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Question: What is Marijuana?
Answer: The term 'marijuana' refers to the leaves and flowering tops of the cannabis plant. Marijuana is a tobaccolike substance produced by drying the leaves and flowering tops of the cannabis plant. Marijuana contains a natural chemical called THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) which gives users of the drug a 'high' when smoked. Marijuana leaves are usually smoked in the form of loosely rolled cigarettes called joints or cigars called blunts.
A number of other drugs including phencyclidine (PCP) may be used in making joints and blunts, substantially altering their effects and deadliness. Some common names for marijuana include pot, grass, weed, mary jane, acupulco gold, and reefer.
Marijuana users experience the same health problems as tobacco smokers, such as bronchitis, emphysema, and bronchial asthma. Some of the effects of marijuana use also include increased heart rate, dryness of the mouth, reddening of the eyes, impaired motor skills and concentration, and frequent hunger. Extended use increases risk to the lungs and reproductive system, as well as suppression of the immune system. Occasionally, hallucinations, fantasies, and paranoia are reported.
(Source: U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration information page about Marijuana http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/concern/marijuana.htm)