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Marijuana: Frequently Asked Questions

What is marijuana/cannabis?

It is the leaves, flowers and other parts of the cannabis plant that have been prepared for smoking or other consumption by drying and then shredding. The cannabis plant is found around the world. The intoxicating ingredient in cannabis is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Different strains of cannabis and different growing processes result in quite different quantities of THC, from an average of 10% to as much as 33% in some strains grown hydroponically.

How is Marijuana used?

Marijuana is usually made into a hand-rolled cigarette and then smoked, or a cigar can be emptied out and refilled with marijuana. Other drugs or formaldehyde may be added to the cigar before smoking. Some people like to cook marijuana into food, then eat the food. Brownies are a common dish to use for this purpose.

What names might a person use for marijuana?

There are many slang terms for marijuana/cannabis. According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration, these are the terms commonly used for marijuana:

Aunt Mary, BC Bud, Blunts (cigars filled with marijuana), Boom, Chronic, Dope, Gangster, Ganja, Grass, Hash (a particular preparation of marijuana resin), Herb, Hydro, Indo, Joint, Kif, Mary Jane, Mota, Pot, Reefer, Sinsemilla (a particular type of marijuana involving use of only female plants), Skunk (a particular kind of marijuana, often grown hydroponically), Smoke, Weed, Yerb.

How can you tell a person has used marijuana/cannabis?

Physically, they may have red eyes dry mouth and throat, and they may have an increased appetite, particularly for snack foods.

Mentally, they are likely to appear relaxed and euphoric and their time and space perceptions may be inaccurate. They may seem sedated and drowsy. They may have trouble learning and remembering things and be unable to concentrate as well as usual. Sights, sounds, and tastes may seem more vivid to them.

How long does marijuana/cannabis stay in the body?

Traces of marijuana stay in the body for several days after use. If a person has been using marijuana heavily, it sometimes takes weeks for the traces to be eliminated from the body.

Is it dangerous to drive after using marijuana?

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) described the effects of using marijuana related to driving: “The ability to concentrate and maintain attention is decreased during marijuana use, and impairment of hand-eye coordination is dose-related.” In other words, the more marijuana that is used, the less a person is able to drive safely. The NHTSA also noted that sleepiness, distortion of time and distance and loss of coordination could last as long as 24 hours after use. Their conclusions were that low use resulted in moderate impairment of ability to drive but chronic or heavy use or use along with alcohol would result in severe impairment.

Can I overdose on marijuana?

No one has ever died of marijuana overdose by itself. But it is possible to suffer serious effects of too much THC. Cannabis growers continually find ways to increase the THC content of marijuana, so that the average THC content has increased from an average of 4% in 1983 to an average of 10% in 2009. Some strains of cannabis tested much higher. High doses of THC have been shown to result in mental confusion, panic attacks, and hallucination.

Could it make any problems for me as a student if I use marijuana?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse stated that marijuana use harms one’s ability to pay attention and remember what one is learned. In particular, what is damaged is the ability to do complex tasks that require that one focus and concentrate while handling a lot of information. Difficulty thinking and executing problem-solving have also been noted. The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse noted that students with lower grades were far more likely to use marijuana that students with good grades but is it not clear if marijuana was involved in causing those lower grades.

What mental or physical problems can marijuana use cause?

According to the 2011 World Drug Report, cannabis products can produce temporary symptoms of psychosis, loss of ability to learn or remember recent events, reduced ability to carry out certain mental tasks, make certain decisions and pay attention. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that a person who starts using cannabis early and uses heavily could run an increased risk of psychotic disorders. Physically, marijuana smokers have risks similar to those of smokers: bronchitis, emphysema, asthma. Extensive use can cause suppression of the immune system and can increase the risk of cancer to the head, neck, and lungs.

A report in Spain stated that they had found a link between heavy marijuana use and psychosis that starts during adolescence. Researchers ruled out any connection to use of other drugs.

Does marijuana use lead to the use of other, more dangerous drugs?

It has not been determined yet whether or not marijuana use leads to use of other drugs, but studies show that most young people try marijuana first before going on to other drugs. It’s hard to say if they would have done this anyway or if marijuana use got them started using drugs and then it was easier to use other drugs.

Is marijuana addictive?

Long-term use of marijuana can be addictive. This means that the user cannot control his (or her) use of the drug even though there is harm to many aspects of his life. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that 9% of people who use marijuana will become addicted. Statistically, addiction is even more likely for a person who starts using marijuana in his or her teens.

Are there withdrawal symptoms when one comes off heavy marijuana use?

Some people say that there are no withdrawal symptoms after stopping marijuana use because they are not as dramatic as the withdrawal symptoms of alcohol or heroin. But they do exist. Chronic users are likely to experience headaches, shakiness, sweating, stomach pains and nausea. Behaviorally, they are likely to feel restless and irritable, have difficulty sleeping and not have much appetite. They also suffer anxiety and have strong cravings for the drug.

Can marijuana addiction be treated?

Yes, marijuana addiction can successfully be overcome. The Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program has had very good success helping people who became addicted to marijuana or who started using marijuana and then went on to use other drugs.

Answers to frequently asked questions about marijuana, signs of use, whether it is addictive and withdrawal symptoms coming off the drug.

Cannabis Questions Our Budtenders Hear Often

Our budtenders are awesome. Not only are they compassionate people who offer great service to everyone who comes through our doors, but they’re also very knowledgeable about cannabis. Because of this, our customers feel comfortable asking them a variety of cannabis questions. We figure if some people are asking these questions, then there are probably many others who are wondering the same thing. So here’s a roundup of some of the current questions our budtenders are fielding. If you have a cannabis question that didn’t make the list, feel free to ask us on our live chat on the website or to give us a call! And if you have several, we’re offering cannabis consultations.

Questions About CBD

How long do I have to wait until I start to feel the CBD?

One of the amazing things about the cannabis plant is that it affects people differently. If you’re using CBD, you may feel a slight headiness or you may not think you feel anything. Many people notice a difference right away, whether it’s a quieting of their thoughts or the ability to fall asleep more quickly.

Also, it’s important to note that because you may be taking CBD to reduce unpleasant symptoms like anxiety or to get to sleep, you may not feel an effect, per se. Rather, you may notice less anxiety or realize that you’ve been sleeping better.

Many individuals who thought that their CBD wasn’t working found that the negative symptoms they were treating came back when they stopped their CBD usage, indicating that the CBD was actually working.

Will a high CBD tincture come out in my drug test?

Right now, current drug tests only check for THC. However, many high-CBD tinctures may contain some THC. If you’re worried about drug testing at work, make sure to read the label on any products you use to ascertain the percentage of THC in the product. Look for low-to-no THC tinctures and refrain from ingesting or inhaling other cannabis products.

What can I take to help me fall asleep but not get me high?

Many people have turned to CBD for help sleeping because it doesn’t get them high. If you’re interested in trying it, take a CBD product 30-60 minutes before you want to go bed. Start low and go slow, and increase your dose gradually.

We also have a CBD page where you can learn more about this cannabinoid.

General Cannabis Questions

I want to start smoking but is a cartridge better for me than smoking flower in a pipe or joint?

We’re still waiting on researchers to weigh in further here. However, because vaping does not require the combustion of plant matter like smoking flower does, it does appear that vaping may be better for your lungs than smoking. A study from 2007 comparing vaping and smoking seems to say this as well.

One thing we know for sure, though, is that it’s always better to get vape cartridges from a licensed dispensary.

Strain and Product Recommendation Questions

What’s gonna make me feel happy?

Euphoric strains tend to be high in pinene. Dosilato, Melted Gelato, and Pineapple Upside Down Cake are great!

What strains are best for being creative, focused, and productive while working from home in quarantine?

When you want to get work done, consider energizing strains that contain limonene.

Some great strains like Lemon Cake and Lemon Diesel may fit the bill, just don’t take large hits or it won’t matter that these strains are limonene-rich sativas!

What will help me sleep?

Relaxing strains with plenty of linalool and myrcene can help you doze better. Lavender Kush, Gods Gift, and Granddaddy Purple are great strains to start with.

There are also some products formulated for sleep, like Dosist Sleep.

What strains do you recommend for depression?

First, if you’re suffering from severe depression, first check with your doctor whether cannabis is right for you.

If it is, look for uplifting strains with a combination of linalool and pinene, which can have an anti-depressant effect, according to the NIH. Check out Gods Gift or Purple Gorilla.

What strains are best for sex?

While we’re not saying it’s time to tie the knot, why not try some Wedding Cake before jumping in the sack?

What do strains you recommend for anxiety?

If you become anxious or paranoid when using cannabis, make sure you start with a low dose and go slowly. You can also try strains that are lower in THC or that feature a higher CBD percentage. Try Strawberry Cough, Grandaddy Purple, Harlequin, or the classic, Jack Herrer.

What other products do you recommend for anxiety?

CBD products have plenty of anecdotal evidence backing up their use. Tinctures are also great for microdosing throughout the day to help manage anxiety.

You can see which of the above products are in stock and easily order online from our Sherman Oaks dispensary menu.

Budtenders at The Higher Path are always fielding cannabis questions. Here are some answers to the questions they get asked frequently.