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Lessons and Quizzes by Drug

Lessons and Quizzes: Marijuana

Mind Over Matter: Marijuana

Sara Bellum

You may have heard it called pot, weed, grass, ganja, or skunk, but marijuana by any other name is still a drug that affects the brain.

Read the rest of Mind Over Matter: Marijuana

Classroom Activities: Marijuana

Have students read all the facts about marijuana in the Facts on Drugs section. Then print out the activity below and allow them time to complete the email. Have students read their emails out loud and discuss.

An Email to an Imaginary Friend

Maybe you haven’t had an imaginary friend since preschool, but we’ve created one for you here. Meet Pedley. He’s your close pal, but he’s taken a wrong turn. Pedley smokes marijuana daily.

Based on what you’ve learned about the drug, what can you tell Pedley to convince him that pot isn’t for him? Fill in the blanks in the email to Pedley below to help him realize that marijuana will get him nowhere fast.

Dear Pedley,

I’m worried about you. You seem out of it. You didn’t even remember to meet me at my locker after school yesterday. I’m afraid all that pot you’ve been smoking is affecting our friendship. Maybe you don’t realize what’s going on inside you when you use that stuff.

Basically, marijuana messes with parts of your brain, including __________, _________________, and ______________________. When these parts of the brain aren’t working normally, you could have trouble with _____________, ______________, and ____________________.

And Pedley, do you know what marijuana smoke can do to your lungs? It can ___________________________________________.

OK. I know you get a ___________, or intoxicated feeling when you smoke a joint. But did you know that comes from a chemical? The chemical is called _____________________. And the release of that chemical leads to frequent use and could lead to ____________________.

I hope this information helps. And I hope the Pedley I know comes back.

Your concerned pal,
__________________________

 

Test Your Knowledge Activity: Marijuana

Marijuana Leaf

Question 1

Tetrahydrocannabinol is:

No. Despite its technical sounding name, this chemical has no ties to the gasoline we use in cars. Try again!

Yes! Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC for short, is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

No. Although it can act at the same receptors as the brain's neurotransmitter anadamide, tetrahydrocannabinl itself is not a neurotransmitter.

No. Don't confuse this chemical with the dinosaur Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Question 2

The hippocampus is:

Yes! The hippocampus is one of the places in the brain that helps us remember important things such as the information we need to pass an upcoming biology quiz. Because the hippocampus has lots of receptors for tetrahydrocannibinol, the active ingredient in marijuana, marijuana is able to act in the hippocampus to reduce memory.

No. Though it might sound like a cool hangout place for hippos, remember the hippocampus is one of our brain areas that actually help us to remember.

No. There are many brain areas that have a role in hearing, some of which are affected by marijuana, but the hippocampus is not one of them.

No. The liver plays an important role in the breakdown of all drugs that enter the body, but it does not have a hippocampus.

Question 3

A person who has smoked marijuana may have difficulty keeping his or her balance because of marijuana’s effect on what brain area?

No. But through its actions in the cerebral cortex, marijuana can change a user's sense of smell, vision, hearing, taste, and touch.

No. But marijuana does act in the limbic system to produce feelings of euphoria.

No. But users of marijuana may have trouble remembering things because of marijuana's effects on the hippocampus.

Yes! The cerebellum is one of the most important brain areas for balance and coordination. It also contains lots of receptors for tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana, which is why someone who uses marijuana may have difficulty keeping his or her balance.

Question 4

A student who smokes marijuana may do poorly on a test given the next day because of marijuana’s effect on what brain area?

No. But marijuana does act in the limbic system to produce feelings of euphoria.

Yes! The hippocampus is an important brain area for processing memory. Users of marijuana have trouble remembering things because of marijuana's effects on the hippocampus.

No. But users of marijuana may have problems with balance and coordination because of marijuana's effects in the cerebellum.

No. But through it's actions in the cerebral cortex, marijuana can change a user's sense of smell, vision, hearing, taste, and touch.