Knowing about marijuana can help you tell if your child or someone else is using it, and help them get treatment. Marijuana is the most often used illegal drug in the U.S. But some states are legalizing it for medical and recreational use. It comes from the hemp plant. The chemicals in marijuana are found in the leaves and flowering shoots. THC is the most well-known of these chemicals. There are also manmade chemicals that act like THC. But they are much stronger. They are synthetic marijuana. They are sold under names such as K2, Kronic, or Spice. Marijuana can be used in several forms. It is often smoked as a dry, shredded green and brown mix of flowers, stems, seeds, and leave. It can be smoked as a cigarette (joint), in a pipe or bong, or as a blunt. A blunt is a cigar casing that has been filled with marijuana. It might also be mixed in food or brewed as a tea. A more concentrated form called hashish is made from the tops of female plants. It has the highest concentration of THC. It is often pressed into small, solid pieces that look like a small piece of chocolate. These are often put inside a regular cigarette and smoked. Some studies suggest that some types of marijuana are now stronger than in the past. Users can become dependent on or addicted to marijuana, just as someone can with alcohol and tobacco. A person is dependent on marijuana when they have withdrawal symptoms. Someone is addicted to the drug when the drug use interferes with many aspects of life but they still can't stop using it. Drug use may affect their finances, school work, and social life. Symptoms of use These are some effects of marijuana use: Feeling of joy, relaxation Increased sense of sight, hearing, and taste Increased appetite Loss of coordination. This makes it hard and difficult, even dangerous to do things such as drive a car. False sense of time Trouble thinking and problem-solving that can also affect driving Can't tell the difference between oneself and others Anxiety or panic reactions or being overly suspicious and distrustful Signs of marijuana use include: Being dizzy Having trouble walking Being silly and giggly for no reason Having red, bloodshot eyes Having a hard time remembering things that just happened When the early effects fade after a few hours, the user can get very sleepy. Some long-term marijuana users who smoke the drug daily may have repeated and uncontrolled vomiting (cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome). They often feel better when they take a hot shower. But many people seek medical care. What to look for If you're worried that your child may be using marijuana, know what signs to look for. These include the following behaviors: Withdrawal or separation from others Depression Excessive tiredness Not careful about personal hygiene or grooming Hostility Relationships with family members and friends get worse Other things that may be linked to drug use include changes in school performance, skipping or missing school, lost interest in sports or other favorite activities, and changes in eating or sleeping habits. Parents should also be aware of signs of drugs and drug items. These include: Pipes and rolling papers Strange smell on clothes and in the bedroom Using incense and other deodorizers Using eye drops Frequent red eyes Unexplained changes in appetite Eating more food Long-term studies of high school students show few young people use other drugs without first trying marijuana. So the chance that a child will try cocaine is much higher if they have tried marijuana.