DrugFacts: Marijuana | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Photo by NIDA What is marijuana?
Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States.1 Its use is widespread among young people. According to a yearly survey of middle and high school students, rates of marijuana use have steadied in the past few years after several years of increase. However, the number of young people who believe marijuana use is risky is decreasing.2
Cannabis, or marijuana, is one of the oldest psychoactive substances. It is often smoked, brewed or eaten for its medicinal and recreational effects.
Medical marijuana advocates tout the drugs’ ability to soothe nausea and increase appetite, quiet pain, soothe anxiety and even reduce epileptic seizures. However, because research on the drug is so tightly restricted, few studies have tested these medical claims.