How Smoking Affects the Teenage Brain

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Marijuana is the most widely used drug in the United States. Cannabis has also been legalized in twenty-three states, which has made it seem more acceptable. Despite the fact that there is an age limit to purchase and use this drug critics are still concerned of it being more accessible to young teens. Even though this drug helps some people with medical conditions including pain, muscle spasms, seizures, and helps cancer patients through chemotherapy. It still has effects on a developing brain. When you are young and healthy but want to be “cool” you’d think “oh if its legal and other people do it how can it hurt me?” Studies show that in the short term use of marijuana it has been shown to impair you in things such as attention, your memory, and Deion making and learning functions. Many would think that those effects only last while high but they would be incorrect, those effects can last for days after the high. In cases when teens have become heavy marijuana users they have been seen to outcome including poor school performance, high dropout rates. Many times when the charts go up on teen marijuana use so does welfare dependence, greater unemployment and a lower life satisfaction.

Many like to think that “it’s a plant and because its natural it cant hurt” but the reality behind that is that marijuana signature high comes from the THC or tetrahydrocannabinol and researcher Weiss says that THC is not at all risk free.

Staci Gruber,PHD a neurologist said while still in the adolescents stages the brain is still under construction, therefore it is very sensitive to drug use. Being that the frontal cortex is the last part of the brain to develop it also hold the most important things such as personality, Decision-making and judgement. Also immature teens is the endocannabinoid system. This system comprises the physiological mechanisms that responds to THC. Being that that system controls emotional control.

Many parents have reported that they have been warning there kids about the effects and harms of smoking marijuana as a teen or even as an adult for over a 100 years. And teens have been ignoring that for about the same amount of time. Someone who is more a a constant weed smoker Is often seen to get chronic bronchitis. However there are truly more short term effects then they’re is long term. Some more short term effects are altered judgement, increased sexual behaviors that can lead up to the transmission of STDs, and those are just a couple.

However it has been reported that addiction is found in 9% of users overall and 17% who begin use in teenage years.

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