Whether you are already a cannabis user, or you are considering using weed. This article can help you answer some basic questions that you have.

Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, stems, flowers, and seeds from the hemp plant Cannabis Sativa. The main active ingredient in marijuana (or cannabis, weed, pot, Mary Jane) is the mind-altering chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC.

Though its legal use is growing for both recreational and medicinal purposes, marijuana is still the most popular illegal drug used in the United States.

Person holding dried marijuana flowers in hand

Street names of cannabis

There are over 200 slang terms for marijuana, including pot, herb, weed, grass, widow, boom, ganja, hash, Mary Jane, cannabis, bubble gum, northern lights, fruity juice, gangster, Afghani #1, skunk, and chronic.

What marijuana / weed / cannabis looks like

Marijuana looks like a shredded, green-brown mix of plant material.

How cannabis is used (taken)

The most common way to take marijuana is to smoke it. Users will roll it into a cigarette ‘joint’, refill an emptied cigar casing to create a ‘blunt’, or smoke it in a pipe or a water pipe ‘bong’.

A newly popular method of use is smoking or eating different forms of THC-rich resins extracted from the marijuana plant

Cannabis can also be baked into food (edibles), such as brownies, cookies, or candy, or brewed as a tea.

Use and legal status of cannabis

Marijuana is the most common illegal drug used in the United States. According to a national survey on drug use and health from 2016, 44 percent of Americans over the age of 12 have used marijuana.

As of the 2018 midterm elections, 10 states and Washington, DC, have legalized marijuana for recreational use for adults over the age of 21.

Over 30 states have laws on the books legalizing marijuana for medical use only, while several others have only legalized oils with low-THC content. Marijuana is still illegal under federal law.