Healthy Buffs: Let’s talk about marijuana

Marijuana and its active components (THC and CBD) exist in many forms and strengths and can affect people differently.

If you choose to use, consider these questions:

Do you know your limits?

If you plan to use, consider when you’ll be using, where you’ll be and who you’ll be with. The effects of marijuana can differ for each person and depend on how it’s used or consumed.

If using edibles, follow the serving size and give your body up to two hours to react before using more. This can help reduce the likelihood of experiencing a “bad high.”

How does marijuana affect your health?

According to research from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, smoking marijuana can increase an individual’s risk of lung and heart disease in the same way as smoking cigarettes. This research also shows that regardless of how it’s used, marijuana can significantly impact brain health.

The short-term effects of marijuana use include attention deficit and decreased memory and learning. Long-term effects include potentially permanent decreased learning and synapse formation and an increased risk of certain mental health disorders, according to studies published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the Schizophrenia Bulletin.

How does marijuana impact your relationships?

While some people may feel more social after using marijuana, for others it can hinder communication, making it difficult to connect with other people. Marijuana can also make some people experience feelings of paranoia, which can get in the way of having a good time.

How will you know if marijuana is getting in the way of achieving your goals?

Marijuana, if used inappropriately, could result in university and/or federal sanctions, which may impact financial aid and scholarships and be visible to employers.

For those looking for a job, use can also affect the chances of landing the position (even in Colorado).

How will you know if your marijuana use is a problem?

People may not realize how their use may be impacting them. There are all sorts of ways this can happen, from missing deadlines to dealing with a chronic cough or memory problems or facing failed attempts to cut down or stop using.

If I want to talk to someone about this, where do I go?

For support resources on campus, visit the Health Services website.

Know the laws: Be informed about marijuana laws and CU’s student code of conduct.
  • Marijuana possession and use is only legal in Colorado for adults 21 and over. Underage use is subject to an MIP ticket, fines and CU sanctions.
  • It is illegal for anyone (regardless of age) to have or use marijuana on campus in any form, even with a prescription.
  • Being under the influence of marijuana is a violation of the CU drug policy and may result in student conduct sanctions and processes.
  • Driving high could land you with a DUI. Wait before getting behind the wheel: at least six hours after smoking and eight hours after ingesting edibles.
  • It’s illegal to take marijuana products out of the state. Additionally, Denver International Airport has banned the possession of marijuana products on its property.
  • Using marijuana in any form (smoking, eating or vaping) isn’t allowed in public places, including ski resorts, sporting and music venues, state and national parks, campsites, sidewalks, restaurants and outdoor or rooftop cafes.
  • For more information about the student code of conduct, visit the OSCCR website.