What is Marijuana Addiction?
Marijuana consists of dried and shredded leaves, stems, and flowers of the cannabis sativa plant. The active chemical responsible for many of the psychotropic affects from marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC.
The recent efforts to legalize marijuana has created some confusion for many parents regarding the effects of marijuana use. Although it has become legal in many states, it will remain illegal for individuals under the age of 21 because of its effects on the developing brain. It’s not yet known how the increasing legalization and availability will affect teen use, but the social normalization is becoming more similar to alcohol.
In a recent 2016 study by NIDA, 44.5% of 12th graders in America report having used marijuana in their lifetime, while 22.5% report having used within the last month. While this rate of use appears to be steady over the last 20 years, the concentration of THC in the marijuana being used has significantly increased. The average THC content in marijuana in 2013 was nearly 10%, compared to 3.7% in the early 1990s. The substance is becoming more potent and many teens are not aware of this.
The smoking of extracts from the marijuana plant (called dabbing) can also deliver high doses of THC. Extracts such as hash oil, honey oil, wax, and shatter can contain 3 to 5 times the amounts of THC as the plant itself.
“44% of 12th graders in America report having used marijuana”
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