Front. Public Health, 10 October 2013 |

Marijuana: current concepts

Donald E. Greydanus1, Elizabeth K. Hawver1, Megan M. Greydanus1 and Joav Merrick2,3,4,5*
  • 1Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Western Michigan University School of Medicine, Kalamazoo, MI, USA
  • 2National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Jerusalem, Israel
  • 3Health Services, Division for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, Jerusalem, Israel
  • 4Division of Pediatrics, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center, Mt. Scopus Campus, Jerusalem, Israel
  • 5Kentucky Children’s Hospital, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY, USA

Marijuana (cannabis) remains a controversial drug in the twenty-first century. This paper considers current research on use of Cannabis sativa and its constituents such as the cannabinoids. Topics reviewed include prevalence of cannabis (pot) use, other drugs consumed with pot, the endocannabinoid system, use of medicinal marijuana, medical adverse effects of cannabis, and psychiatric adverse effects of cannabis use. Treatment of cannabis withdrawal and dependence is difficult and remains mainly based on psychological therapy; current research on pharmacologic management of problems related to cannabis consumption is also considered. The potential role of specific cannabinoids for medical benefit will be revealed as the twenty-first century matures. However, potential dangerous adverse effects from smoking marijuana are well known and should be clearly taught to a public that is often confused by a media-driven, though false message and promise of benign pot consumption.

Keywords: public health, cannabis, marijuana, abuse, dependence, withdrawal

Citation: Greydanus DE, Hawver EK, Greydanus MM and Merrick J (2013) Marijuana: current concepts. Front. Public Health 1:42. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2013.00042

Received: 30 July 2013; Accepted: 23 September 2013;
Published online: 10 October 2013.

Edited by:

Amit Agrawal, Gandhi Medical College and Hamidia Hospital, India

Reviewed by:

Rajendra Bhimma, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Mohamed Hamdy Ataalla, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, USA
Jeffrey L. Derevensky, McGill University, Canada
Liat Korn, Ariel University, Israel

Copyright: © 2013 Greydanus, Hawver, Greydanus and Merrick. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Joav Merrick, Health Services, Division for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, P. O. Box 1260, IL-91012 Jerusalem, Israel e-mail:

This chapter is an adapted and revised version of an earlier publication: Greydanus DE, Kaplan G, Patel DR, Merrick J, editors. Substance abuse in adolescents and young adults. A manual for pediatric and primary care clinicans. Berlin, De Gruyter, 2013.