How to tell if your teen smokes weed

Published Mar 3, 2019 11:44 a.m. ET

Marijuana was declared legal in Canada as of October 17, 2018, Legal to anyone over 19 in most provinces that is. Teenagers, if they haven’t tried it already, may think this is a signal that it’s ok to use.  

A teen who comes home with a giddy attitude and eyes that are bloodshot may be high from consuming marijuana. Pot eyes are one of the obvious physical signs of marijuana use. Compound this with a sudden urge to sink into the couch and eat a bag of salt and vinegar chips as if they have never seen food before is another sign of your high teenager. Depending on the strain that your teen has chosen to partake with there might be signs of paranoia or anxious behavior.

Think back have you noticed a change in your teenagers’ mood lately? Their mood may have changed enough for you to notice that it’s a little bit more strange than usual. Perhaps they are not interested in the extracurricular activities that they used to do. They are however into the couch and the bag of chips.

When you did the laundry, you noticed a lighter in your teens pocket. He does not smoke, well you don’t think so. It’s another sign that your teen is indulging in the beautiful herb. The cupboard out in the garage does smell like skunk, you probably thought it was your joint, you do keep your little outdoor stash in the cupboard. Maybe they’re smoking weed in their room. Come to think of it your rolling papers have been missing the odd time. Now when you think back, maybe it wasn’t you who smoked all that weed last week.  

When you notice that your smoking paraphernalia is starting to disappear chances are your teen may be indulging.  Those little plastic bags with the marijuana leaf on that you found in the teen's room, ah, well it makes sense now.

Let’s look at some of the short- term effects of marijuana use in teens.

• Problems with memory and concentration
• Increased risk of psychosis
• Risky sexual behaviors
• Interference with medication prescribed by a health provider

Long-term use of marijuana's effects (at worst)

• Breathing problems that are associated with lung issues, (coughing wheezing)
• Mental health problems, moodiness, anxiety

Kids smoking weed for the first time should be aware of the effects that will be experienced. Teens need to be educated on the different forms of consumption and the effects that occur.

Since the brain of a teen is still developing there is a questionable concern if chronic use has negative effects. However, scientists believes that there could be some changes in cognitive thinking. These can include attention span, memory loss and the ability to make informed decisions and judgment.

Let’s look at some health reasons that teens might not want to indulge in, in extremes. Marijuana use increases heart rate and blood pressure. The heart rhythms can also be affected. Teens with existing respiratory problems like asthma or bronchitis should consider the risks when inhaling cannabis. Hallucinations are often present when teens indulge. This includes auditory hallucinations as well. Most times these psychotic experiences are temporary and only appear when partaking. However, it is a concern for the growing and developing brain of the teen.

So, my friend if your stash is going down and your teen passes by and has a smell like a skunk coming from them, chances are those pot eyes are not from pink eye. Don’t worry if your kid smokes weed for the first time, chances are they are just trying it and with some education won’t become chronic users.

Educate the youth, and all will be fine.

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