There are just so many things that are so easy to get addicted to. You’ll find that a huge percentage of people around the country are addicted to things like smoking cigarettes or drinking more caffeine than water, and if you’ve ever tried delicious things like peppermint hot chocolate or chocolate peanut butter nutella Oreo cookies, you know how addicting food can be.
But, it looks like the next big thing to cause addiction in the country could very well be marijuana.
It’s Legal Now?
The state of Colorado is the very first U.S. state to make cannabis legal, and already thousands of people have made their first legal weed purchase. There is talk of making a marijuana ad for the next Super Bowl, and many businesses in the state are already earning a decent profit off the sales of this drug.
More and more cities are making marijuana legal, and it looks like a good deal of the country will soon follow suit. Marijuana has now been decriminalized, and it is possibly going to be treated much like alcohol. But are there any downsides?
The Harming Effects of Marijuana
Most people believe that marijuana is a natural substance that doesn’t do harm to the body, but recent studies have found that marijuana actually does damage to the human brain – particularly in the brains of teenagers exposed to it.
The study was conducted in the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine, using mice as the test subjects. Half of the adult mice were allowed to enjoy a pot-free life, while the others were exposed to marijuana for 20 days when they were young.
Once the mice were examined, those that had been exposed to pot were shown to have alterations in their cerebral cortex. Their cortical oscillations were different than those that had not been exposed to marijuana, and their cognitive function and performance was reduced.
So what does this mean?
Basically, it means being exposed to marijuana – even in very low levels – during the teenage years could lead to problems with the mental development of said teenagers. This doesn’t mean that teens exposed to pot will be mentally challenged, but it does increase their risk of brain abnormalities – some of which have been linked to psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia.
Another study conducted by Duke University showed that teenagers using pot were actually at risk of their IQ dropping. It involves a lot of long term marijuana smoking, but losing any IQ points is enough to scare most people away.
Help or Harm?
A lot of the country sees marijuana as being similar to alcohol, but the truth is that there are a few long term risks with marijuana that just don’t exist with alcohol. Of course, teenage alcohol consumption has plenty of risks of its own, so avoiding long term overconsmumption of both substances is important.
But is marijuana going to do more harm than good? After all, a risk of decreased IQ as well as a greater chance of developing brain abnormalities is pretty terrifying, so it may be a good idea to consider avoiding marijuana as much as possible. After all, the drug does promote a lot of sitting around, munching on unhealthy food like chips, and saying “Duuuuude” all the time – not the best pastime if you want to achieve something with your life. Either way, you now know the risks of using pot, so you have to make the choice whether or not it’s the right thing for you!
Marijuana could hurt teen brains (make this a really controversial and opinionated piece… we want to stir up comments and people’s thoughts!)