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Worried First-Time Marijuana Smoker

Published: July 23, 2002
Dear TeenHealthFX,
Friday I smoked marijuana for the first time. We smoked a joint between 4 people, then another one between 7 people. It was my first time. The Wednesday after that I got tested at school for drugs. The results aren't back yet. I'm worrying a lot about it. I've looked things up about how long it stays in your system. Here's my information. I am 16. I weigh 128 lbs. And am 6 foot tall. I am really skinny. I have a fast metabolism because I can't gain any weight. It was 5 days before the test that I smoked it. I want to know if you can give me a good estimate about whether or not it will show up in the results when they get here. I just want to ease my mind about it. I'm willing to accept the consequences. Please help.
Signed: Worried First-Time Marijuana Smoker

Dear Worried First-Time Marijuana Smoker,


TeenHealthFX cannot tell you if your marijuana use will show up in your test results. There are many factors that influence the results.


Fatty tissues in various organs absorb the chemical in marijuana, THC. Traces of THC can be detected by standard urine and blood tests for about 2 days up to 11 weeks depending on the persons metabolism, how much they smoked and how long they smoked. THC can be detected for the life of the hair. Again, the sensitivity of the test ranges from person from to person depending on many factors including the amount of body fat, differences in metabolism, and how long and how much they smoked.

FX is glad that you are willing to accept the consequences. Also, FX thinks that you should be more concerned about what marijuana is doing to your body then whether you will be found out. Marijuana causes the brain to work differently. It gives a person a high or relaxed feeling and changes how a person would normally think or feel. This is not reality-based and seems like a method of escaping the real world, which is not healthy. Not only is it bad to be high most of the time, but there are also serious health risks involved with marijuana use.


Marijuana's short-term effects are:

  1. Risk of Bad Marijuana - Marijuana could be laced without your knowledge with anything making it even more dangerous. If it is mixed with other drugs or poisons, it can do physical damage to your body (sometimes deadly).

  2. Decreased Mental Abilities - You may put yourself in situations where you practice unsafe sex, which can lead to a sexually transmitted disease. You may also get behind the wheel of a car to drive, leading to a deadly accident.

  3. Difficulty with Concentration & Mental Confusion - Marijuana may cause you to forget easily, and have difficulty studying and learning.

  4. Bloodshot Eyes - It just doesn't look good!

  5. Excessive hunger - You may eat unhealthy food that you are craving due to marijuana use. This can lead to weight gain.

  6. Sleepiness - Your weekend's no fun if you sleep through it.

Marijuana's long-term effects are:

  1. Psychological Dependence - You may start feeling like you need the drug to get by in your daily living, which is not good for you and very expensive.

  2. Increased Tolerance - Your body may require more and more marijuana to get the desired effect.

  3. Sexual Issues - Marijuana affects your hormone levels causing a lack of sexual pleasure, decreased sperm count in males and infertility in females.

Marijuana is also illegal and can lead to arrest, conviction and in some cases jail time. You may also want to take into consideration your parents reaction. Depending on school policies you may have very severe consequences to accept if marijuana is detected through a school drug test.


Although marijuana may not be physically addicting, you can develop a psychological dependence that makes quitting tough. If you are having a hard time stopping then ask for help. If you live in northern New Jersey you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888.247.1400 for more information. There are also self-help groups available such as Marijuana Anonymous that can help.

Signed: TeenHealthFX