What Is Marijuana? Are There Different Kinds?

It All It's Forms, Marijuana Is a Mind-Altering Drug

What Is Marijuana?
Two rolled marijuana joints. Indiana Prevention Resource Center

Question: What Is Marijuana? Are There Different Kinds?

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

Stronger forms of marijuana include: sinsemilla (sin-seh-me-yah; a Spanish word), hashish ("hash" for short), and hash oil.

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.

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 yummy bears and chocolate bars.

Oils, Sprays and Tinctures

Marijuana oils can be added to all kinds of beverages, from sodas and energy drinks to teas and elixirs.

There are now flavored marijuana sprays that can be sprayed directly under the 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 the tongue to produce a fast-action, intense high. We have come a long way from the day the vast majority of raw marijuana was rolled into joints or stuffed into pipes.

All Forms Are Mind-Alterning

All forms of marijuana are mind-altering. In other words, they change how the brain works.

All forms of marijuana contain THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the main active chemical. They also contain more than 400 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 1970s but has been about the same since the mid-1980s, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Has smoking weed become a problem for you? Take the Marijuana Screening Quiz

Back to: Marijuana FAQ for Teens


National Institute on Drug Abuse. "Want to Know More?- Some FAQs about Marijuana." Marijuana: Facts for Teens Updated October 2013

National Institute on Drug Abuse. "Marijuana." Research Report Series Updated July 2012

The Partnership at DrugFree.org. "Marijuana." Drug Guide. Accessed April 2014.

Continue Reading