According to the 2014 Monitoring the Future Survey:
Over 11% of 8th graders and 35% of 12th graders have tried marijuana in the past year.
Despite becoming legalized/decriminalized in many states, there are still many risks involved with its use.
Marijuana contains delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. When it’s smoked, THC quickly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream. Once it reaches the brain, THC attaches to neurons with specific kinds of receptors called cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are found in parts of the brain that influence thinking, concentration, pleasure, memory, sensory and time perception, and coordinated movement.
It is a common misconception that marijuana cannot be an addictive substance. Estimates from research suggest that about 9 percent of users become addicted to marijuana; this number increases among those who start young (to about 17 percent, or 1 in 6) and among people who use marijuana daily (to 25-50 percent). Individuals who frequently use marijuana have reported withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, sleeplessness, decreased appetite, anxiety, and drug craving.
This is a difficult question to answer, and one on which researchers cannot agree. What we do know is that research suggests that youth and adults who use illicit substances often have their first drug experiences with tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana.
Medical marijuana refers to marijuana being used for the treatment of a medical condition. 23 states have approved marijuana for medical use. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved smoking/consuming marijuana as a medical treatment. Instead, some of the active chemicals in marijuana, cannabinoids, have been approved for two medications. These pill versions of THC have been approved to treat nausea (feeling sick) in cancer patients and to increase appetite in some patients with AIDS. Also, a new product—a mixture of THC and cannabidiol (another chemical found in the marijuana plant)—is available in several countries outside the United States as a mouth spray and is currently being review by the FDA. There is some evidence cannabidiol may be useful in treating seizures in children with severe epilepsy, so a cannabidiol-based drug also is now being studied.
Legalized marijuana is marijuana that is available under state law for recreational or medical use. Some states allow both recreational and medical use, while others only approve medical use. Decriminalized marijuana means there are reduced legal penalties for the consumption or possession of marijuana. For example, in California, possession of marijuana under 1 ounce is punishable by a civil infraction, not jail time.
The answer varies greatly from state to state:
It is important to note that marijuana is still completely prohibited under federal law and is still classified as a Schedule I drug.
Hash, or hashish, is a cannabis product composed of compressed or purified preparations of stalked resin glands, called trichomes. It contains the same active ingredients—such as THC and other cannabinoids—but often in higher concentrations than buds or leaves. Hashish may be solid or resinous depending on the preparation. Hashish can be smoked or orally consumed.
Edibles are food products made with cannabis in herbal or resin form as an ingredient.
If you, or someone you know, have a problem talk to a trusted adult. Seek out local substance abuse treatment centers in your area for further help. A physician or a counselor should be able to assist you in finding treatment centers.