What is Cannabis?

Cannabis is a general, umbrella term referring to the plant Cannabis sativa and all of the products made from this plant, including various concentrated forms such as hash, wax, butter, shatter, and oil. Tetrahydrocannabinol ∆-9 (THC), the psychoactive constituent in cannabis, can also be added to food products called "edibles." Experiences with marijuana vary widely and depend on the potency of the drug taken.

Due to cannabis' classification as an illegal drug under federal law, research on the drug and its properties is limited. Information shared here has been gathered from sources including the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH), World Health Organization (WHO), and Buzzed: The Straight Facts About the Most Used and Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy.

Use at Brandeis

According to the National College Health Assessment survey implemented in fall 2018, 70% of Brandeis undergraduates and 84% of Brandeis graduate students did not use marijuana in the last 30 days.

Methods of consumption

Cannabis most commonly smoked or eaten. When cannabis is smoked the high kicks in within 2 to 3 minutes and usually last 3 to 4 hours. When cannabis is eaten, the effects take much longer to kick in (up to 2 hours) and may produce a more hallucinogenic-type response. The high can also last a lot longer (6-8 hours).

Health risks

Short Term:
Long Term:

The long term effects of cannabis use are more common among chronic (regular) users than occasional users.  As cannabis plants and products become more potent, their health risks may increase. More research is needed to fully understand the long term effects of cannabis use.

Harm Reduction Strategies

Campus Policies & State Regulations

Brandeis, like most institutions of higher education, receives federal funding and therefore must abide by federal law, which classifies cannabis as an illegal drug. For this reason, cannabis (in any form) and cannabis paraphernalia are not permitted on campus. It is also important to remember that vaping - of any kind - is not permitted inside any campus building. Brandeis' drug policy can be found in Rights & Responsibilities.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has legalized cannabis for recreational use, but there are still important state regulations that must be followed.

Employers, landlords, cities, and towns may have their own policies about the use of marijuana. Check with them to see what is permitted where you live and work.