THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is a chemical present in marijuana that is responsible for most of the drug’s psychological effects. Here are some of the ways it can affect your teen.
THC attaches to cell receptors in the brain called cannabinoid receptors. These are linked to memory, coordination and pleasure and when THC connects to them, these attributes are affected. Inhaling THC (ie: through smoking) affects the body very quickly while the effects of consumption take longer.
Short term effects of THC use on teens can include heart rate increase, dizziness, shallow breathing, increased appetite and slowed reaction time. Psychologically, THC can cause paranoia, distorted perceptions, anxiety, forgetfulness and depression.
Image Justin Schuck
Long term use of THC for teens can include troubles with learning, cognition, memory, an altered reward system in the brain and slower impulse control.
As a parent, it can be concerning if you find out that your teen is using marijuana. Be open and honest with them about your concerns and help them to seek support if they need it.
Featured image Brooke Hoyer