3 Myths About Teen Marijuana Use … BUSTED!
With the recent legalizations of marijuana in Washington, Alaska, Colorado, and Oregon, there have been a lot of myths swirling around about the use of pot by teenagers. Marijuana no longer resembles the relatively safe drug that older generations enjoyed in the 1970’s. It has been bred for increased potency and with that comes increased risk.
MYTH: Marijuana is just a plant, so it’s safe.
There are plenty of substances that naturally occur in nature that are harmful when absorbed into the body. One such example is tobacco, which is also a plant. Indeed, it did take many decades for people to believe that tobacco is harmful, but it has been shown to cause deadly cancers in the mouth, lungs, throat, and more. Marijuana use has also been linked to negative effects like a decrease in IQ, brain cell damage, car accidents, and more.
MYTH: Pot is safer for developing, teen brains than booze.
Adolescence is an important time for brain development – it’s when important connections are made between neurons. A 2016 study found a link between marijuana and altered brain structure, size, and function. Areas that are damaged by marijuana use include the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for organizing, planning, and critical thinking. In short, pot damages the part of the brain that is crucial for responsible, mature behaviour.
MYTH: Marijuana can lessen symptoms of mental illnesses, like schizophrenia.
While a 2013 study showed no positive cognitive improvement from pot use to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia, it’s even worse than that. When marijuana is used by teens, the onset of schizophrenic symptoms can actually begin to show up to six years earlier than compared to patients that did not smoke pot.