Is weed really bad? If some people can use it for medicine and it’s effects are not as bad as most other recreational drugs, why does it have such a negative rep?
This is a complicated question. I will try to break this down in a few ways.
Is weed really bad?
In a previous post we answer the question about drugs and alcohol and the effects on the teenage brain. Inherently weed is neither good nor bad, no drug is. The question is how does weed affect youth and even more specifically the teenage brain.
Marijuana is one of the most commonly used illicit drugs among kids. Roughly one in three high schoolers smoke pot, the NIDA data shows. Not surprisingly, marijuana use peaks among 12th graders, 6 percent of whom use daily. But the question of whether smoking weed damages a teen’s brain is a difficult one to answer conclusively. We just do not have enough information on the subject.
What is marijuana?
Marijuana is the dried leaves and flowers of the Cannabis Sativa or Cannabis Indica plant. Stronger forms of the drug include high potency strains – known as sinsemilla (sin-seh-me-yah), hashish (hash for short), and extracts including hash oil, shatter, wax, and budder. Of the more than 500 chemicals in marijuana, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, is responsible for many of the drug’s mind-altering effects.
What about medical marijuana?
The National Institute on Drug Addiction states that marijuana plant itself has not been approved as a medicine by the federal government. However, the plant contains chemicals—called cannabinoids—that may be useful for treating a range of illnesses or symptoms. Some examples of cannabinoids that have been approved or are being tested as medicines are:
- THC:The cannabinoid that can make you “high”—THC—has some medicinal properties. A synthetic formulation of THC, dronabinol, has been approved by the federal government to treat nausea, prevent sickness and vomiting from chemotherapy in cancer patients, and to increase appetite in some patients with AIDS.
- CBD: Another chemical in marijuana with potential therapeutic effects is called cannabidiol, or CBD. CBD doesn’t have mind-altering effects. For example, CBD oil is being studied as a possible treatment for seizures in children with severe epilepsy.
For more information about medical marijuana you can go to NIDA website.
The bottom line is that as an adolescent, your brain and well-being is important. We just don’t know what the long term effects on your brain will be.