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Teen Marijuana Use

Teen marijuana use continues in popularity. Marijuana is amongst the top three drugs abused by teenagers. In this article we will review the statistics of teen marijuana use, some of the effects on teens who use marijuana, how THC is absorbed in the body.


One of the more common drugs used by teenagers is marijuana. Even though less than one in five teenagers are current marijuana users, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, most teens have tried marijuana at some point during high school. Indeed, 60 percent of kids who use drugs do so exclusively with marijuana. About 14.6 million people use marijuana every year.

The reason that marijuana is used so widely amongst teenagers is due, in large part, to its benign image. Marijuana is not viewed as a “hard” drug, and it is perceived as mostly harmless and a way to relax and get slightly high. The truth, however, is that marijuana alters one’s mental state, and that it is much stronger now than it was 30 and 40 years ago. It is important to realize that habitual use of marijuana can cause health problems, as well as lead to other issues that can affect a teenager later in life.

Effects of marijuana

Because the main drug in marijuana, THC, is absorbed quickly into fatty tissue, it remains in the body for quite some time. Even days after smoking marijuana, traces of THC can be found in a standard urine sample. For someone who has used marijuana heavily, the drug can sometimes still be detected weeks after one stops using the drug. There are a number of effects that marijuana can have on the body. Some of the short term effects of marijuana include:

  • Problems with learning.
  • Short term memory loss.
  • Distorted perception.
  • Difficulty with problem solving.
  • Hard time focusing.
  • Decreased coordination.
  • Increased heart rate.

Most of the short term effects of marijuana have to so with one’s ability to perform well in school and in sports. Teenagers who use marijuana regularly will find that their grades slip and that they will have difficulty with extracurricular activities. In sports where coordination and timing are important, this can be devastating. After school jobs, grades and one’s place in team sports can all be damaged by marijuana use. And these effects can ripple forward in life to affect college acceptance, future job prospects and one’s physical health.

Related Article: What is Marijuana? >>

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