Marijuana is a very popular drug with young people. However, that doesn’t mean that all teens are using marijuana, despite the increasing ease of access due to legalization and normalization. Marijuana — often known as ‘weed,’ ‘pot,’ or ‘grass,’ among other nicknames — is a product of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. The main active chemical in marijuana is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), which of the roughly 400 chemicals found in the cannabis plant affects the brain the most.
A green or gray mixture of dried, shredded flowers and leaves of the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa), marijuana also comes in the form of oil and wax extracts and in a wide array of food products. Loose marijuana can be rolled into a cigarette called a “joint,” smoked in a pipe or water pipe (called a “bong”) or vaporized using a “vape” pen.
During the teen and young adult years, your child is especially susceptible to the negative effects of any drug use, including marijuana. Evidence has shown that starting marijuana use during the teen years and using it frequently into young adulthood is associated with a lowered IQ and interference with other aspects of functioning and well-being. Even the occasional use of pot can cause teens to engage in risky behavior, find themselves in vulnerable situations and make bad choices while under the influence.
The best approach to help prevent your child from using marijuana, or to address their using, is to talk to your child about marijuana, and share your concerns.