What is Cannabis/Marijuana
Marijuana refers to the mind-altering (psychoactive) drug, produced by the Cannabis sativa plant. Marijuana has over 480 constituents.
What is THC
THC (delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is believed to be the main ingredient that produces the psychoactive effect. THC amount varies by different types of cannabis products. The amount of THC in marijuana has been increasing steadily over the past few decades.7 For a person who's new to marijuana use, this may mean exposure to higher THC levels with a greater chance of a harmful reaction. Higher THC levels may explain the rise in emergency room visits involving marijuana use.
- Relaxation, disinhibition, increased appetite, sedation, increased sociability
- Effects memory and learning
- Difficulty in thinking and problem-solving
- Impaired judgment, reduced coordination
- Distorted perception
- Decreased blood pressure, increased heart rate, dizziness, nausea, tachycardia
- Confusion, anxiety, paranoia, drowsiness
- Respiratory ailments
- It is not fully understood how using cannabis with vaporizers or using concentrated forms like waxes and oils affects your health. However, we do know:
- Vaporized and concentrated cannabis can have a lot more THC, which increases the risk of poisoning/negative outcomes.
- The tools and high temperatures used for vaporizing cannabis may expose you to toxic substances.
- Examples: K2, Spice
- They are not actually cannabis, but made from another plant
- They can affect the brain more powerfully than actual cannabis, and lead to multiple negative outcomes (seizure, hallucinations, anxiety, paranoia, etc.)
Cannabis/Marijuana Assistance Services
C-A-S-I-C-S stands for Cannabis Screening and Intervention for College Students.
The program is designed to assist students utilizing a risk-reduction approach and helping them examine their own behavior in a non-judgment environment. Some aspects of the program include helping students identify substance use strategies that work for them and helping them build skills to utilize them in real-life application settings.
This system takes information you provide to give personalized, in-depth feedback of your current cannabis/marijuana use. You can use your responses to meet with a GatorWell staff member to discuss your use and ways you can reduce or stop using. Note: Please keep your 12 digit Student User ID that is given at the beginning of your eCHECKUP session.
This 8 item screening tool helps assess cannabis consumption, usage behaviors, and cannabis-related problems. CUDIT-R author credit: Adamson SJ; Kay-Lambkin FJ; Baker AL; Lewin TJ; Thornton L; Kelly BJ; Sellman JD
ScreenU is a free, confidential, online assessment available to all University of Florida students and can be completed in as little as 5 minutes. ScreenU can help students identify patterns of cannabis use and provides personalized, non-judgmental feedback and campus resources for students.
GatorWell is here to ensure that you are aware of how your choices can alter your collegiate experience, including physically, mentally, academically, and socially.
Commonly Asked questions
Marijuana is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning that it has a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. Although some states within the United States have allowed the use of marijuana for medicinal purpose, it is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that has the federal authority to approve drugs for medicinal use in the U.S.
The state of Florida recognizes legal use of medical cannabis. For more information, see the official Florida statute on medical use of marijuana. According to the University of Florida’s regulations, “use, possession, manufacturing, distribution, or sale of marijuana, heroin, narcotics, or any other controlled substance which is prohibited by law.” Also, “possession of drug paraphernalia including but not limited to bongs or glass pipes” is prohibited.
To date, the FDA has not approved a marketing application for any marijuana product for any clinical indication. However, the FDA has approved 1 Cannabis derived product, and 3 synthetic cannabis-related products.
An overdose occurs when a person uses enough of the drug to produce life-threatening symptoms or death. There are no reports of teens or adults dying from marijuana alone. However, some people who use marijuana can feel some very uncomfortable side effects, especially when using marijuana products with high THC levels. People have reported symptoms such as anxiety and paranoia, and in rare cases, an extreme psychotic reaction (which can include delusions and hallucinations) that can lead them to seek treatment in an emergency room.
While a psychotic reaction can occur following any method of use, emergency room responders have seen an increasing number of cases involving marijuana edibles. Some people (especially preteens and teens) who know very little about edibles don't realize that it takes longer for the body to feel marijuana’s effects when eaten rather than smoked. So they consume more of the edible, trying to get high faster or thinking they haven't taken enough. In addition, some babies and toddlers have been seriously ill after ingesting marijuana or marijuana edibles left around the house.
Is marijuana addictive?
Yes. Marijuana use can lead to the development of a substance use disorder, a medical illness in which the person is unable to stop using even though it's causing health and social problems in their life. Severe substance use disorders are also known as addiction. Research suggests that between 9-30 percent of those who use marijuana may develop some degree of marijuana use disorder. People who begin using marijuana before age 18 are 4-7 times more likely than adults to develop a marijuana use disorder.
Many people who use marijuana long term and are trying to quit report mild withdrawal symptoms that make quitting difficult. These include:
- Decreased Appetite
No medications are currently available to treat marijuana use disorder, but behavioral support has been shown to be effective. Examples include therapy and motivational incentives (providing rewards to patients who remain drug-free).