Harvard Health Blog

Marijuana: Health effects of recreational and medical use

By: Wynne Armand, M.D., Contributing Editor, Harvard Health Publications Marijuana is widely used, especially in adolescents and young adults. In the US, there are about 20 million users (about 7.5% of people aged 12 or older). Marijuana is a mind-altering (psychoactive) drug. Similar to hemp, it comes from the cannabis plant. The plant’s primary drug effects come from the chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or “THC.” Marijuana is smoked, “vaped” (inhaling the vapor), or ingested in foods…

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