Cannabis, also known as marijuana, has been a controversial topic for decades, with proponents claiming that it has various medical benefits, while opponents argue that it can lead to addiction, psychological issues and other problems. While the debate continues, there is evidence to suggest that cannabis use can be particularly dangerous for teenagers.

Teens and Marijuana Use

According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, research shows that the teenage brain is still developing, and cannabis use during this period can lead to long-term problems.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 35 percent of US High School students admitted to lifetime use of marijuana and over 20 percent in the last 30 days. More concerning, however, is how young some of these teenagers are when they started using, as eight percent of eight graders and 19 percent of tenth graders reported marijuana usage in the last year.

If the teen brain doesn’t fully develop until 25, then these students are far too early for marijuana usage without risk of damaging their developing brain. This can cause everything from problems with the law in the short-term to problems with school and social life that can impact the rest of their lives.

Dangers of Using Cannabis as a Teen

  1. Vaping: Many teens are drawn to vaping THC oil because it’s discreet and easy to hide. However, vaping any substance can damage the lungs, and the long-term effects of vaping THC oil are proving to have a negative impact.
  2. Loss of coping skills: Cannabis use can be a form of self-medication, and teens who use it to cope with stress or emotional pain may never develop healthy coping skills. This can lead to difficulties in managing emotions and stress later in life.
  3. Trauma: Cannabis use can interfere with the brain’s natural ability to process traumatic experiences, leading to more severe symptoms of PTSD and other mental health disorders.
  4. THC oil: THC oil is a concentrated form of cannabis that can be very potent. Ingesting too much THC oil can lead to paranoia, hallucinations, and other psychotic symptoms, which can be particularly dangerous for teens who are still developing mentally.
  5. Loss of relationships: Cannabis use can interfere with social relationships, as teens who use it may be less motivated to spend time with family and friends who don’t use it. This can lead to a sense of isolation and loneliness, which can exacerbate mental health problems.
  6. Impact on mental health: Studies suggest that cannabis can increase the risk of developing mental health problems, particularly if it’s used regularly and over a long period of time. Some potential risks include anxiety, depression and psychosis.

Understand the Risks of Marijuana Use

It is important for teenagers to understand the potential risks associated with the use of cannabis. Parents and educators should discuss these risks with teenagers, so they can make informed decisions about their health and well-being.

Contact Glen Oaks Hospital online or call us at 903-454-6000 if you are looking to help your teen struggling with substance abuse.