Signs of Marijuana Use in Teens
Last Updated: October 14, 2019
More mainstream than ever before, access to both recreational and medical-grade marijuana is becoming easier each and every day. On top of that, recent legal changes have altered the view of any dangers related to the use of this drug, particularly in young teens. And though when used properly marijuana has been proven to offer health benefits for certain conditions, inappropriate use can lead to a wide range of problems. It can have drastically negative effects on health, situational judgment, memory, coordination, and more. As it has quickly become the most commonly used drug in young generations, it is essential that you know how to recognize the main signs of marijuana use in teens to keep your child safe and healthy.
Visible Signs of Marijuana UseThe effects of smoking weed can be both seen and smelled shortly after use. If your teenager comes home with red or bloodshot eyes, that is one of the most telltale indicators they are high on marijuana. Other physical signals include issues with muscle coordination as well as delayed reaction times both physically and mentally. An additional sign is the distinct smell of marijuana, which many compare to a strong, musky odor that is similar to the scent of a skunk. This strong smell can easily make its way into the fibers of your teen’s clothing.
Changes in Emotional StateDifferent strains or types of marijuana have varying effects on the human body that can impact the user’s mind. Key signs of marijuana use in teens are related to their daily attitude, which can include mood swings, laziness, and overall tiredness. They may also appear anxious with an increased heart rate, depending on how their body reacts. These changes can inhibit your child’s ability to focus at school, work, and home. This often leads to negative effects on grades and performance, which could be a bigger sign that it has grown into an addiction.
Marijuana-Related AccessoriesUsing drugs typically requires specific tools and equipment to ingest or smoke the substance in question. Marijuana is no exception with over ten different ways to consume the drug including:
- Hand pipes and water pipes
- Joints or blunts (wrapped like a cigarette)
- Edibles (i.e. brownies, cookies, etc.)
- And more
How to React if Your Child is Using MarijuanaFinding out your child is using drugs will likely stir up strong emotions, but your reaction may be a deciding factor in how you’ll be able to help them. As with any drug, the effects of marijuana can be addictive. While some teenagers may try marijuana once and never touch it again, others may develop an addiction that can have a negative impact on the rest of their life. If you find these issues arise, it is recommended that you seek out treatment for your teen at a rehab center.
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- “Medical Marijuana”. Site. January 15, 2018. Web. July 3, 2019. <https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/medical-marijuana-2018011513085>
- “Marijuana”. Site. Web. July 3, 2019. <http://www.cesar.umd.edu/cesar/drugs/marijuana.asp#physical>
- “Is Marijuana Addictive?” Site. Web. July 3, 2019. <https://uwf.edu/enrollment-and-student-affairs/departments/wellness-services/marijuana-dope-facts/is-marijuana-addictive/>
- “Nationwide Trends” Site. Web. July 8, 2019. <https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/nationwide-trends>
Last Updated on October 14, 2019
About the reviewerGerardo Sison, PharmD
Gerardo Sison is a Florida-licensed pharmacist who has worked in clinical and research settings providing drug education to both healthcare professionals and patients.