Marijuana Quick Facts
Note: QueerMentalHealth.org takes no position on whether to use marijuana or any other recreational drugs whatsoever. We believe in informed decision making, harm reduction, and support access to accurate information. For this reason, I have taken care to find sources that are relatively free of pro- or anti-drug biases. As usual for the Quick Facts series, all sources are cited at the end of the article.
Marijuana is a street drug which is produced via the preparation of the Cannabis plant. The primary active ingredient is THC, but contains over 60 other cannabinoids as well. Marijuana is typically smoked or otherwise inhaled, or consumed orally. In the US, it is classified as a Schedule I drug.
Other Names: Cannabis
Street Names: Pot, Mary Jane, Weed, Reefer
- Religious/Spiritual experiences
- Relief of nausea
- Pain relief
- Bipolar Disorder (has been reported to be used as a ‘poor man’s mood stabilizer’)
- Stimulation of appetite, especially for chemotherapy & HIV/AIDS patients
- Multiple Sclerosis
Availability: Marijuana is typically obtained through illegal sales. It is available in both unprocessed leaf/flower and resin forms. Alternatively, it can be obtained legally after being prescribed by a doctor in some jurisdictions when used for medicinal purposes. Cannibinoids are also available by prescription in pill form such as Marinol and Nabilone.
Contraindications (note: because marijuana literature is not typically presented in a format suited for pharmaceutical medications, I will attempt my best to follow the standard format we use for our Quick Facts on other drugs):
- History of psychosis
- Dissociative disorders
- Use of psychiatric medication that cause weight gain
- Pregnancy & breastfeeding (THC is passed to the fetus, and through breast milk)
- Respiratory illness
- History of substance abuse
- History of suicidal thoughts/attempts
- Reddened eyes
- Dry mouth
- Changes in temperature sensation
- Increased heart rate
- Muscle relaxation
- Decreased alertness
- Increased appetite
- Altered perception
- Impaired short-term memory
- Cognitive impairment
note: Chemical properties are for THC only
Excreted: Kidneys, Fecal
Half-life: 1.6 – 59 hours
- Lowered mood
- Decreased appetite
Having come across not only hundreds of depersonalisation/derealisation disorder sufferers with whom it got triggered by THC like myself but also psychiatric research which is sparse and under-funded (one of 2 specialised clinics worldwide, in NYC, closed down) there is a need to mention this in the midst of pro-marijuana bias of my generation. I never knew there was such a bias, I only realise it now when I speak of my illness. For most it is hard to get the diagnosis and also hard to find treatment, from sufferers I am yet to hear positive feedback on the new drug. I have researched this for 3 years now and I moderate a community of sufferers.
I wish I had known to avoid THC, I studied psychology and I’d only learned about schizophrenia – one would need a pre-disposition to that or bi-polar to develop either. In our case there is no known way to determine pre-disposition, some have gotten it from their first try and some had been long term smokers with no previous bad reaction. A percentage of sufefrers get it from LSD, psychiatric drugs, ECT, physical trauma, physical trauma but for a big percentage it is completely avoidable.
“Depersonalization can be induced in subjects not suffering from the disorder by means of a pharmacological challenge with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)” and more recent research by the psychiatrists cited established THC as a trigger.