What is marijuana?

Marijuana, or weed, contains two main ingredients: THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). People consume weed in different ways: smoke, vape, eat, drink, apply to the skin. Our bodies process weed differently depending on the way it is used. 

What is THC?

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the part of the marijuana plant that causes people to feel high. The THC content in marijuana today is more potent than the weed of the 80’s and 90’s.

What is CBD?

CBD (cannabidiol) is the part of the marijuana plant that does not cause people to feel high. It is thought to provide benefits for reducing pain and inflammation.

What are edibles?

An edible is a food item or beverage baked or mixed with weed. Edibles affect your body differently than smoking weed. When weed is smoked, the THC quickly passes from the lungs to the bloodstream and is carried to the brain and other organs throughout your body. When you eat or drink an edible, your body absorbs it and it can take up to 1-2 hours to feel the effects. This makes edibles risky because too much can be consumed at one time while waiting for the high effect – let alone the THC potency used in making the edible.

If too much of an edible is consumed too fast, the person is at risk for a bad reaction including: poisoning, heart racing, or paranoia. These reactions can be scary. If you think this is happening to someone, call the local Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. 

You Must Be 21

To use, purchase or possess weed you must be 21 years or older. Anyone under 18 caught using weed may be subject to counseling and community service. Even if a friend or family member buys marijuana legally and gives it to you, they could get in trouble with the law for giving it to you.

Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana is legal if you are 18 years or older with a doctor’s recommendation. Like using another’s prescription medication, if you use someone else’s medical marijuana it’s illegal, even if they offer it to you.

Driving High

Contrary to some beliefs, driving high does not make you a better driver. Marijuana can affect your reaction time, body movement, and judgment of time and depth, all things that are necessary to drive and if affected can make it more dangerous for you and other people on the road. For more information on the law, visit http://cannabis.lacounty.gov/.

Signs of Addiction

When does using weed become an addiction? When you use more than you planned to or when you try to quit repeatedly but you can’t stop using weed. When weed becomes a priority over living your life to its fullest potential and it gets in the way of school, sports, extracurricular activities, or your job, that is a sign of addiction. If you or someone you know needs help, call the Los Angeles County Substance Abuse Service Helpline – anytime 24/7 for FREE – at (844) 804-7500 to learn about no-cost treatment services available in Los Angeles County.

Resources