It’s a confusing time we are living in. Just decades ago we were so sure that marijuana killed brain cells, and now there is evidence that marijuana doesn’t harm the brain. Only 15 years ago middle schools were informing children that a joint is worse than 15 cigarettes to keep children from smoking weed. This misinformation didn’t work. This uneducated bias doesn’t keep anyone safe; it can only lead to rebellion and curiosity. If you’re having a hard time wrapping your head around all of this and what to say to your teen, we’ve got you covered on some excellent talking points.
What THC Does To The Teenager’s Brain
The teenage brain is already going through a lot with puberty. Chemicals are figuring themselves out, and emotions are at all-time highs, all because the brain is literally remodeling itself. It’s no doubt a confusing and frustrating time, and smoking marijuana can just make it worse.
THC has healing benefits that shouldn't go unnoticed. However, it still produces psychoactive effects. In the short term, teens can start having a hard time concentrating and focusing throughout the day. For heavy users, their decision making and memory begin to suffer. This can last for much longer than the high itself, making it hard to function at 100% for a couple of days after the first initial hit.
Heavy marijuana use in teens also has long-term effects that can be avoided by just waiting until your brain is finished developing. A lot of people who started smoking as teens live a very unfulfilling life. This isn’t because they aren’t successful, to the contrary some of the most successful people use marijuana. Their unfulfillment is in their dismal perception created by their early marijuana use. Their skies just aren’t as blue. Smoking weed early in life may make you impossible to satisfy as an adult.
They have found that there is structural damage to those who started using marijuana early on in life and continued use. What they found was that they had less white matter in their brains, which is what helps the brain communicate with itself. They also discovered that people who used marijuana as teens and continued into adulthood had issues with cellular activity in their endocannabinoid system. This is a big problem because that system is in charge of homeostasis of the body.
The Difference Between CBD And THC
Often our youth can get confused by things because we fail to show them the whole picture. When you are constantly hearing about how medical marijuana can help people, why on earth would it be something they can’t use? They see children with seizures using it, surely they can indulge without consequences.
When people say medical marijuana, it doesn’t always mean the exact same thing. There are a lot of cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, and different levels all do different things. The two most sought after and known about are THC and CBD. If you and your teen have been discussing marijuana for ailments, the safest route to go that would be choosing an extremely low THC strand or CBD only products.
CBD doesn’t interact with the brain the same way that THC does, avoiding the impairments that may come along with THC. For young marijuana users, CBD protects their brain against the harmful effects of THC, which is why it is usually suggested they use a strain that is low THC and high CBD in legal states. For those of you who cannot get medical marijuana with THC in it, street marijuana is not a good substitute in the least.
The Difference Between Street Weed And Shop Weed
Not every state has come to the same conclusion that marijuana is safe and has bountiful healing properties. You can get CBD legally in al 50 states, but THC is still very illegal in the majority of America. People living in illegal states may think they can just buy CBD and get marijuana on the street and it would have the same effect. This is no doubt the safest way to go about street marijuana. However, it isn’t as productive as one would hope.
The problem with marijuana that you get from a drug dealer is you have no idea how much THC is in the plant. Sure, they can tell you. They might have a cute bag that has a label, and they tell you how they got it from California. This isn’t to say that all drug dealers are bad people, but you can’t necessarily always trust them or their source. Street weed has proven to be a lot more potent than the kind you can get in the shops, having very little CBD to help counter the effects of THC.
The majority of consumers who buy marijuana on the street aren’t always looking for healing benefits; they are just looking for the high. There is nothing wrong with this, but it gives the growers incentive to juice up the THC level and neglects the other cannabinoids that make the plant so good for you. You can, of course, pair CBD with it, but you have no idea what you’re doing because you don’t have all the information you need to do so. It’s not suggested, and it’s also illegal which is something you should avoid.
Marijuana Is Good… For Most
The first rule of medicine is that every body is different. Every body reacts differently to chemicals because it is almost impossible to have the exact same body chemistry as another person. Just because their friend smokes weed all day every day and seems to be okay, that doesn’t mean their body will react the same way. THC and CBD are medications. Even though they are some of the safest options, you could possibly have, you should never risk your mental or physical health for a little fun. A controlled environment and reliable products are needed to fully enjoy the marijuana experience and stay safe while you do it.
Try Not To Classify Marijuana As A Drug
Marijuana being called a drug and categorized with cocaine and heroin doesn’t help anyone learn what it could possibly do to them. Especially when our teens are well aware how marijuana isn’t a drug at all. The best way to set someone up for failure is through misinformation, and we don’t want that for our teens. If your kid is well aware that marijuana is safe to use and nothing like black tar heroin, they will probably call you out, and every point you make from then will be negated by the poor use of categorization.
Something doesn’t have to be portrayed as a terrifying and dangerous drug for your teen to not want to use it. Putting value in their mental and physical health and informing them of the possible permanent changes is the best way to help them make the right decisions. You won't be there when their friends are pressuring them into hitting the joint. Telling them it’s just one hit or just one brownie. They need to be armed with knowledge to get passed those trials.
And now a letter for your teens. They need to know this stuff, too. And sometimes it’s better if it comes from someone who isn’t their mom or dad. Someone who knows their stuff and understands what it’s like to be a teen not really understanding why they can’t do something because they have only been told no, but not necessarily why.
Hey. What’s up? Doing some teen things and then your parent interrupted you to read some article? Maybe you’re scouring the internet to see what garbage people are filling your parent's heads with. Don’t worry, no garbage here. It’s well known that your generation has access to a lot more information than the generations before you, basically making you geniuses.
Don’t let that get to your head, though. The smartest and wisest people don’t flaunt their intelligence; they don’t mock information that they don’t agree with or have never heard. They recognize how much they don’t know and are eager to continue learning. I mean, it would be pretty lame if you plateaued at 16, wouldn’t it?
How Well Do You Know These People
Where are you getting your stuff? From your friends? Are they getting it from their parents or on the street? It’s unfortunate, but you are at a time in your life where people will see you as vulnerable. You haven’t been in the game long enough to know what’s good and what’s not. There are some messed up people out there, and they are so weak the only people they can target are people who are young and just figuring things out. This is in no way a reflection of you're intelligence. Just because you don't know something doesn't make you dumb, choosing not to learn and understand makes a person dumb.
Even as adults, we have to be careful about where we get marijuana. This is why a lot of people are just waiting it out for it to become legalized. It’s pretty rare, but some people will sell weed that they blast with sand to create a heavier weight. This tears up your lungs and can have permanent damage. Some adults don’t make very good decisions and will take joints from strangers at a party, and it will be laced with something they didn’t expect. There is even moldy weed you have to worry about. If you aren’t getting your marijuana from a trusted an reputable source, there is no telling what it could do to your body.
Do You Understand Potency Levels?
You might think, hey it’s just a brownie. If you’ve never even smoked weed before, you are probably going to have a terrible time with edibles. Even if you have, smoking is nothing like having THC being administered into your body throughout several hours. If it’s too strong, you can’t make the high go away. You just have to sit there and be uncomfortable for hours until it stops. Did you know that the street weed in illegal states has way too much THC in them? You might think, “That’s awesome!” But it’s not.
Too much THC can do permanent damage to your brain. You’re our smartest generation; it would be a shame if you didn’t let your brain fully develop without interference. It will make your adult life less satisfying because your brain just can’t be happy, it can make your mind fuzzy and confusing, and it can bring on anxiety and depression later on.
You might think it’s quite silly that marijuana is illegal, and you want to prove a point. Laws don’t change when everyone just follows them blindly without questioning them, and harmless civil disobedience is how marijuana activists have been making waves in the industry. But this is their job, not yours. We don’t need you making this point by rebelling and smoking marijuana. What we need from you is just to be awesome and successful to show the world what real stoners are like. But you’re going to have to go through a non-stoner phase right now to make your future the best that it can be.
So When Can I Smoke?
You’ve got to be up for compromise, right? Well, there is good news when it comes to recreational marijuana use. Once you’re in your early twenties, it stops having the same potential damaging effects on your brain. So here’s the deal; go to school, get good grades, be awesome and have fun, and once you are at a time in your life where your mind is settled, you can start thinking about recreational marijuana. If it is still illegal in your state by then, it’s the perfect time to choose a college or job in a state where you can be lawful.
If you absolutely need medical marijuana, check out our shop for pure CBD products. They have less than .03% of THC, making them completely safe for teens and children to use. It is also a great way to try and reverse the damage that heavy marijuana use may have done to the brain.