Counseling Center

Marijuana: What Is It?

Marijuana is a hemp plant whose biological  name is cannabis sativa. It consists of green, brown, or a grey mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers. 

THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the primary mind-altering ingredient in marijuana.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound in cannabis that has medical effects but does not make people feel “stoned” and can actually counter the psychoactive effects of THC.


How is it used?

  • Smoking – joint, blunt, vaporizer, Dab, spliff, bowl, bong (5-90+% of THC absorbed)
    • When smoked the absorption of THC is rapid – THC is distributed to various organs especially those with high concentrations of fatty material (brain, placenta)
  • Oral – medicinal – Marinol (pill) – effects last longer than smoking
  • Eating – edibles – can be more potent than smoking


What happens when you use marijuana?

  • Behavioral affects occur immediately and last up to 2-3 hours unless more is smoked
  • THC is stored in body fat from which it is slowly released – users with more body fat tend to get “higher” faster on subsequent uses


 Frequency of Use

  • Infrequent smokers - < 2x per week, urine samples positive for 3-7 days
  • Regular smokers – 2-5x per week, urine positive for 7-21 days
  • Chronic smokers – daily, urine positive for 30+ days


*Disclaimer: This information is meant to provide education about substance use. The content of these webpages is not meant to replace therapy and is not considered mental health treatment. If you are in crisis or find yourself needing more support please call the UToledo Counseling Center at 419-530-2426 or dial 9-1-1 if it is an emergency.



Last Updated: 6/27/22