Marijuana & Youth – A Bad Combo
What makes the teen brain different from any other brain? Why is this such a big deal? New research suggests that because the teen brain is still developing, smoking weed may reshape the structure of the brain, potentially damaging a teen for life. When the THC from smoked marijuana enters the brain, it attaches to receptors in the brain and “hijacks” them so that their normal function is disrupted.
What happens when marijuana hijacks and alters a teen’s brain development? Startling consequences…such as a lifetime decrease in IQ. Regular marijuana use that begins as a teenager can lead to a drop of up to 8 IQ points. And then there’s memory loss, lack of ability to concentrate and make decisions, and problems learning new things. We are all given one brain at birth that has to last a lifetime. Make the most of it!
1 in 6 teens who start smoking weed in their teens become addicted to it.
Sometimes more power is a good thing, but with marijuana, the increased power (or potency) makes the drug more toxic. Today’s weed is definitely not the weed of the 1970’s and 80’s! The THC in marijuana has been increasing steadily since the 1980’s. In 2011, the THC concentration in marijuana averaged 11.4% compared to around 4% in the 1980’s. Some current strains contain as much as 30% THC.
Depending on what part of the marijuana plant is used, the THC content can be altered to be high or low. The marijuana that is smoked or eaten does not come in a well-defined dose with measureable ingredients.