Here are the highlights:
- Brain continues to develop until the early 20's (my note: Multiple studies report brain growth into the mid-30's, but who knows for sure...want to take that chance?)
- Teens who use it 10 times a month have changes in the brain regions related to memory and planning ability (my note: These are "executive functioning" skills.)
- Some changes may be permanent.
- Frequent use starting in early teen years may lower IQ.
- Some studies show that early use "more likely" results in addiction in adulthood.
- Not all teens develop these problems and their vulnerability to these issues may be a combination of genetics and other biological factors.
- Just because you're using recreationally and in moderation, Mom and Dad, doesn't mean it's safe for your kids, just like alcohol.
- 40% of US high school students have tried it
- 20% are current users
- Nearly 10% first tried it before age 13
- Use has increased recently among 18+, but not teens
- Kids age 12-17 think it's not harmful and more and more think it's not a problem
But, but, but...today's marijuana is "much more potent and potentially more risky" than your dad's weed. However long you can delay your kid's use, the better their adult outcome will be.
Additionally, the social and economic problems from regular use and dependence are significant. The research cannot go as far to say that the marijuana causes the problems, but that they co-exist.
Just do the best you can,
Follow me on Facebook at Dr. Claudia McCulloch