Colorado and Washington See Increase in Teen Use of Potent Marijuana

Colorado and Washington, the first two states to legalize recreational marijuana, are seeing an increase in teen use of highly potent marijuana, The Washington Post reports.

Although the legal age to purchase marijuana in both states is 21, teens are easily able to get hold of marijuana edibles, according to parents, educators and doctors. They also are using “shatter,” a marijuana concentrate that is heated and inhaled through a special device. Some products average 68% THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

Doctors are warning of the need for education about how these products affect brain development. Experts told the newspaper scientific research, while limited, shows earlier and more frequent use of high-THC products put teens at increased risk of substance use disorders, mental health issues and poor school performance.

“The brain is abnormally vulnerable during adolescence,” said Staci Gruber, a Harvard Medical School researcher who studies how marijuana affects the brain. “Policy seems to have outpaced science, and in the best of all possible worlds, science would allow us to set policy.”

How to Talk About Marijuana With Your Kids

Where do you start? What do you say? We’re here to help. Between legalization, increased normalization in pop culture and new ways of using (edibles, vaporizers, concentrates), it’s becoming more and more complicated to know how to address marijuana use with your kids.

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