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April 14, 2010 in Employee Drug Testing Information

Marijuana is a green or gray mixture of dried, shredded flowers and leaves of the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa). It is the most often used illegal drug in this country. All forms of cannabis are mind-altering (psychoactive) drugs that contain THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the main active chemical in marijuana.

THC is the chemical in marijuana which makes you feel “high” (which means experiencing a change in mood and seeing or feeling things differently). Certain parts of the plant contain higher levels of THC. The flowers or “buds” have more THC than the stems or leaves.

When  marijuana is smoked, THC goes quickly into the blood through the lungs and then to the brain (this is when the “high” is felt and can happen within a few minutes and can last up to five hours). THC is absorbed more slowly into the blood when marijuana is eaten because it has to pass through the stomach and intestine and can take up to one hour to experience the “high” effects, which can last up to 12 hours. THC is absorbed quickly into body fat and is then released very slowly back into the blood. This process can take up to one month for a single dose of THC to fully leave the body.

Marijuana, the most often used illegal drug in this country, is a product of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. The main active chemical in marijuana, also present in other forms of cannabis, is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Of the roughly 400 chemicals found in the cannabis plant, THC affects the brain the most.

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