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Marijuana Facts

Live Naturally High

About 72 percent of UC Merced students choose not to use marijuana. For those who decide to use marijuana or are thinking about trying it, use the information below to help you stay safe and focused on academic success. 

UC policy prohibits possession and use of marijuana on campus, even with a California medical marijuana card. 

The effects of marijuana vary from person to person and depend on many factors, including:

  • Whether it is smoked or eaten (i.e., brownies, cookies, sandwiches);
  • Concentration of THC (the key ingredient in marijuana);
  • Previous experience with the drug; and
  • Whether it is used with alcohol and/or other drugs.

Psychological Effects

  • Feelings of relaxation, sociability and euphoria
  • Lack of motivation
  • Reduced inhibitions
  • Impaired learning, memory, attention and concentration (can last for a few days and up to weeks)
  • Delusions, hallucinations and distorted perceptions
  • Increased anxiety for some people and reduced anxiety for others

Physical Effects

  • Increased appetite
  • Nausea relief
  • Increased heart rate
  • Drowsiness
  • Reduced pain
  • Impaired coordination and balance
  • Increased sensitivity to sound and temperature

Smoking Versus Ingesting

The effects of smoking and eating marijuana are quite different. Essentially, eating it results in a more intense and longer-lasting high. The chart below highlights some main differences.

  Smoking Marijuana Ingesting Marijuana
Approximate time it takes to feel the effects 5-10 minutes 60-120 minutes
Length of "high" 3-5 hours 6-10 hours; sometimes longer
Drug effects Depressant Similar to the effects of psychedelic drugs
Ability to control dose Easier Difficult

Higher Doses of THC

Butane hash oil (also known as hash oil and honey oil) is a waxy substance that is made using marijuana and butane and has a high concentration of THC (60-90%). The effects of smoking BHO are similar to the effects of using psychedelic drugs. These effects include hallucinations, panic, confusion, paranoia and agitation. Increased doses may cause stronger effects.

Marijuana Additives

More than 400 chemicals have been identified in marijuana, and not all of them occur naturally (i.e., pesticides). Marijuana can also be laced with other drugs including PCP, LSD and crack/cocaine. The more you know about what is in your marijuana and where it came from, the better.

Marijuana Safety Tips

  • Eat a solid meal first.
  • Avoid mixing alcohol and marijuana use, especially if it’s your first time using marijuana.
  • Start with a very small dose and wait two hours to determine how your body is going to react, especially when using edibles.
  • Everyone responds to THC differently; don’t base your expectations on a friend’s experience.
  • Don’t expect the same high from smoking and eating marijuana.
  • When using edibles, know where it came from and what’s in it.
  • Do not drive while experiencing the effects of marijuana.
  • If you overdo it, remain calm, find a safe place to relax, ask a friend to monitor your condition and call for help
Online Resources Link
General Information
Marijuana myths and facts
Smoking versus edibles
Campus Resources Contact Information
Student Health Center Telephone: 209-228-2273
Counseling and Psychological Services Telephone: 209-228-4266
Health Promotion Telephone: 209-228-4400