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The Different Forms of Marijuana

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Andrea Rice is an award-winning journalist and a freelance writer, editor, and fact checker specializing in health and wellness.

Marijuana is a product of the hemp plant (cannabis sativa) and appears as a green, brown, or gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers.

Stronger forms of marijuana include sinsemilla (sin-seh-me-yah, a Spanish word for “without seeds”), hashish (“hash” for short), and resins like hash oil, wax (similar to lip balm), and shatter (an amber colored solid), which contain high doses of the active ingredients.

You may hear marijuana called by street names such as pot, herb, weed, grass, boom, Mary Jane, gangster, or chronic. There are more than 1,200 slang terms for marijuana.

Other Forms of Marijuana

With the advent of legalized marijuana for medical and recreational purposes in some states has come the development of other types of products that contain marijuana. Some people vaporize it with a vape pen, while others may still smoke marijuana out of pipes and bubblers or roll joints, spliffs, and cigars (called blunts).

There are edible marijuana products with marijuana or marijuana oils cooked into or infused into them. Marijuana oil is used to produce all kinds of edible products from cookies and cakes to gummy bears and chocolate bars. Marijuana oils can be added to all kinds of beverages, from sodas and energy drinks to teas and elixirs.

Sprays, and Tinctures

There are also flavored marijuana sprays that can be sprayed directly under your tongue for a quick high, or sprayed on marijuana joints and blunts.

Marijuana tinctures—marijuana in a solution of alcohol—can also be used under your tongue to produce a fast-action, intense high.

We have come a long way from the day when the vast majority of raw marijuana was rolled into joints or stuffed into pipes.

All Forms Are Mind-Altering

All forms of marijuana are mind-altering. In other words, they change how your brain works by attaching to molecules on the brain and activating them, typically creating the effects of euphoria, relaxation, and a sharper perception of things like colors, smells, and sounds.   For some people, the effects are unpleasant and may result in paranoia, fear, panic, or anxiety.

All forms of marijuana also contain delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main active chemical, as well as more than 500 other chemicals.   Marijuana’s effects on the user depend on the strength or potency of the THC it contains.

The potency of marijuana has increased since the early 1990s when the THC content was less than 4%. In 2018, potency was around 15%, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.  

Marijuana Use Disorder

Like any substance, using marijuana can lead to a marijuana use disorder, which may involve dependence or addiction. In fact, ​recent research shows that 30% of people who use marijuana may have some sort of marijuana use disorder.  

You feel withdrawal symptoms when not using, including irritability, feeling restless, craving marijuana, decreased appetite, trouble sleeping.

You are unable to stop using marijuana, even if it interferes with your social, family, work or school, or financial life.

If you think you may have a marijuana use disorder, it’s important to seek help from a healthcare provider.

Marijuana in its basic form is a green, brown, or gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the cannabis plant.

Marijuana Research Report
What is marijuana?

Marijuana—also called weed, herb, pot, grass, bud, ganja, Mary Jane, and a vast number of other slang terms—is a greenish-gray mixture of the dried flowers of Cannabis sativa. Some people smoke marijuana in hand-rolled cigarettes called joints; in pipes, water pipes (sometimes called bongs), or in blunts (marijuana rolled in cigar wraps). 1 Marijuana can also be used to brew tea and, particularly when it is sold or consumed for medicinal purposes, is frequently mixed into foods (edibles) such as brownies, cookies, or candies. Vaporizers are also increasingly used to consume marijuana. Stronger forms of marijuana include sinsemilla (from specially tended female plants) and concentrated resins containing high doses of marijuana’s active ingredients, including honeylike hash oil, waxy budder, and hard amberlike shatter. These resins are increasingly popular among those who use them both recreationally and medically.

The main psychoactive(mind-altering) chemical in marijuana, responsible for most of the intoxicating effects that people seek, is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The chemical is found in resin produced by the leaves and buds primarily of the female cannabis plant. The plant also contains more than 500 other chemicals, including more than 100 compounds that are chemically related to THC, called cannabinoids. 2

Marijuana-also called weed, herb, pot, grass, bud, ganja, Mary Jane, and a vast number of other slang terms-is a greenish-gray mixture of the dried flowers of Cannabis sativa. ]]>