(This blog is written to inform parents and others of disturbing trends of teenagers.)
Marijuana is a green, brown or gray mixture of dried, shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of the hemp plant (cannabis sativa).
- 20 times more ammonia that tobacco.
- 5 times more hydrogen cyanide and nitrogen oxides than tobacco.
Marijuana's effect on the user depends on the potency of the THC it contains:
- Most marijuana has an average of 3% THC.
- Sinse-Milla (made from the buds & flowering tops of a female plant) has average of 7.5% THC, with a range as high as 24%.
- Hashish (the sticky resin from the female plant flowers) has an average of 3.6%, with a range as high as 28%.
- Hash Oil, a tar-like liquid distilled from Hashish, has an average of 16% THC, with a range as high as 43%.
STREET NAMES FOR MARIJUANA:
- Mary Jane (Aunt Mary)
- Texas Tea
- Maui Wowie
- Mixed with food
- Brewed in a tea
- Sliced open cigar & tobacco replaced with marijuana (blunt)
- When a blunt is smoked with a 40 ounce bottle of malt liquor, it is called a "B-49".
- Joints or blunts that include crack cocaine are known as "primos" or "woolies".
- Joints or blunts that are deeped in PCP are called "happy sticks", "wicky sticks", and "love boat".
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF MARIJUANA? (The effects depend on the type of cannabis and how much THC it contains, how the drug is taken, and whether drinking and other drugs are being used.)
- Some teens feel nothing the first time marijuana is used. Others feel high (intoxicated).
- Teens become engrossed in ordinary sights, sounds or tastes, and trivial events become extremely funny.
- Time seems to go by slowly.
- Teens may suffer acute anxiety.
- In rare cases, a teen can have severe psychotic symptoms and will need emergency medical treatment.
- Hinders short-term memory.
- Teen has trouble with complex tasks, such as driving.
HEALTH EFFECTS OF MARIJUANA:
- Research shows a teen's risk of heart attack more than quadruples in the first hour after smoking marijuana.
- Heart rate doubles.
- Lowers blood pressure.
- Blood vessels in eyes expand, so teen's eyes look red.
- Studies have shown marijuana smoke contains carcinogens. Marijuana smoke contains 50-70% more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke, but the link between marijuana and lung cancer remains unconfirmed.
- Marijuana users inhale deeper and hold their breath longer than tobacco smokers, so marijuana users can have the same respiratory problems, chronic cough and bronchitis, as tobacco smokers. Because marijuana is usually smoked without a filter, the amount of carbon monoxide and tar inhaled by marijuana smokers is three to five times greater than that inhaled by tobacco smokers.
- Triggers a short-term drop in the hormone that directs growth and development.
- Lowers sperm count.
- Affects learning and memory processes and can cause forgetfulness and reduced concentration.
- Impairs logical thinking.
- Marijuana affects the brain and leads to impaired short-term memory, perception, judgment, and motor skills. Affects the balance of chemicals in the brain that regulates mood, energy, appetite, and attention. Has been associated with stroke, but there is no firmly established link.
HOW TO TELL IF YOUR TEEN IS USING MARIJUANA?
- May seem dizzy and have trouble walking.
- Seems silly and giggly for no reason.
- Will have very red, bloodshot eyes.
- Have trouble remembering things that just happened.
- Your teen will get the "munchies".
- Coming off marijuana, your teen becomes very sleepy.
PARENTS SHOULD BE AWARE OF:
- Changes in behavior, depression, fatigue, and hostility.
- Carelessness with grooming.
- Deteriorating relationships with family and friends.
- Changes in academic performance.
- Increased absenteeism, skipping school.
- Lost interest in favorite activities.
- Changes in sleeping and eating habits.
PLUS BE AWARE OF:
- Signs of drug paraphenalia. (Read my post "To Snoop or Not To Snoop" for favorite hiding places of teenagers)
- Odors on clothes and in their bedroom.
- Use of incense or other deodorizers.
- Use of eyedrops.
- Clothing, posters, jewelry promoting drug use. (Hollie started drawing the marijuana leaf on everything.)
One of the dangers of smoking marijuana is the possibility that it has been laced with another, more dangerous substance, such as cocaine, crack, PCP, or even embalming fluid. Although reports of laced marijuana are infrequent, it is important to remember that with marijuana, your teen has no way of knowing what other types of substances have been added.
MIND-ALTERING DRUG OR HARMLESS PLANT?