Pictures of Marijuana for Parents

Photos in Different Stages of Growth and Use

These pictures show marijuana, also known as cannabis or weed, in varying stages of growth, processing, and use. You may be concerned about plants you find growing in and around your home. Or, you may wonder whether what you discovered in your child's room is marijuana or indicates your child may be using marijuana.

Even if you live in a jurisdiction where marijuana is legal, there are age restrictions and your child can end up facing legal consequences. You should prepare to have a conversation with your child about the risks involved in using or selling marijuana when underage.

Marijuana Plant

Medicinal Marijuana Supplier Caring for Plants

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Cannabis plants have a palmate leaf with serrated leaflets. You are likely to recognize them from popular art. While there are plants with similar leaves, the serration pattern for Cannabis is distinctive.

The plants have changed considerably in recent decades as they have been bred to produce more buds. There are a number of different types of marijuana plants that may vary somewhat in terms of appearance:

  • Indica plants tend to have larger, heavier buds when flowering and have short, wider leaves. This type of plant is native to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. 
  • Sativa is another type of plant that tends to produce long, narrow-shaped flowers. They generally have long, thin leaves. They are found mostly in hot, dry climates and can grow to 12 feet or more.
  • Hybrid plants are often grown in greenhouses or on farms and are a combination of Indica and Sativa strains. Their exact appearance depends on the specific plants used to produce them.
  • Hemp tends to look similar to other cannabis plants but may have thinner leaves, less branching, and grow very tall. While hemp is still a type of marijuana plant, it contains 0.3% or less THC, the psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants.

Recap

Cannabis leaves have a distinctive appearance. They may differ in appearance, however, depending on the specific type of plant.

Marijuana Bud

Close-Up Of Weed Porn In Mason Jar On Table

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The marijuana bud is the harvested flower that comes from a female cannabis plant. Buds are dried and cured before they are ready to smoke.

If you look closely at a marijuana bud, you will see the fine "hairs" and leaves that make up the bud after it is dried. They are also likely covered with sugar-like crystals that are called trichomes.

Marijuana buds are higher in THC than other parts of the plant and are sold at a premium. Marijuana has been increasingly bred to produce more buds, which is generally much more potent than the average street-grade "weed."

Ground Marijuana

marijuana nuggets and plant on displayed

Steve Cicero / Getty Images

Marijuana is dried and chopped up to prepare for use and sale. The stems are usually removed. Dried marijuana is also typically ground into smaller pieces before being smoked. Grinding helps ensure that all parts of the marijuana burn more evenly. It also helps to release the cannabinoids and terpenes that can then be inhaled.

In most cases, cannabis dispensaries do not pre-grind marijuana before it is sold. Grinding it before a sale can affect freshness and tends to reduce its potency.

Grinding exposes more of the marijuana product to light and oxygen, which causes the THC, terpenes, and cannabinoids to degrade more quickly. 

Because of this, people usually grind the marijuana just before using it, whether they are hand-rolling it into a joint or smoking it in a bong or pipe. Ground marijuana may also be combined with tobacco and rolled into a cigar known as a blunt.

Anecdotally, some people prefer using a bong or pipe because it feels smoother and less harsh when inhaled. However, any type of smoking, whether it is a joint, pipe, or blunt has a detrimental impact on the lungs. Smoking damages lung tissues and increases the risk for respiratory conditions and cancer.

Research suggests that people place about twice the amount of marijuana into a blunt as they do in a joint or a pipe. People who smoke blunts may be at a higher risk of experiencing negative side effects due to the amount of marijuana they smoke. One study found that people who smoke blunts experience more intense withdrawal symptoms when they enter treatment for cannabis use disorder.

Recap

Ground marijuana can be smoked in a variety of ways such as a joint, spliff, blunt, bong, or pipe. How it is used often depends on personal preference.

Risks of Marijuana Use

Marijuana cigarettes

Richard T. Nowitz / Getty Images

Statistics on teen marijuana use suggest that 44% of all students have tried weed by 12th grade according to the National Institutes of Health. While marijuana use has increased as many states legalized the use of recreational cannabis, it is important to be aware of the potential negative impact that marijuana use may have on developing brains.

The adolescent brain is still in the process of developing up until around the age of 25. Research has found that using marijuana as a teen or young adult can result in a number of detrimental effects including:

  • Decreased coordination
  • Decreased impulse control
  • Difficulties with problem-solving
  • Problems with attention
  • Problems with memory and learning

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), marijuana use can also contribute to an increased risk of mental health problems including anxiety and depression.

Marijuana use has also been linked to episodes of psychosis as well as an increased risk for schizophrenia. Smoking marijuana at a younger age increases these risks.

Addiction is also possible, and this risk increases when people begin using marijuana at an earlier age. About one out of every six people who use marijuana during their teens will develop a cannabis use disorder.

Recap

Marijuana use by teens and young adults poses a number of risks. It can negatively affect brain development, cause problems with memory and learning, and increase the risk for addiction.

How to Get Help

It is normal to be concerned if you have discovered that your child is using marijuana. If you are concerned about your child's marijuana use, the best advice is the simplest: Talk to your child.

Whether or not adolescents become involved in drugs—or stay involved—may be related to their parents' attitudes about drug use. Having a matter-of-fact, rational discussion with your child about marijuana may be the best way to approach the situation.

In addition to talking about the health risks of marijuana, you should also talk to your child about the possible legal risks. While many states have legalized the use of cannabis, it is not legal for children or teens to use marijuana in any state. In states where marijuana has been legalized, the legal age limit is 21.

If you believe that your child might have a marijuana addiction, talk to your child's doctor or a mental health professional. They can offer advice and connect you with resources that can help.

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.

For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

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9 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health effects of marijuana

  3. Mariani JJ, Brooks D, Haney M, Levin FR. Quantification and comparison of marijuana smoking practices: blunts, joints, and pipesDrug Alcohol Depend. 2011;113(2-3):249-251. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2010.08.008

  4. Montgomery L, McClure EA, Tomko RL, et al. Blunts versus joints: Cannabis use characteristics and consequences among treatment-seeking adultsDrug Alcohol Depend. 2019;198:105-111. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2019.01.041

  5. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Marijuana.

  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What you need to know about marijuana use and teens.

  7. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Marijuana research report: What are marijuana's long-term effects on the brain?.

  8. Stefanis NC, Dragovic M, Power BD, Jablensky A, Castle D, Morgan V. Age at initiation of cannabis use predicts age at onset of psychosis: The 7- to 8-year trendSchizophr Bull. 2013;39(2):251-254. doi:10.1093/schbul/sbs188

  9. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Marijuana research report.

Additional Reading
  • Marijuana. National Institute of Drug Abuse.