Cannabis use isn’t legal on the federal level. However, most US states and territories have allowed its use in some form, with age limits cutting out minors. Let’s see what could happen if someone gave marijuana to a minor.
But still, young people are getting their hands on the drug anyway.
Did you know that over 38 percent of school kids have used marijuana at some point in their lives?
Regardless of the regulations, school kids are finding ways to use and abuse the drug. With all the talk about potential benefits, adults are even encouraging minors to use cannabis products.
What many people don’t realize is that marijuana is harmful to young people.
Reason Why Marijuana is Harmful to Minors
There’s a good reason why underage use of marijuana is largely prohibited around the world.
Kids and teens don’t have fully matured brains, and marijuana can harm their developing brains.
If you want to know what could happen if someone gave marijuana to a minor, take a look at these risks:
Impaired Brain Functions
The psychoactive properties of marijuana are caused by a compound called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). When you use the drug, this chemical finds its way into the bloodstream and then the brain, where it interacts with the body’s natural cannabinoid receptors.
The problem is, THC causes intense stimulation in the areas of the brain responsible for memory, learning, attention, etc. It’s this stimulation that people call “high”.
This overstimulation may not be a big deal to adults, but to underage people, it can impair vital brain functions.
Interference With Neurotransmitters
Neurotransmitters are important chemicals in the body that act as messengers, passing vital messages between neurons.
Research shows that marijuana can interfere with the functions of these neurotransmitters in young people because of their developing brains.
Respiratory and Heart Problems
Children and teens are more vulnerable when it comes to developing respiratory problems and heart diseases.
Studies have discovered that unchecked use of marijuana can lead to serious lung issues, much like smoking cigarettes does.
These complications are thought to be quite high in children and adolescents.
Increased Risk of Mental Illness
Researchers link cannabis with an increased risk of mental illnesses in teens.
Their findings suggest that cannabis can cause acute psychosis in adolescents.
In one study, healthy volunteers were given intravenous THC, and they developed temporary symptoms similar to those of schizophrenia. The symptoms appeared to persist for days in adolescents.
More studies have determined that half of the youths who show symptoms of psychosis are at risk of developing a psychotic condition in the future.
Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome
Continuous use of marijuana can lead to a rare condition called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS).
CHS causes excess vomiting and nausea. In severe cases, CHS may cause seizures, brain swelling, and heart problems.
Children and young adults are more at risk of developing the condition.
There’s a risk of reduced brain power when people start using marijuana at an early age.
Recent reports show that teens who heavily use the drug lose an average of eight IQ points before reaching adulthood.
The effects on brain power can’t be fully reversed even through quitting.
Risk of Dependence
An estimated 9 percent of frequent users of marijuana become dependent. Chances of dependency increase the earlier you start using the drug.
Cannabis users who start as adolescents are six times more likely to become dependent than adults. Chances that these people will also use other drugs alongside cannabis are high.
With that said, cannabis has tons of health benefits. It’s just that the cons outweigh the pros when it comes to minors.
However, if you still want your kids to benefit from the unique properties of cannabis, you should check with your State or local jurisdiction concerning isolates such as CBD and terpenes.
That way, they’ll get to benefit from the useful components of cannabis without getting harmed.
Cannabis isolates are separated, in their purest form, from the rest of the plant’s chemical compounds.
Check out this site for further info if you want to learn more about terpenes and their beneficial effects.
It’d also be wise to talk to a medical professional, as in some cases, marijuana is allowed for medical purposes under a doctor’s supervision