What is Marijuana & How is it Consumed


What is Marijuana


Marijuana (also known as weed or pot) refers to the dried leaves and flowering tops of the hemp plant. Marijuana contains two main chemicals: THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). People consume marijuana for pain relief and/or intoxication by smoking, vaping, eating, drinking, or applying it to the skin. 


THC is the chemical in marijuana that causes a person to feel high. Over the last two decades the potency of THC has increased, which increases the risk of addiction and a chance of a bad reaction. 


CBD 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. 

Understanding Potency

The amount of THC in marijuana determines the strength of the high. The higher level of THC the more you will feel affected by the drug. Marijuana products must be labeled to indicate how much THC and CBD they contain. It is important to understand how a change in potency can affect your mind and body. Also, the higher the potency, the higher the risk of addiction and a bad reaction. 

Methods of Consumption

There are many ways to use marijuana, and each affects users differently. The most important thing is to understand how much cannabis you’re using, so you don’t accidentally take too much at once. Start low and go slow!


Smoking is the most common method of use, usually via a joint, pipe or bong.


Vaporizers are used to heat marijuana, which releases its active THC. Then users inhale the vapor. Keep in mind that the high from vaping can be very different than the one from smoking. More research needs to be done on the long-term effects of vaping. However, we do know that the aerosol from e-cigarettes can be harmful.

Dabbing/Hash Oil

THC extract from marijuana, also called hash oil, can contain up to 60-80% THC and may take effect very quickly. When dabbing, the oil is heated and the vapor is inhaled. Few, if any, studies have been done on the safety of dabbing.


Edibles include any food or beverage with marijuana baked or mixed into them. The most common mistake when trying edibles for the first time is consuming more than intended when the effects don’t immediately kick in. It can take hours to feel the effects of edibles so it is important to wait before consuming more.  A serving size is 10 mg, so don’t start with more than that. Start low and go slow. 


People seeking relief for localized pain and inflammation sometimes turn to infused lotions, salves and balms. These products do not cause the user to feel high.