Marijuana's Risks for Young People

The marijuana that is available today is not the same as the marijuana available years ago. A report from the U.S. Senate’s Caucus on International Narcotics Control in 2021 found that Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels in American-grown marijuana products are increasing rapidly. THC is the psychoactive chemical that gets marijuana users high, and some say it provides some relief from pain and nausea.

In 1990, the average TCH concentration in marijuana in the US was 4%. By 2012, the average TCH concentration tripled to 12%. Today, as "high potency" products have become more common, THC concentration can be found as high as 90%. In 2020, National Institute of Health researchers found that marijuana's medicinal qualities and pain relief come with a THC concentration of 5%. Yet, around the nation, policy makers push for legal and accessible marijuana with high THC levels for the sake of medicinal qualities.

A common myth believed by young people is that marijuana is not addictive. Unfortunately, this has been disproven time and time again. Recently, the New York Times shared the story of a teenage girl who became addicted to highly potent THC through her vape pen and the disastrous effects it had on her health. Young people using marijuana are at an increased risk for opioid addiction, hallucinations, mental health issues, increased traffic accidents and poisoning.

To read more about the current marijuana crisis, click here.