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4 Ways In Which Cannabis Can Harm The Teenage Brain

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As cannabis gets legalized in the US and Canada, the interest in it is rising dramatically. However, legalization does not mean that marijuana is entirely safe. Though there is a perception among the weed community that it is an end all be all cure for every ailment, in reality, it does have several adverse impacts as well. 

The legal age for the consumption of weed is still 21 in the US, 18 in some other countries; however, many teenagers use the legalization of weed as a green light to smoke it as much as they want. 

Even though studies have shown various positive effects of cannabis use, its adverse effects cannot be denied, which is much worse for growing minds and bodies of teenagers.

How does cannabis affect our bodies?

To understand how cannabis works in the human body, you need to know about two things. Firstly, our body has specific cannabinoid receptors. It produces natural cannabinoids that bind with them, and have an essential role to play in several functions of the chemical nervous symptoms. They play an essential role in determining our emotional responses, sleep patterns, and pain receptors, among many other things.

Secondly, the cannabis plant also has cannabinoids, and the two most prominent ones are THC and CBD. The concentration of either cannabinoid in a strain or edible determines its effects. However, most recreational users, including underage teenagers, opt for THC dominant strains, which have a euphoric impact on our minds.

When THC enters our body, it passes from our lungs to our bloodstream, from where they make their way to your mind and bind with the specific cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are primarily located in parts of the brain that are associated with concentration, pleasure, time perception, and memory. 

Though cannabis has minimal long-term effects, it can be especially detrimental for a teenage brain, which is still not thoroughly developed. Studies show that neural development continues until your mid-twenties; however, it is exceptionally accelerated during your adolescent years.

Therefore, using weed, or any other mind-altering substance in this age can be very dangerous. 

Prevalence of cannabis in teenagers:

You might be wondering how the standard is cannabis actually among teenagers, well, here are some stats that will open your eyes. 

About 3.1 million adolescent teenagers, in the age group of 12-17, used marijuana in 2018, furthermore. According to a report, about 14% of eighth-graders in the US have used weed in their lifetime. 

Therefore, illegal weed consumption among teenagers is a serious problem that has to be addressed. Therefore, to raise awareness about it, there are four ways cannabis can be harmful to teenagers.

Cannabis can increase the risk of depression and suicidal thoughts in adolescent minds:

Though cannabis is known as a treatment for depression, it can have the opposite effects on weak minds. According to a 2019 review, more than 23000 people using marijuana in children under the age of 18 can significantly increase the risk of depression and suicidal thoughts.

Cannabis can cause teenagers to think negatively and adopt habits that are bad for their health. It can cause paranoia and psychosis. 

Cannabis can impair cognitive function:

There is no doubt that cannabis impairs your cognitive function. This effect is unanimous for both teenagers and adults; however, it is more damaging for young adolescent teenagers.

THC is known to make people lethargic and lazy; high THC strains can get you stuck on the couch for hours and hours. Since this effect is bad enough for adults, it is even more dangerous for teenagers.

Studies have shown that teenagers who use cannabis have consistently shown lower IQs than people who don’t use weed; moreover, young cannabis users are also more likely to neglect their studies and engage in illegal activities. Their academic performance decreases, and they are more likely to drop out of school. 

Studies have also shown that teenage cannabis users show higher rates of unemployment in their adulthood as well. 

Cannabis can disrupt the brain’s maturation process:

The brains of teenagers are developing at a rapid rate. During our teenagers, our brain undergoes a process known as myelination. This is an essential process of the brain’s maturation. And it gives the white matter in our brain its color. This process is not completed until your mid-twenties, and heavy cannabis use can interfere with this process, and damage the brain. 

This can lead to a higher incidence of impulsivity, and teenagers, who started smoking before the age of 16, are particularly affected by it. Moreover, it can lead to paranoia in their older age, and cause psychosis as well. 

Furthermore, smoking weed is even more dangerous than other consumption methods; therefore, even adults should stick with edibles instead of smoke. If you are curious about cannabis edibles, you can always learn more on cannawholesalers.net.

Cannabis reduces blood flow to the brain:

Where certain strains of cannabis are good for blood circulation, high amounts of THC can decrease the blood flow to the brain, especially in younger consumers.

In fact, according to a brain imaging study in 2016, in which more than a thousand active cannabis users participated, the cannabis smokers showed a significantly decreased blood flow to the brain compared to the control group. 

The study also showed that the hippocampus was the most affected part of the mind. The hippocampus is mostly involved in memory and mood. 

Studies have shown that low blood flow can be a cause for ADHD, bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, and many other mental disorders. 

Final thoughts:

Any addictive, or mind-altering substance has negative impacts, especially on developing minds, and regardless of all the medical advantages of weed, it is no exception. Though it can be beneficial when used for medicinal purposes, by adults, it is not for teenagers.

Therefore, it is essential to raise awareness about marijuana use in teenagers. Steps should be taken to counteract the prevalence of marijuana and other mind-altering substances in underage people. I hope that this post helps us understand the degree of this issue and aids in its resolution. 

Author’s bio:
James is a physical and mental well-being expert. He has been trying to help people all around the globe by writing about topics such as anxiety and insomnia. He believes words are an excellent medium to showcase knowledge. You can peruse his site at 
https://cannawholesalers.ca/.

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