Answers to some of the most pressing marijuana questions.
There’s still a lot we don’t know about the long-term health impacts of vaping. What we do know is that it can have some very serious consequences in the now. Vaping has been linked to hundreds of cases of lung injuries—it’s so bad that some people are ending up hospitalized—and in some extreme cases, people have died. What do the vaping-associated lung injuries look like? You can experience coughing, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, and even fever. Experts are still trying to understand the exact causes, but we can definitively say: Vaping THC, CBD, nicotine, or flavors is not a safe alternative to using other marijuana or tobacco products.
Under 21? It’s illegal to possess or use marijuana unless medically authorized. If you’re caught with marijuana, you can be cited with a Minor in Possession (MIP) offense.
It’s also illegal for anyone, of any age, to:
- Drive while under the influence of marijuana.
- Use marijuana in public places—that means on your campus, in your residence hall, and across all public and private colleges in Washington State.
- Grow marijuana plants unless you’re medically authorized or licensed by the state as a marijuana producer.
In 2016, new laws were created around using marijuana for medical purposes. Doctors can authorize it for a patient if they have a condition that may benefit from the use of marijuana.
Currently, mental health conditions (like depression and anxiety) and learning disabilities do not qualify as one of the authorized conditions.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not recognized or approved marijuana as medicine but has approved two medicines containing synthetic (human-made or not from a plant) marijuana in pill form.
Even though “medical” marijuana may sound safer than “recreational” marijuana, the drug has similar risks and health consequences whether it is used for medical or recreational purposes.
Marijuana has more than 400 chemicals. The two most prominently discussed, studied, and understood chemicals are THC and CBD.
- THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the main active chemical in marijuana and is what causes a person to feel high.
- CBD, or cannabidiol, is the non-psychoactive chemical in marijuana. Overall, we’ll need more research to fully understand all the impacts of CBD.
Washington State has legalized medical marijuana. For some people, marijuana is an effective way to treat or manage a health condition. To learn more about medical marijuana, please talk to your health care provider.
Research shows people can develop a dependence on marijuana. And marijuana is more addictive for teens than adults—one out of every 6 people who try marijuana in their teens will become addicted.
If you feel that you or someone you know has developed a marijuana dependency, the Washington Recovery Help Line is always here to help.
Changes in the way marijuana is grown and processed have dramatically increased its potency over the last 50 years. Marijuana-infused products, such as baked goods and sodas, are often stronger than smoked marijuana. Concentrates, such as hash oil, have the highest amount of THC.