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5 Facts About Cannabis Use to Help Educate Your Teens
By the time your children become teenagers, they’ve likely become familiar with the existence and general concept of marijuana. However, it can be easy for them to learn false and misleading information about it from their friends or online. Many teens will at least experiment with marijuana at some point, and with the wrong information, they can make unhealthy choices.
That’s why it’s so important to provide your own cannabis education to your kids once they hit puberty. They must understand the factual risks for using marijuana before adulthood, while also maintaining a healthy respect for its utility in a medical capacity.
Here are five of the most important facts that your teen should know.
#1 | Smoking Marijuana Is Bad for Your Lungs
Your children probably know about the significant risk to their lungs if they smoke cigarettes, but they probably don’t know how harmful smoking marijuana is. While the chemicals in a joint may not be as dangerous as those in cigarettes, different risks come with smoking marijuana.
For example, people who smoke weed usually deeply inhale and hold it in their lungs for some time. This means that the harmful chemicals in a joint have an extended period of contact with the tissue in their lungs to build up and cause harm. Also, people usually smoke joints to the very end, where more of the tar and toxic chemicals are concentrated.
That’s why studies looking at the lungs of regular marijuana smokers found several known signals for future lung cancer. If they’re going to use marijuana, it is far safer to use them in edibles, drinkables, oils, and so on.
#2 | It’s Easy to Overdo Eating Marijuana Edibles
On the note of edibles, it is prevalent for anyone trying them for the first time to overdo it and wind up getting sick. This is because it can take an hour or more to feel the effects when you eat marijuana, as opposed to smoking it when you can feel the effects much quicker.
As a result, inexperienced people tend to eat more because they think it wasn’t that strong. We recommend trying a small piece and wait for 1-2 hours to see how it affects you before eating any more.
#3 | Marijuana Can Be Addictive
Marijuana use disorder is a real thing. Just because it is not as harmful as an addiction to hard drugs like heroin or cocaine, doesn’t mean it isn’t problematic. The issue comes from tolerance, where someone uses marijuana so much that it takes more and more to have the same effect.
As a result, people can feel withdrawal symptoms whenever they are not actively high or consuming marijuana. Typically, withdrawal from marijuana comes in the form of feeling irritable and moody, having trouble sleeping, not feeling hungry, and increased anxiety. Teens are more likely to become addicted to marijuana than any other age group, with 9% of teens becoming dependent on it within two years of initial use.
#4 | Marijuana Can Help Anxiety & Depression in Small Doses
Some teens might use marijuana to treat anxiety, stress, depression, and other mental health or mood disorders. While this is partially true, the research into its effects is incomplete, and what is known tells a more complicated story.
While small doses of marijuana can help alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression, having higher doses can make it worse. That’s why medical marijuana is a controlled substance. It is generally better to take CBD – a component from marijuana that contains no psychoactive THC to make you feel “high”, which is what can cause anxiety.
#5 | People Under 25 Should Avoid Marijuana
Marijuana undeniably affects the brain, but for teens and anyone under the age of 25, it can affect their brain’s development. This is because the more complicated parts of your brain — the prefrontal cortex — that control reasoning, impulses, and emotions don’t fully mature until around 25 years old.
If a teenager or a young adult abuses marijuana, it can inhibit natural development. It is common to see teenagers become more prone to poorly controlling their emotions, using poor judgment and planning, not thinking of consequences, and taking more risks or impulsive behavior.
With these risks, it is a good idea to try and discourage your children from using marijuana until they are older. In that sense, it should be treated like alcohol. Unlike alcohol, there are still some benefits for mature and controlled use, especially for several medical conditions such as chronic pain. However, unless your child has a medical condition where marijuana becomes a necessity, they should avoid it until they are older.
Article by: cannabis education