Also known as: Pot, Grass, Joints, Roaches, Reefer, Weed, Mary Jane

You probably know why marijuana is used...

  • Relaxation
  • Euphoria

But did you know that...

  • Marijuana may cause impaired short-term memory, a shortened attention span and delayed reflexes?
  • Marijuana may cause a fast heart rate and pulse?
  • Possession of marijuana is illegal in most states?

Adverse Effects of Marijuana

Could I become chemically dependent on marijuana?

Yes. When you're chemically dependent on marijuana, it means you crave it and you need to take more and more to get the same effect. You may have withdrawal symptoms when you stop using it. Because marijuana is a lot stronger than it used to be, you're also more likely to abuse it and become dependent on it today than in the past.

Is marijuana use associated with other drug use?

Yes. Usually people use legal drugs like alcohol and cigarettes before they start using marijuana. Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal substance in the United States. It's often the first illegal drug used and sometimes leads to the use of other illegal drugs.

What are the common side effects of marijuana use?

Some of the common side effects of marijuana are:

  • Trouble remembering things
  • Sleepiness
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Altered Time Perception

Using marijuana for a long time makes some people lose interest in school, work, relationships and other activities. It may cause legal problems and can be dangerous in certain situations, like driving.

How might marijuana affect me physically?

Some of the common physical effects of marijuana include:

  • Tremors
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Worsening coordination
  • Breathing problems
  • Increased appetite
  • Reduced blood flow to the brain
  • Changes in the reproductive organs

Like tobacco, marijuana contains many chemicals that can hurt the lungs and cause cancer. One marijuana cigarette can cause more damage to the lungs than many tobacco cigarettes, because marijuana has more tar in it and is usually smoked without filters. Unpleasant side effects from marijuana occur in about 40 to 60 percent of people who use marijuana.

Information and Support

If you or someone you know has a drug abuse problem there is help available through the following resources:

Western Colorado University Medical Health Center:  970.943.2707

Western Colorado University Counseling Center:  970.943.2484

Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT):