Teaching Your Teens about Marijuana

Smoking Synthetic MarijuanaAs a parent, it is important that you educate your teen about marijuana so that they know all the facts before they are put in a situation where they have to choose to use or not.

Teaching your teen about marijuana is an effective way of preventing the use of this substance. While states across the country are legalizing the recreational use of this substance, it is still considered a drug that alters the user’s perception and has the potential for abuse and addiction problems. Educating your teen or young adult about marijuana empowers them to make the right choice if/when they find themselves in a situation where marijuana is being used.

Marijuana is a mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds and flowers from the help plant. It comes in a variety of colors ranging from green, reddish green, brown, to nearly gray. This drug goes by many slang names including pot, herb, weed, grass, mary jane and chronic. Every form of marijuana is mind-altering and changes how the user’s brain works when it is used. The THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), in marijuana is the main active chemical that creates the “high” users experience when on this drug. There are numerous strains of marijuana that range in THC strength and potency.

Users will take marijuana in a variety of ways. One of the most well known is smoking marijuana in a cigarette, known as a joint or nail. Other users smoke marijuana in a pipe or bong; while there are some who put marijuana into cigars called blunts. With medicinal marijuana becoming legalized as well as some states legalizing recreational marijuana there are now even more methods to consume this drug. Shops that sell medicinal marijuana or recreational marijuana sell everything from edibles (chocolates, cookies, brownies and other candies), tea, fruit punch drinks, tinctures, topical gels, transdermal patches, creams and THC liquid to use in electronic cigarettes.

The effects of marijuana depend on a variety of factors including: how much THC is in the marijuana, what the user expects to happen, the location where the drug is used, how the drug is taken, if the user has taken other substances (alcohol, prescription drugs, and illicit drugs). While most marijuana users feel relaxed and “high” when using marijuana, some do not experience any effects what so ever. A common experience among all marijuana users is feeling thirsty and hungry, often referred to as the “munchies”. It is not too uncommon to hear of users having a “bad reaction” to the marijuana they have used. They may suddenly be overcome with paranoia and anxiety that does not subside until the effects of the drug wears off; this could potentially take hours.

It has been said that marijuana is a gateway drug. This is because most drug abusers and addicts began their downward spiral into substance abuse and addiction through the use of marijuana. Teens and young adults who use marijuana often find themselves in undesirable situations where drug dealers are selling other substance in addition to just marijuana. This leads to increased curiosity and the potential to try harder drugs.

Marijuana abuse and addiction is a very real outcome that stems from recreational use of the drug. Users begin to seek the drug compulsively and use it at every opportunity. They begin to rely on marijuana’s effect’s to help them manage their feelings and get through the day. When this happens, their ability to remain sober decreases and their emotional dependence on the drug grows. Talking to your son or daughter will establish an open line of communication so they can share with you what is going on in their life. If they know they can reach out to you for information and guidance they will have the support they need to make the right choices in their lives when it comes to using marijuana.


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