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National Institute on Drug Abuse


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Q: How is marijuana used?

A: Marijuana is usually smoked as a cigarette (called a joint or a nail) or in a pipe or a bong.

Recently, it has appeared in cigars called blunts which are larger and, therefore, more dangerous.


Q: How long does marijuana stay in the user's body?

A: THC in marijuana is strongly absorbed by fatty tissues in various organs. Generally, traces (metabolites) of THC can be detected by standard urine testing methods several days after a smoking session. However, in heavy chronic users, traces can sometimes be detected for weeks after they have stopped using marijuana.


Q: How many teens smoke marijuana?

A: Contrary to popular belief most teenagers have not used marijuana and never will. Among students surveyed in a yearly national survey, about one in six 10th graders report they are current marijuana users (that is, used marijuana within the past month). Fewer than one in five high school seniors are current marijuana users.


Q: Why do young people use marijuana?

A: There are many reasons why some children and young teens start using marijuana. Most young people use marijuana because they have friends or brothers and sisters who use marijuana and pressure them to try it. Some young people use it because they see older people in the family using it.

Other users may think it's cool to use marijuana because they hear about it in music and see it used in TV and movies.

But no matter how many shirts and caps you see printed with the marijuana leaf, or how many groups sing about it, you should know this fact: You don't have to use marijuana just because you think everybody else is doing it. Most teens (four out of five) do not use marijuana!



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