Stay safe and make informed choices when it comes to cannabis.

What is Marijuana?

Derived from the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant, marijuana consists of dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds. Containing mind-altering THC and other compounds, it can be consumed through various methods: smoking, eating, drinking, or inhaling. While marijuana use alone isn't lethal, THC can lead to altered senses, mood swings, impaired movement, memory loss, hallucinations, paranoia, anxiety, and breathing issues. Passive exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke is unlikely to cause one to fail a drug test or experience psychoactive effects. For more insight into the effects of THC and the impact of marijuana use check out these DrugFacts on Marijuana from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Common Ways People Use Marijuana


Vaping devices use heat to transform liquids into an aerosol. These liquids can contain nicotine, THC, flavorings, and other chemicals. Vaping can lead to breathing issues and lung inflammation and many vaping products are unregulated, which can cause additional lung injuries. The CDC recommends never modifying or adding substances to your vaping device that weren’t intended by the manufacturer. For other facts and information, we recommend this fact sheet from Johns Hopkins Medicine and this article from the National Library of Medicine.


Edibles can contain 50% to 90% THC, far surpassing smokable options. It takes time to feel the full effects because digesting is a slower process than inhaling. It typically takes 30 to 60 minutes to kick in and the “high” feeling peaks at about 3-4 hours. Consuming more cannabis within this time period can result in over-intoxication and serious effects.

Things to Keep in Mind

While abstaining from cannabis is the most effective way to avoid risk, if you're considering consuming cannabis, here are some things to keep in mind.

Buy it Legally.

Only consume cannabis from licensed dispensaries. Other sources are risky because the products could be laced with other dangerous substances such as fentanyl or xylazine without your knowledge.

Don't Mix it with Other Drugs.

Avoid mixing cannabis with alcohol, other drugs or prescribed medications. For example, mixing psychotropic medications (such as antidepressants) and marijuana can cause side effects like increased heart rate, dizziness, and confusion.

Use it in a Familiar Environment.

Stay safer by consuming cannabis in an environment where you feel safe and comfortable. When you're high, it's normal to feel disoriented or slower to react. Therefore, it's important to avoid being high in unpredictable spaces (like the subway)!

Visit NYU’s Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (OSC) to learn about NYU’s policies.