When smoked, or consumed in any of the other ways available, marijuana quickly passes into the bloodstream and into the brain. Here the main ingredient of the drug, THC, influences a user’s memory, concentration, thought time and sensory perception as well as their coordination of movement. The drug also produces increased feelings of pleasure and euphoria.

The dried leaves from the hemp plant are generally smoked like a cigarette. The drug can also be smoked in a bong, which is a water-pipe often used for smoking drugs, or in the form of ‘blunts’, which are cigars emptied of their tobacco and refilled with marijuana and other drugs.

Although somewhat less common, the drug is sometimes consumed as a tea, or mixed in food. The drug has many different names on the street.

The short-term effects of marijuana on users often include problems with learning and memory.The drug also can cause the user to experience perception distortion, loss of coordination, increased heart rate and issues with problem solving and thinking. Long-term marijuana use can often lead to changes in the brain, and to addiction.

Individuals who become addicted to marijuana can experience many health issues including lung problems similar to those of cigarette smokers. There is even some evidence that suggests a link between neck and brain cancer and regular marijuana use; on average, marijuana addicts increase their risk of developing cancer by two to three times that of non-users. Marijuana addiction also impairs the body’s immune system, making users more susceptible to illness.