Need information? Help is close at hand. Check out our Marijuana-Cannabis info below for an in-depth look at this drug.
Commercial and Street Names for Marijuana
Marijuana, Aunt Mary, boom, chronic (Marijuana alone or with crack), dope, joint, blunts, gangster, ganja, grass, hash, herb, kif, Mary Jane, pot, reefer, sinsemilla, skunk, weed.
The White House has an additional list of street terms for marijuana.
Commercial and Street Names for Hashish
Hashish or hash oil – Hash, oil, honey oil, soles, quarter moon, black hash (opium mixed with hashish), Black Russian (opium mixed with hashish)
Description of Cannabis (Marijuana and Hashish)
Hashish is a reddish brown or black coloured THC-rich resinous material of the cannabis plant. Hashish is collected, dried, and then compressed into a variety of forms such as balls, cakes, or cookie-like sheets. Hash oil is the refined extract of the cannabis plant. Hash oil varies in colour from amber to dark green or brown.
A bud of marijuana.
Hash oil applied to rolling paper and rolled with tobacco (or marijuana).
Chunks of hashish stored in a “stash box.”
Blunts are flavoured, prefabricated hollow tobacco leaves that are stuffed with marijuana then smoked.
A joint of marijuana.
Various pipes (from left to right) for the smoking of pot or hash made from ceramic, glass and metal. The ceramic pipe that resembles a cigarette is a type of pipe (often called a “one-hitter,” or “hitter”) that is used when smoking pot in public.
More pipes (from left to right) for the smoking of pot include a glass “bong,” a glass “chillum,” and a converted pop can.
Smoke shops sell many products disguised as consumer products designed to conceal (i.e. pop can with inside storage) or consume (i.e. highlighter that doubles as a pot pipe) drugs.
Effects of Cannabis (Marijuana and Hashish)
Problems with memory and learning, distorted perception (sights, sounds, time, touch), trouble with thinking and problem solving, loss of motor coordination, increased heart rate, and anxiety. These effects are even greater when other drugs are mixed with marijuana. A user may also experience dry mouth and throat. Studies have shown that a single marijuana joint can cause more damage than 2.5 to five cigarettes and result in chronic bronchitis and airflow obstruction. The increased damage may be explained, in part, by the different characteristics of the cannabis joint and the way it is smoked. Cannabis is usually smoked without a filter and to a shorter butt length (see “roach” below), while the smoke temperature is higher. Furthermore, cannabis smokers typically inhale more deeply and hold their breath longer.
Source: Aldington S, et al. “Effects of cannabis on pulmonary structure, function and symptoms,” Thorax Online, June 2007.
Marijuana is typically smoked. Most users roll marijuana into a cigarette called a “joint.” Marijuana can also be smoked in a bong, a chillum, or a blunt: a pre-made, hollow tobacco leaf product with a prefabricated filter on one end. These products are commonly sold in tobacco shops across North America.
Other cannabis paraphernalia include rolling papers (Zig Zag brand), scissors (look for sticky resin on scissor blade from chopping marijuana), herb grinders (to break up the marijuana bud so it can be rolled into a joint), roach clips (small alligator clips to hold the joint butt to prevent finger burns), and film canisters (used to keep marijuana and hash moist and conceal the smell). Smoke shops sell a variety of storage devices and pipes that are disguised as regular household items and food products.
Hashish pieces are broken off, placed in a metal or glass pot pipe and smoked. Alternatively, hash may be smoked by heating two table knives until they are red hot then squeezing the hash between the two knives (look for black burn marks) and inhaling the smoke through a plastic pop bottle with the bottom removed. Many of the same methods used to smoke marijuana can also be applied to hash. Hashish is sometimes mixed into food, most commonly as “hash brownies.”
Hash oil is mixed with tobacco or marijuana as a joint and smoked or applied directly to a glass pipe and smoked. Hash oil is typically packaged in small glass vials. With the increase in the THC content of marijuana, the demand for hashish and hash oil has diminished.
General Reading on Marijuana and Cannabis
Cannabis(2002) is an illustrated guide to all the ways marijuana affects the lives of the user and nonuser alike. Jonathon Green
Cannabis Culture: A Journey Through Disputed Territory (2003) examines the drug and the new cannabis culture – connoisseurs, criminals, and cultivators. Patrick Matthews
The Emperor Wears No Clothes: Hemp and the Marijuana Conspiracy (1998) documents how the petrochemical industry has plotted to outlaw hemp as a renewable source of paper, energy, food, textiles, and medicine. Jack Herer, Leslie Cabarga.
Marijuana Reconsidered (1994) an American psychiatrist reviews the history and literature of marijuana use, among other topics. Lester Greenspoon
Marijuana (1993) Sandra Lee Smith Rosen Publishing Group
Marijuana (1999) talks about the debate on marijuana. William Dudley
Marijuana(2005) describes what marijuana is and its physical effects, and marijuana legislation. Jane Bingham
Marijuana (2004) Stephen Keeler and Sarah Lennard-Brown
Marijuana (1986) is a general history of marijuana use, side effects, and the debate on decriminalization. Eve and Albert Stwertka
Marijuana(2007) provides objective overviews, primary sources, and full colour illustrations examining the conflict concerning the drug’s effect on our society. Andrea C. Nakaya
Marijuana (1987) examines the effects of marijuana use. Martin Godfrey
Marijuana (2001) is a collection of essays on the controversial plant. Louise I. Gerdes
Marijuana (2007) Joseph C. Tardiff
Marijuana (2007) contains a collection of articles with opinions from both sides of the marijuana debate. Christine Van Tuyl
Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (1989) assesses alternative ways of enforcing marijuana laws at the federal level. Mark Kleiman
Marijuana: Its Effects on Mind & Body (1989) examines the scientific, social, and personal aspects of marijuana, history, etc. Miriam Cohen, Solomon H. Snyder, and Barry L. Jacobs
Orgies of the Hemp Eaters: Cuisine, Slang, Literature and Ritual of Cannabis Culture (2005) details encounters with indigenous peoples who use hemp and cannabis. Hakim Bey and Abel Zug
Understanding Marijuana: A New Look at the Scientific Evidence (2005) is a comprehensive review of the marijuana literature ranging from historical origins of marijuana to prevention and treatment of marijuana problems. Mitch Earleywine
Printed Resources – Crime and Marijuana
Smoke Screen: A True Adventure (2002) recounts the exploits of infamous 1970s marijuana smuggler Allen Long. Robert Sabbag
Printed Resources – Drug Policy and Marijuana
After Prohibition: An Adult Approach to Drug Policies in the 21st Century (2000) claims that drug prohibition has proven to be a costly failure. Timothy Lynch
Cannabis Use and Dependence: Public Health and Public Policy(2003)explores the relationship between health policy, public health and the law regarding cannabis use. Wayne Hall, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula.
Drug Legalization: For and Against (Vol. 1) (1999) is a compilation of articles on both sides of the marijuana legalization debate. Irwin Berent
Drugs: Should we Legalize, Decriminalize or Deregulate? (Contemporary Issues)(1998) examines the ethical, economic, political, sociological, anthropological, and philosophical issues involved in the debate over US drug control laws. Jeffrey A. Schaler
Legalize It?: Debating American Drug Policy (American University Press Public Policy)(1993) is examination of the connection between drugs and crime and other issues. Arnold S. Trebach
The Legalization of Drugs (For and Against)(2005) clarifies the meaning between legalization and decriminalization of drugs and argues that prohibition of heroin is necessary, especially from youth. Doug Husak, Peter De Marneffe.
Legalizing Marijuana: Drug Policy Reform and Prohibition Politics (2004) is a condemnation of the US campaign against marijuana. Rudolph J Gerber
Legalize This!: The Case for Decriminalizing Drugs (2002) describes the financial consequences and human cost of the current US drug policy. Douglas N. Husak
Marijuana Alert (1984) is a pro-enforcement perspective with a forward by Nancy Reagan. Peggy Mann
Marijuana Conviction: A History of Marijuana Prohibition in the United States (1999) is a history of marijuana use and prohibition in the US. Dana L. Farnsworth, Richard J. Bonnie, and Charles H., II Whitebread
Marijuana Law (1997) explains how the rights guaranteed by the US Constitution have been violated with regard to the use of illicit drugs such marijuana. Richard Glen Boire
Marijuana Myths Marijuana Facts: A Review of the Scientific Evidence (1997) dispels some of the myths perpetrated by the government to curtail demand for marijuana. Lynn Etta Zimmer, John P. Morgan (*)
(*) Note: For an online video on this book see the Interview with John P. Morgan.
Marijuana Smokers (1970) is a pro-legalization effort that explains the need to end the war on marijuana. Erich Goode
Our Right to Drugs: The Case for a Free Market (1996) stresses the consequences of the government’s attempt to protect the public from “misbranded” drugs in the early part of the century to the protection of people from drug abuse in the latter half. Thomas Stephen Szasz
Reefer Warrior: How My Friends And I Found Adventure, Wealth, And Romance Smuggling Marijuana — Until We All Went To Jail (1998) is the story of how a Vietnam War air pilot smuggled dope from Colombia in the late 1960s and 1970s. K. Hawkeye Gross
Why Marijuana Should be Legal(2003) Ed Rosenthal and Steve Kubby
For more information on drug policy see the Drug Policy section.
Printed Resources – Drug Testing and Marijuana
Cannabis: Physiopathology, Epidemiology, Detection: from the Proceedings of the Second International Colloquium of the Physiopathology of Cannabis and the Detection of Illicit Drugs (1992) Gabriel G. Nahas, Colette Latour.
For more information on drug testing see the Workplace Substance Abuse section.
Printed Resources – Dual Diagnosis and Marijuana
Dual diagnosis is the co-existence of addiction and mental illness.
Marijuana and Madness: Psychiatry and Neurobiology(2004) examines the links between the use of marijuana and the onset of mental illness, particularly schizophrenia. David J. Castle, Robin Murray.
For more information on co-occurring addiction and mental illness see the Dual Diagnosis section.
Printed Resources – The Economy and Marijuana
Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market (2003) shows the workings of the shadow economy by focusing on marijuana, one of the nation’s largest cash crops. Eric Schlosser
Printed Resources – History of Marijuana
Cannabis: A History (2005) chronicles the fascinating and often mystifying process through which cannabis became outlawed throughout the Western world and why decriminalization remains one of the century’s hottest topics. Martin Booth
Reefer Madness: The History of Marijuana in America(1998) beginning with the hemp farming of George Washington, the author traces the fascinating story of America’s love/hate relationship with marijuana. Larry Sloman
Printed Resources – Medical Marijuana and Cannabis
Cannabis and Cannabinoids: Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutic Potential(2002) presents a comprehensive description of the state of the art of medicinal cannabis. Franjo Grotenhermen, Ethan Russo.
Cannabis in Medical Practice: A Legal, Historical and Pharmacological Overview of the Therapeutic Use of Marijuana(1997) provides nonpoliticized information on the therapeutic uses of cannabis by medical, legal and scientific professionals. Mary Lynn Mathre.
Cannabis Therapeutics in HIV/AIDS(2002) explores the controversial subject of cannabis therapeutics for HIV/AIDS patients. Ethan Russo.
The Healing Magic of Cannabis(1998) discusses the use of marijuana in the treatment of back pain, arthritis, insomnia, epilepsy, and AIDS, and tells how to make tinctures and topical applications. Beverly Potter, Sebastian Orfali, Dan Joy.
Marijuana, the Forbidden Medicine(1997) describes the medical benefits of marijuana, explains why its use has been forbidden, and argues for its full legalization to make it available to all patients who need it. Lester Grinspoon, James B. Bakalar.
Marijuana and Medicine (1999)is a critical review of the pharmacological and molecular basis of the therapeutic properties of marijuana and its active ingredient, THC. Gabriel G. Nahas, Kenneth M. Sutin, Stig Agurell.
Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base (2001) summarizes what we know about marijuana from evidence-based medicine. National Research Council, Institute of Medicine, and Janet Joy.
Marijuana as Medicine?: The Science Beyond the Controversy(2001) filling the gap between literature that is simply argues for or against medical marijuana, this book extracts critical findings from a recent Institute of Medicine study and interprets them for a general audience. Alison Mack, Janet Joy.
Is Marijuana the Right Medicine for You?: A Factual Guide to Medical Uses of Marijuana(1998) has the findings of three doctors who describe each type of condition that marijuana can alleviate. Explains recent scientific research, and provides practical information on the best ways to take it. Bill Zimmerman, Nancy Crumpacker, Rick Bayer.
Marijuana Rx: The Patients’ Fight for Medicinal Pot (1998) recounts the legal battles, government “shell games,” and individual tragedies that have marked the long and ongoing struggle for legalization for medicinal use. Robert C. Randall, Alice M. O’Leary
The Medicinal Uses of Cannabis and Cannabinoids (2004) describes current research findings relating to the medicinal use of cannabis and cannabinoids including the pharmacology, formulation, safety and efficacy of cannabis as a therapeutic agent. Geoffrey William Guy, Brian Anthony Whittle, Philip Robson.
Therapeutic Uses of Cannabis (1998) reviews the rationale behind the 1997 resolution of the British Medical Association to advocate for the legalization of certain cannabinoids for medicinal use. British Medical Association.
Women and Cannabis: Medicine, Science, and Sociology(2003) examines the therapeutic role of medical marijuana in women’s medicine and its implications for fertility and maternal/child health. Jan Lynn Howells, Ethan Russo, Melanie Creagan Dreher, Mary Lynn Mathre.
Printed Resources – Parenting and Marijuana
Marijuana – What’s a Parent to Believe? (2003) helps parents sort through the latest facts, the known risks, etc. Timmen L. Cermak
For more information on parenting see the Help for Parents & Teens section.
Printed Resources – Research and Marijuana
Cannabinoids(2004) describes some of the breakthroughs of cannabinoid research over the last 2-3 decades. Includes the major families of phytocannabinoids, the endocannabinoid system, and the therapeutic use of agonists and antagonists of cannabinoid receptors. Vincenzo Di Marzo.
Cannabinoids(2005) provides current knowledge about the pharmacology and therapeutic potential of cannabinoids as well as knowledge about the pharmacology, physiology, and pathology of the endogenous cannabinoid systems. Mary Ellen Abood, Roger G. Pertwee.
Cannabinoids as Therapeutics (2005) concentrates on the physiological effects and therapeutic use of cannabinoids and the diseases it purports to treat (e.g. multiple sclerosis). The volume editor Prof. Mechoulam was the first who isolated the prime active constituent (THC, Tetrahydrocannabiol) of marijuana. Raphael Mechoulam.
Cannabis and Cognitive Functioning (1998) provides an extensive and comprehensive critical review of the literature relevant to cannabis and cognitive functioning., examining the evidence from the pharmacology and neuropsychology of cannabis. Nadia Solowij.
Cannabis Dependence: Its Nature, Consequences, and Treatment (2006) is a state-of-the-science review that begins with an historical examination and moves into diagnosis, classification, epidemiology, public health, policy, issues relating to regulation and prohibition, and evidence-based interventions. Roger A. Roffman, G. Alan Marlatt, Robert S. Stephens.
Cannabis: From Pariah to Prescription(2004) reviews the latest research from recent clinical trials with cannabis and cannabinoids outlining their place and future as prescription medicines. Ethan Russo.
Cannabis: The Genus Cannabis (1998) includes information on the history, ethnobotany, chemistry and analysis, cultivation and processing of cannabis. Developments in cannabinoid pharmacology research and receptor theory are also discussed. David T. Brown.
Endocannabinoids: The Brain and Body’s Marijuana and Beyond(2005) presents advances in the discovery and existence of naturally occurring marijuana-like substances in the human body. Emmanuel S. Onaivi, Takayuki Sugiura, Vincenzo Di Marzo.
The Science of Marijuana (2000) discusses the discovery of specific receptors and the existence of naturally occurring cannabis-like substances in the brain. Leslie L. Iversen
For more information on research see the Addiction Research section.
Printed Resources – Teens and Marijuana
Cannabis and Young People: Reviewing the Evidence(2006) investigates whether marijuana poses serious risks to mental health, whether adolescent use leads to psychotic illness in young adulthood, or that it acts as a gateway to hard drugs such as cocaine or opiates, etc. Richard Jenkins.
For more information on teens see the Help for Parents & Teens Section.
Printed Resources – Treatment for Marijuana Addiction
The Official Patient’s Sourcebook on Marijuana Dependence: A Revised and Updated Directory for the Internet Age (2005) is for patients who have decided to make education and Internet-based research an integral part of the treatment process. Also useful for health professionals. Icon Health Publications
Websites Specific to Marijuana
Online Resources – General Information on Marijuana
The Basics: Cannabis (February 2005) is a 2-page document that highlights marijuana information including effects of marijuana. Addiction Foundation of Manitoba (AFM).
Beyond the ABCs: Cannabis (Marijuana) (2004) is information for professionals including cannabis and the law in Canada. Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (AADAC).
Cannabis: Answers to Your Questions (March 2006) National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales.
Cannabis FAQs Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA).
FACT Sheet (2001) Prevention Source BC.
Online Resources – Corrections and Marijuana
Who’s Really in Prison for Marijuana?is a report which de-bunks the myth that our prisons are filled with low-level, non-violent marijuana users. Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Online Resources – Drug Policy and Marijuana
Cannabis Control in Canada: Options Regarding Possession (May 1998) focuses on the legislative options regarding cannabis possession. Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.
Frank Discussion is dedicated to reforming Canada’s marijuana laws.
Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States.
The Marijuana Smokers (1970) is a book provided online that is pro-legalization. Erich Goode.
Online Resources – Dual Diagnosis and Marijuana
Cannabis and Mental Health: Responses to the Emerging Evidence (April 2006) shows increasing apprehension about the role of marijuana in triggering or exacerbating mental health problems, or of inhibiting young people’s emotional or social development. The Beckley Foundation Drug Policy Programme.
For more information on combined mental health and addiction see the Dual Diagnosis section.
Online Resources – Impaired Driving and Marijuana
Cannabis & Driving FAQs provides current objective information to guide the discussion of the decriminalization of cannabis for personal, non-medical use in Canada and the public policy issues relating to driving under the influence of cannabis. Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA).
Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis (December 2006) is based on the 2004 Canadian Addiction Survey (CAS) and shows driving after using cannabis has increased. Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA).
Marijuana – Drugs and Human Performance Fact Sheets is a detailed fact sheet on effects of marijuana use, particularly on performance and driving. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Online Resources – Medical Consequences of Marijuana
Research Report Series – Marijuana Abuse(June 2005) reports on the acute effects of marijuana use, marijuana’s effects on the brain, and how marijuana affects physical health. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). NIH Publication 05-3859.
Marijuana and Congenital Hearts(Summer 2005) is an article written for people with congenital heart conditions. Canadian Adult Congenital Heart Network (CACH). The Beat, Vol. 13, Issue 2.
Marijuana: Myth of the Recreational Drug (Spring 2004) explores some of the misconceptions around marijuana use. Dr. James West, Betty Ford Center.
Online Resources – Medical Use of Marijuana
Cannabis as Medicine is a patient advocacy organization that supports the rights of patients to have a legal and safe access to the therapeutic use of cannabis. Patients Out of Time.
Medical Marijuana Access Regulations (July 2001) defines the law around the use and possession of medical marijuana under the Canada Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Canada Gazette.
Online Resources – Myths and Marijuana
Marijuana Myths & Facts: The Truth Behind 10 Popular Misperceptions looks at 10 popular misperceptions about marijuana and, using the latest research findings and statistical information, explains why they are wrong.
Online Resources – Parenting and Marijuana
Marijuana: Facts Parents Need to Know (August 2007) has tips for parents on reducing the use of marijuana in the home. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). NIH Publication 07-4036
If you are a parent and require more information see the Help for Parents & Teens section.
Online Resources – Research and Marijuana
NIDA Research Report: Marijuana Abuse (June 2005) highlights the scope of marijuana use in the US, the effect of marijuana on the brain, physical health, school, work, social life, and pregnancy. Finally, the report answers the question whether marijuana is addictive. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
Toward a Policy-Relevant Typology of Cannabis Use for Canada (March 2006) makes recommendations to facilitate the development of a more useful approach to interpreting and responding to cannabis use in Canada. Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse (CCSA).
Use of Cannabis and Other Illicit Drugs (July 2004) shows statistics of marijuana and other drug use across Canada based on the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS). Statistics Canada. Health Reports, Vol. 15, No. 4.
For additional research on marijuana see the Marijuana section of the Office of Applied Studies website, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
For more information on research see the Addiction Research section of this website.
Online Resources – School Drug Abuse and Marijuana
Focus on Marijuana: A Unit for Middle and High School Educators is anti-drug education provided by the New York Times designed for teachers. New York Times.
For more information on school drug abuse see the School Drug Abuse section.
Online Resources – Treatment for Marijuana Addiction
Brief Counseling for Marijuana Dependence: A Manual for Treating Adults (2005) Steinberg, K.L.; Roffman, R.A.; Carroll, K.M.; McRee, B.; Babor, T.F.; Miller, M.; Kadden, R.; Duresky, D.; and Stephens, R. DHHS Publication No. (SMA) 05-4022. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Cannabis Youth Treatment Series is a pamphlet outlining the five-volume resource for treatment professionals for treating adolescents for marijuana use. For more information refer to the Psychological Modalities section.
Video Resources – Movies
Note: some movies listed are for entertainment purposes only and may not be appropriate for a younger audience.
Assassin of Youth(1937) [Black and White]
Starring: Dorothy Short, Luana Walters, Arthur Gardner, Earl Dwyer
Director: Elmer Clifton
John Lithgow, Kelly Lynch, Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Bob Thornton
Director: Stephen Gyllenhaal
Dazed and Confused (1993)
Jason London, Rory Cochrane, Matthew McConaghey, Ben Affleck
Director: Richard Linklater
The Stoned Age (1994)
Bradford Tatum, Renee Griffin, David Groh, Michael Kopelow
Director: James Melkonian
Narrated by Woody Harrelson
Director: Ron Mann
Half Baked (1998)
Dave Chapelle, Guillermo Diaz, Jim Breuer, Harland Williams
Director: Tamra Davis
How High (2001)
Mike Epps, Fred Willard
Director: Jesse Dylan
Ice Cube, Chris Tucker, Nia Long
Director: F. Gary Gray
Outside Providence (1999)
Shawn Hatosy, Tommy Bone, Alec Baldwin
Director: Michael Corrente
Cheech & Chong’s Up In Smoke (1978)
Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong
Director: Lou Adler
Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie (1980)
Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong
Director: Tommy Chong
Cheech & Chong’s Nice Dreams (1981)
Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong
Director: Tommy Chong
Reefer Madness (aka Tell Your Children) (1936)
Dorothy Short, Kenneth Craig, Lillian Miles
Director: Louis j. Gasnier
Video Resources – Drug Policy and Marijuana
Drug Abuse – The Chemical Tomb (1969) is an anti-drug film produced by the US government:
Police Bust Grow Op (January 1998) BCNewsVideo (YouTube).
The Terrible Truth About Marijuana is a government film from the 1950s warning the public about the consequences of marijuana use. Sid Davis Productions.
Video Resources – History of Marijuana and Cannabis
Hooked – Illegal Drugs Volume 1 – Marijuana covers the history of marijuana use and drug control policy:
Video Resources – Medical Consequences of Marijuana and Cannabis
Marijuana and Lung Cancer (October 2006) is an interview with Dr. Donald Tashkin of the UCLA School of Medicine. Dr. Tashkin is a professor of medicine at UCLA, a pulmonary specialist and federal government researcher. Marijuana, Compassion, and Common Sense:
For more information on the effects of marijuana see the The Medical Aspects of Addiction section.