About Marijuana and How It Affects the Body

Cannabis is the general name given to a variety of preparations derived from the plant Cannabis sativa. The main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. Some 400 other chemicals also are in the cannabis plant.

When a person smokes marijuana, THC enters the bloodstream through the walls of the lungs and is taken to the brain. THC is stored in fatty tissues and can be detected in urine for days, weeks, or sometimes months. The effects of marijuana depend on the person, the environment, the potency of the drug, and how long the person has been using the drug. It is possible to become addicted to marijuana and feel dependent on it to get through the day. Each year thousands of people seek help to stop using marijuana.

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