Site Navigation

(click here to print this page)

Also Known As: hemp, pot, Mary Jane, reefer, grass, hashish, honey oil, fimble, gallow grass, weed

The active ingredient in Marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), affects the nerve cells in the part of the brain where memories are formed. When a user smokes marijuana, THC goes from the lungs, to the blood, and then to the brain. After THC reaches the brain, it causes the "high" which can happen in a few minutes but last for several hours.

Smoking marijuana can be damaging to the lungs because marijuana users may inhale the smoke deeply and hold it in their lungs as long as possible. Marijuana smoke contains some of the same toxic particles as tobacco-sometimes in higher concentrations. Users will often have reddened eyes.
Long-term marijuana users may develop a psychological dependence on it and eventually require more to get the same high. Another long-term effect can be a loss of motivation and inability to complete projects.

Moderate intoxication may include difficulty concentrating and an inability to accomplish tasks requiring multiple mental steps. Driving may be difficult after smoking marijuana.

High levels of intoxication may include a decrease in motor coordination, muscle strength, and hand steadiness. Other signs include walking as if drunk and slurred speech.

Call Carolinas Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 with questions about an exposure or for more information.

Carolinas Poison Center    P.O. Box 32861    Charlotte  NC    28232-2861    1-800-222-1222  •  © 2015