In the past 20 years, there has been a cultural shift in attitudes surrounding marijuana use. This started in 1996 with California’s legalization of medicinal marijuana. Since then, many states have shifted their policies to either decriminalize marijuana, make legal for medicinal or recreational uses, or a combination of those policies. Despite shifts at the state levels, marijuana does remain illegal at the federal level.

Johns Hopkins University abides by local, state, and federal laws. Therefore, because all marijuana use is deemed illegal by the federal government, no use of marijuana is permitted on campus. For more detail of the University’s stance please see the Drugs, Alcohol, and Firearms Policies for Students.

Overview of Marijuana


There are 113 identified cannabinoids in marijuana, each with a slightly different effect. The two most well-known cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). 

Effects of Using Marijuana

THC creates the feeling of being high. This may include altered senses, distorted sense of time, change in mood, impaired body movement, and difficulty thinking and problem solving.

CBD is often used medicinally to treat concerns such as seizures, cancer related nausea, PTSD, arthritis, and pain. While CBD is often marketed as an all natural medical treatment, it is not monitored by the FDA and can therefore be inconsistent in dosage and may sometimes contain low levels of THC.

If marijuana is used with other substances other effects can occur. For instance, using alcohol and marijuana together so that the effects overlap alters the effect of both individual substances. An individual may experience a sensation like they are spinning and increased nausea. It may also be more difficult to judge how impaired the individual is by either substance, potentially creating the opportunity to overuse.

Potential Negative Consequences of Use

In the short-term, marijuana use might result in altered senses, impaired body movement, slowed reflexes, difficulty thinking, hallucinations, delusions, and coughing. Long-term effects develop over ongoing use. These may include breathing problems, increased heart rate, nausea, vomiting, difficulty sleeping, and anxiety.

External consequences could include violations to university policy, trouble with law enforcement, and strain on relationships. Also, some employers may not hire employees with a record of marijuana use. Marijuana can also show up on drug tests, resulting in loss of employment or playtime if an athlete.

It is also important to consider that mixing substances may result in unique consequences or may amplify the consequences of either substance individually. Consider any medications, other substances, or alcohol that might be present in the body before deciding to use marijuana.


If you’re curious about learning more about your use, you can complete the anonymous online module found at

Treatment Options

Johns Hopkins offers two main options for students seeking short-term care for their marijuana use.

Alcohol and Other Drugs Education Specialist

You can set up a meeting with our AOD Education Specialist to talk about your use. These motivational interviewing sessions are private. The conversations will center around your goals for use and other parts of your life. Sessions are nonjudgmental, goal focused, and educational. You should leave feeling empowered to make the choices you think best fit your lifestyle. All Johns Hopkins students are welcome to meet with the AOD Education Specialist, free of charge.

Counseling Center

The Counseling Center provides a safe, confidential, nonjudgmental space where students can feel free to explore a wide variety of concerns and issues. They offer a wide variety of services to assist students including drop-in hours, workshopsgroup therapy, brief individual therapy, couples counseling, psychiatric evaluations and medication management, substance use assessments, eating assessments, and 24/7 crisis intervention services.  These services are available to all eligible Homewood and Peabody undergraduate and graduate students.