Marijuana can cause unpleasant physical and mental effects.
Learn the facts.

Learn the Effects of Marijuana

Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the US. While a majority of Idaho youth don’t believe that marijuana is harmful to their health, there is more research that should be considered before writing off the risks.

Frequently Asked Questions

We encourage you to click through to the linked sources to find more detailed information—so you can make informed decisions about your health.

What happens when you take marijuana?
Your experience taking marijuana can vary depending on the strain of weed and quantity. THC, the key psychoactive component in cannabis, produces a “high.” Common effects include:
  • altered senses, including sense of time
  • changed in mood
  • difficulty with thinking and problem solving
  • impaired memory
  • hallucinations or delusions (when taken in high doses)
Other short-term effects include:
  • inability to focus
  • increased appetite
  • coordination problems
  • sleepiness
  • restlessness
  • rapid heart rate
  • dry mouth and eyes
  • confusion
  • feeling sick or faint
  • anxiety or paranoia
How long does it take for marijuana to leave your system?
This depends on how long much you take and your frequency of use. It’s detectable in the body for 1-30 days, but other tests can detect marijuana after that time period. Marijuana’s effects appear almost immediately after smoking, however, it can take up to 3 hours for effects to peak when weed is ingested. Once the effects are felt, the short term effects can taper off after 1-3 hours.
How does marijuana affect your health?

Frequent marijuana use is associated with an increased risk for lung diseases (such as bronchitis and emphysema) and mental health disorders (such as depression, anxiety, and acute psychosis). Research shows that marijuana negatively affects cognition and suggests that people who use marijuana often experience adverse impacts such as lower academic and career success and difficulty building connections in relationships.

Is it risky driving after you've used marijuana?
According the the CDC, driving while impaired by any substance is dangerous. The delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) contained in marijuana is a psychoactive (mind-altering) compound that affects areas of the brain that control the body’s movements, balance, coordination, memory, and judgment. It can impair coordination, distort perception, and lead to memory loss and difficulty in problem-solving. Specific to driving, THC can slow reaction times and reduce the ability to make decisions.
Studies have shown that the risk of being involved in a crash increases after marijuana use. Still, marijuana’s specific contribution to crash risk is unclear because it can be detected in body fluids for days or even weeks after use.

Not Everyone is doing it.

While it might seem like most teens and young adults use marijuana, that’s not the case. Did you know that according to the Idaho Youth Survey, 88.5% of Idaho youth said that they choose not to use marijuana? That’s a lot different than most teens think! Reach out to your friends at UYLC’s Youth Advisory Board if you have more questions, would like ideas for saying “no” when you feel pressured, and/or want to hang out with people who have fun without using marijuana.

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