijuana more potent now than it was in the 1960s and 1970s?

A: The amount of THC in marijuana has increased in recent decades. In the past, marijuana contained 2-5% THC. Now it has 15-30% THC and sometimes more. New products like wax and shatter can be 60-99% pure THC. Oils that can be vaped or put into edibles can be 80-99% pure THC.

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A: Concentrates are made by extracting THC from marijuana using solvents like butane. The resulting product is a sticky or wax-like mass (looks like honey, butter, or ear wax) or has a brittle consistency. These products can have potencies of 40- 80% THC. The high can last up to 24 hours.

Q: What are marijuana concentrates?

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Q: Is it safe to drive after using marijuana?

A: Marijuana affects areas of the brain that control your body’s movements, coordination, memory, and judgment. It may slow reaction time, impair judgment, and distort perception, all of which are important skills needed for safe driving.

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A: 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 causes them health and social problems. Using marijuana before the age of 18 or daily/near daily increases the risk of developing a marijuana use disorder.

Q: Is it possible for someone to become addicted to marijuana?

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