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Marijuana - If You Are Between The Ages of 13-19

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Marijuana, hashish (hash) and hash oil all come from the Cannabis Sativa plant, a type of Hemp plant. All three contain tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, a chemical that changes the way you think, feel and act.

The Marijuana grown today is much stronger than in the past. Today, the level of THC found in marijuana is between 6%-30%. In the past the levels of THC found in marijuana were close to 0.5%-3%.

Common Street Names for Marijuana

marijuana leaf
  • Cannabis
  • Weed
  • Pot
  • Grass
  • Ganja
  • Mary Jane
  • MJ
  • Grade
  • Bud
  • Chronic
  • Reefer
  • Dope

Common Street Names for Smoking Marijuana

  • Blazing
  • Bonging
  • Puffing
  • Toking

How many Teenagers use Marijuana?

Teenagers may believe that “everybody’s doing it” and use that as an excuse to start using marijuana themselves. This is not true. In Durham Region, about 1/3 (31%) of high school students reported using marijuana in the past 12 months. This number is not as big as a teenager may think it is.

The Short Term Effects of Marijuana

cartoon drawing of a human body with zones affected marked
  • Red eyes
  • Dry mouth and throat
  • Irritation in the chest
  • Laughter for no reason
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased hunger
  • Relaxation /drowsiness
  • Mild paranoia, anxiety or panic
  • Psychosis
  • Slow reaction time
  • Poor coordination
  • Poor motor skills
  • Impaired short-term memory

Also, a person could potentially experience:

  • Seeing colours or patterns that are not real
  • Seeing things that do not exist
  • Severe agitation
  • Disorientation
  • Stomach pain

The Long Term Effects of Marijuana

  • Breathing problems: Smoking marijuana can irritate your chest and lungs and can increase your risk of chest infections. Marijuana also contains many of the same cancer causing chemicals as tobacco smoke. Using marijuana can also increase your risk for developing cancer.
  • Brain Impairment: A teenager’s brain continues to develop until their mid-twenties. Although, changes in memory, concentration and learning can disappear after several weeks of not using marijuana, teenagers who use marijuana may be at higher risk for long term damage to their brain. The long term damage caused by marijuana may include permanent changes in memory and thinking processes.
  • Increased risk of developing psychosis and/or schizophrenia: Although further research is still being done in this area, marijuana use has been shown to increase your risk of psychosis and/or schizophrenia. These chances increase if you use marijuana more often and/or if you began using marijuana at an earlier age and/or if you have a family history of psychosis and/or schizophrenia.
  • Addiction

Legal Status of Marijuana in Canada

Under the Canadian Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, Marijuana is a Schedule II drug. This means that growing, possessing, distributing and selling marijuana is illegal. If caught, you can be fined and serve jail time.

Marijuana and Driving

woman getting pulled voer by the police

If you smoke marijuana and drive, you are at higher risk for being in a motor vehicle accident because you have

  • Slower reaction times
  • Forgetfulness
  • A hard time telling how far away things are
  • A hard time concentrating

These side effects make it hard to react in an emergency.

Drug-impaired driving is a criminal offence in Canada. If you are caught, you can lose your licence, be fined, or spend time in jail. You can be charged even if you are behind the wheel and have not started driving.