Marijuana is a drug made from the dried leaves of the Cannabis sativa plant. It is usually smoked in the form of a joint pipe, or bong. Marijuana can also be baked into foods like brownies, cookies, cakes and more.
The main active chemical in marijuana is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol).
Marijuana affects your brain and body. When you smoke marijuana, THC quickly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream. The blood carries the THC to the brain and other organs throughout the body. THC binds to specific cells in the brain called cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are found in areas of the brain that affect pleasure, memory, thinking, concentration, sensory and time perception, and movement.
THC attaches to these receptors and activates them. This causes changes in the brain that result in the “high” that people feel when they smoke marijuana. Some of these changes may be permanent, especially if someone uses marijuana at a young age.