Marijuana & Its Four Forms

CTAD is an evidence-based resource for parents/guardians who want to know more about the new marijuana law, why teens use, and the health impact on young bodies.

There are four forms of marijuana. Each one varies in terms of how quickly and to what degree the drug’s effects are felt. Additionally, how each form interacts with an individual’s system further complicates what short and long term effects are experienced.

  • The flower of the cannabis plant is smoked and the effects from the “high” are felt within a few minutes.
  • Concentrates (oils, wax, dabs, tinctures) are made from extracts of the cannabis plant that are sometimes almost pure THC, with concentrations as high as 95%. This high concentration leads to stronger side effects and greater chance of addiction. They are usually vaped.
  • Edibles are marijuana-infused food (gummies, lollipops, cookies, etc.) and drink products which are ingested. Effects are felt in 1 – 3 hours. Sometimes users increase the amount they consume because they don’t feel the effects right away.
  • Topical products are cannabis-infused lotions, balms and oils that are absorbed into the skin and typically have more CBD (non-psychoactive) than THC.

To learn more, CTAD has TWO NEW Resources in addition to CTAD’s Resource Guide:

Marijuana Facts: Health & Illinois Law
Guide for Parents & Guardians

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