Need to brush up on the basics about marijuana—also called pot, weed, or cannabis? Knowing how it can impact your health and what marijuana-related laws exist can help you make the best decisions about your wellbeing.

Washington State Marijuana Laws

If there’s one thing you need to know, it’s that marijuana is illegal for anyone under 21, unless medically authorized. It’s also illegal for anyone, of any age, to grow marijuana plants (unless medically authorized or licensed by the state), drive while under the influence of marijuana, or use marijuana in public places. And for adults, it’s illegal to provide marijuana to minors—that means parents, too.

Source: Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, Marijuana Education: Know the Law, 2019.
Thumbnail for this fact

Marijuana for Medical Use

In 2016, laws established that doctors can authorize marijuana for a patient if they have a condition that may benefit from the use of marijuana. Currently, learning disabilities and mental health conditions, like depression and anxiety, do not qualify as one of the authorized conditions.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not recognized or approved marijuana as medicine but has approved two medicines containing synthetic (meaning human made or not from a plant) marijuana in pill form.

Even though “medical” marijuana may sound safer than “non-medical” marijuana, the drug has similar risks and health risks.

Source: NIDA, 2021.
Thumbnail for this fact

Active Chemicals in Marijuana

Marijuana has more than 400 chemicals—the two main active chemicals being THC and CBD. Because it comes from a plant, some might think that marijuana is harmless and “natural.” However, it can be harmful to your health no matter how it’s used—whether smoked, eaten, vaped, or dabbed. And mixing marijuana with alcohol and other drugs can cause even more dangerous health effects.

Source: Pharmacology, 2020.
Thumbnail for this fact

Types of Marijuana

There are four main types of marijuana: marijuana flower, marijuana concentrates, marijuana-infused edibles, and topical marijuana. All forms except topical marijuana are mind-altering or psychoactive.

Thumbnail for this fact