Marijuana Use Disorder/Cannabis Use Disorder

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Cannabis with flowers at sunset

Marijuana—also known as cannabis, weed, pot, or dope—refers to the dried flowers, leaves, stems, and seeds of the cannabis plant. The cannabis plant contains more than 100 compounds (or cannabinoids).

One study estimated that approximately 3 in 10 people who use marijuana have marijuana use disorder, meaning that they are unable to stop using marijuana even though it is causing health and/or social problems in their lives.

While more research is needed to fully understand some of the effects of marijuana, we know marijuana use may have a wide range of health effects on the brain and body.

Quiz

Key Facts

  • Marijuana is the most commonly used federally illegal drug in the United States.
  • One study estimated that approximately 3 in 10 people who use marijuana have marijuana use disorder.
  • Marijuana use can lead to increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and other vascular diseases.
  • Marijuana use has been associated with increased risk of psychosis.
  • Using marijuana during pregnancy may increase a person’s risk for pregnancy complications.

Media

Large drop on the edge of hemp leaf
Marijuana and Health

Although marijuana is legal in some states for medical and non-medical adult use, this does not mean it is safe. Scientists are still learning about the health effects and the potential health benefits of using marijuana.

Doctor placing stethoscope on pregnant woman's belly
Pregnancy

Using marijuana during pregnancy may affect your baby’s development and put you at risk of pregnancy complications. If you are using marijuana and are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding, talk to your doctor.

Hands on steering wheel in rush hour traffic
Driving

After alcohol, marijuana is the substance most often associated with impaired driving. Driving is a complex task that requires your full attention to stay safe and alert. Marijuana affects areas of the brain that control your body’s movements, balance, coordination, memory, and judgment.

CBD hemp oil dripping into vial
Cannabidiol (CBD)

Scientists are still learning about how cannabidiol (CBD) affects the body. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex, a safe and effective medicine that contains purified CBD from cannabis plants, to help treat seizure disorders. However, other marketed uses of CBD may not be FDA approved.

Prevention Tips

  • Persons who are pregnant or breastfeeding are encouraged to avoid using marijuana. Chemicals from marijuana can be passed to a baby during pregnancy or through breast milk.
  • If you use marijuana products, keep them in a locked childproof container and out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Always talk with your doctor about any medications you are taking or thinking about taking and the possible side effects when mixed with other things, such as marijuana.
  • You can choose not to drive—and remind your friends and family to do the same—after using marijuana.
  • If you or someone you know is showing signs that might suggest they have used too much marijuana, call Poison Control at: at 1-800-222-1222. In case of emergency, call 9-1-1.
Page last reviewed: April 13, 2022