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Pictures of Marijuana for Parents

Photos in Different Stages of Growth and Use

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John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. He is the medical director at Alcohol Recovery Medicine. For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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 on the wrong side of the law. You should prepare to have a conversation with your child about the risks involved in using or selling marijuana when underage.

Marijuana Plant Growing in a Pot

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Cavan Images, LLC / Taxi / Getty Images

If you find plants around your home that look similar to the marijuana plant in the photo, someone in your household is trying to grow their own weed. The plants have changed considerably in recent decades as they have been bred to produce more buds.

Leaves on a Marijuana Plant

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Gary Morrison / Getty Images

If you see plants like this growing around your home, chances are they did not just pop-up in the wild—they were purposely cultivated. 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.

Chopped Up Marijuana Plant

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Steve Cicero / Getty Images

Marijuana is dried and chopped up to prepare it for use and sale. The stems are usually removed.

Marijuana Joints

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Levi Bianco / Getty Images

If your child is using marijuana, you may be likely to find rolled joints of marijuana cigarettes. You may also find rolling papers. Your child may claim that these are hand-rolled tobacco cigarettes, which would also be a concern.

Small Amount of Marijuana Ready for Sale

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Michael Betts / Getty Images

You may find a small amount of marijuana your child has acquired for personal use to smoke. It is probably readily available in your community.

Plastic Bag Full of Marijuana

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Nate Brown / EyeEm / Getty Images

You may also find larger quantities of marijuana in a plastic zip-lock bag. You might find smaller plastic bags with residue inside. This can trigger concerns that your child is transporting or selling marijuana rather than obtaining it for personal use.

Marijuana Bud

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Oksana Smith / EyeEm / Getty Images

Marijuana buds are higher in THC than other parts of the plant and are sold at a premium. As marijuana has been increasingly bred to produce more buds, you may find this type of marijuana in your home. It is probably much more potent than the average street-grade weed.

Close Up of Marijuana Bud

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Michael Thomas / EyeEm / Getty Images

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.

Processed Marijuana Buds

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Sinisa Kukic / Getty Images

If you find a larger quantity of processed marijuana buds in your home, someone either has an expensive habit or they are selling weed to their friends.

Indoor Marijuana Grow Operation

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Jeff Rotman / naturepl.com / Getty Images

If you see this many marijuana plants growing indoors, you have stumbled upon a major indoor marijuana grow operation. Leave the scene immediately and call 9-1-1 if it is not a legal operation.

You Found Some Marijuana, Now What?

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Richard T. Nowitz / Getty Images

First of all, don’t over-react. Before you force your child into a professional drug treatment program that you may not be able to afford and they may not even need, take a step back and try to evaluate the situation.

It may be that your child has experimented with marijuana use or tried it a couple of times with their friends. That happens a lot more these days than it may have happened when you were in school.

Forty-four percent of all students have tried weed by 12th grade according to the National Institutes of Health.   That means that your child probably has friends who are smoking marijuana or at least know someone who is.

Your child’s involvement in marijuana may have just been a passing curiosity, or it may be more than that. Before you react, you need to assess just what your child’s level of involvement is with marijuana.

How do you do that? The best advice available is the simplest—ask 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.

Of course, your child’s use of marijuana may be more involved than simple experimentation, depending on how much of the drug you found. If so, they may not be as willing to talk to you about it. In this case, you will need to educate your child on the legal risks of transporting or selling marijuana.

Parents may want to know what marijuana looks like in all stages of development and use. See photos that can help you check what you find at home.

PSA: Don’t Smoke Those Stems

These are crazy times, so it’s not that weird that you’re looking at your bowl of weed stems and contemplating smoking them. Waste not, want not, right?

As nice as it is to reduce waste and be resourceful, smoking stems isn’t the way to go.

If stems are all you have left, then you’ve already smoked the good stuff.

Stems contain almost no THC. What little may be in there doesn’t even come close to being enough to produce a high.

The negligible amount of THC in stems isn’t worth the unpleasant effects and risk to your lungs that come with smoking.

Inhaling smoke harms your lungs. It doesn’t matter if it’s bud, seed, tobacco, or burning wood. Toxins and carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) are released from the combustion of materials, even stems. This damages your lungs and increases your risk for cancer and heart and lung diseases.

Smoke effects aside, smoking stems can cause:

  • a raging headache
  • a sore throat
  • coughing

It’ll also taste like you’re smoking wood chips.

Some people on Reddit and other forums who admit to having smoked weed stems also reported uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms, like nausea and abdominal pain.

Nope. You shouldn’t smoke those either.

Marijuana seeds aren’t going to get you high no matter how many you crush and smoke. There’s just not enough THC in the seeds to produce any effects.

Lighting them up will create a lot of snap, crackle, and pop. The acrid smoke will irritate your throat and damage your lungs like other smoke. But that’s about it.

Stems and seeds aren’t worth smoking, but that doesn’t mean they’re entirely useless. You may be able to use lingering stems and seeds. Exactly what you can do with them depends on how many you have.

If you just have a few seeds kicking around, you could plant them and try growing your own stash (if you live in an area where this is permitted, of course).

Have an abundance of stems and seeds to play with? Consider eating it.

Here are some ways to make it appetizing.

Brew some stem tea

Before getting your brew on, you’ll want to bake the stems on a baking sheet in the oven for around 45 minutes at 225°F (107°C). When done, let the stems cool, and then grind them up.

Put your ground stems in a tea diffuser and let them steep in boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. If you don’t have a diffuser, you can steep your ground stems in a pot of boiling water and then place a coffee filter over your mug and pour so it strains your brew.

Make stem butter

Who doesn’t like butter?

Just like when making tea from weed stems, you’ll want to bake your stems in the oven at 225°F (107°C) for 45 minutes and let them cool before grinding.

Place some butter in a pan and melt over low heat. Once the butter’s completely melted, add the ground stems and let simmer for around 30 minutes, stirring often.

To strain it, cheesecloth works best. Just secure the cheesecloth over a glass jar with a rubber band, and slowly pour the butter over the cloth. Let the butter cool and — voilà — stem butter!

It might be tempting to smoke all those stems that are gathering dust in your jar, but you may want to think twice before lighting up.