Pot, dope, weed, Mary Jane, cannabis, ganja, marijuana — all of these are slang terms for the plant that’s been getting a lot of media attention lately. As more and more states legalize marijuana, parents who grew up in an age of total prohibition are struggling to keep up with the changing laws and new products that may fall into their children’s hands.
Don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. This guide to marijuana will give you the words and definitions you need to know so that you can talk with your kids about cannabis.
The Basics: Legal or Illegal?
In 10 states and Washington D.C., Marijuana is legal for persons 21 years and up to use recreationally. In 14 states, it remains outright illegal, and in the rest of the states it is either medicinally allowed and/or decriminalized to a certain extent. Check out the interactive map (link below) to determine how restrictive your state’s laws are on marijuana.
In the cases where the state allows medical marijuana, the age restriction is set at 18 for those with a doctor’s recommendation rather than 21.
CBD is legal in all 50 states.
Parent’s Guide to Marijuana — What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid that is present in cannabis and hemp plants. Scientists have discovered that our bodies contain cannabinoid receptors that affect our appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory.
CBD is extracted from hemp plants and does not contain the psychoactive ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), meaning it does not “make you high” when taken into the body. Still, many parents are hesitant to use or even talk about CBD because it comes from hemp — a certain type of cannabis.
Studies have shown that CBD can have a positive effect on cases of epilepsy, but unfortunately there isn’t much high-quality science on the long-term use of CBD as well as how it interacts with the body. This is because until recently, it was illegal to study cannabis or hemp for medicinal purposes.
That said, you’ll probably be seeing CBD-infused food, drinks, balms, tinctures, and candy making their way through our economy very soon.
CBD is currently advertised as a digestive aid, analgesic, anxiety relief option, cancer inhibitor, and antipsychotic, among other things. These have not yet been proven or disproven by science.
NEXT UP: The stuff that makes you high.
Parent’s Guide to Marijuana — What is THC?
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive lipid found in marijuana plants that makes you high when you smoke it. It induces euphoria, numbs pain, increases appetite, and relieves stress.
THC is federally recognized as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning that it supposedly “has no medical value”; however, the limited science and research on THC has proven that it does have medicinal positives, especially in the case of cancer patients going through chemotherapy, people who have epilepsy, and those with chronic pain.
NEXT UP: Every slang term you needed to know.