At What Age Will You Let Your Child Smoke Cannabis? | Growers Choice Seeds

At What Age Will You Let Your Child Smoke Cannabis?

child smoke cannabis

As we fight for cannabis legalization from coast to coast, we may not realize the impact it could have on future generations. What will the world look like if, and when, recreational cannabis passes in every country? Would our offspring abuse the privilege that we fought so hard for? In lieu of cannabis’ medical benefits on adults, research suggests that the plant may negatively impact those in their teenage or young adult years. To all the parents out there, at what age will you let your child smoke cannabis?

How Does Cannabis Affect Teenagers?

In 2018, family physician Dr. Tom Bell, who was interested in the effects of cannabis on the teenage brain, published his evidence-based research book, Cannabis and Kids — A Primer on Pot for Parents and Caregivers (source 1).

Interestingly enough, one issue with cannabis may not stem from the plant itself, but more so how parents choose to address it with their children. If parents approach the topic of cannabis with fear, reluctance, or nervousness, their kids might pick up on it. This could tempt teenagers to abuse cannabis because of its “dangerous” factor.

Secondly, research suggests that cannabis could stunt brain development in teenagers, leading to an increased likelihood of mental health disorders (source 2). This finding was more likely in teenagers who had a family history of schizophrenia, according to Bell.

Additionally, a study performed at the University of Vermont found that youthful brains are more susceptible to the side effects of cannabis (source 3).

Educating Teens On Cannabis

As Bell mentioned, the education of cannabis in a household with teenagers is key. Similarly to the “birds and bees” talk, teens need to know that cannabis exists, as well as its pros and cons. We think it would be a good idea to teach cannabis in health class, alongside sex education.

According to the Irish Independent, certain countries in Europe are more willing to address cannabis in schools than in the United States. “Cannabis is illegal in Ireland for recreational purposes, and use for medical purposes is approved on a case-by-case basis. However, there is, broadly speaking, much greater tolerance for cannabis use than there used to be, and there are valid reasons for that” (source 4).

Are Teens More Likely To Smoke Cannabis Than Adults?

Although this question is highly subjective and personal, research shows that the underage use of cannabis is down…at least in Denver, Colorado. “The survey ran from November through December 2019,” according to local news outlet 9News, “and polled 537 teens ages 13 through 18. 81% of them, between the ages of 13 and 17, said they are not current users of marijuana, compared to 80% in 2018” (source 5).

Are you shocked by the results? It could have something to do with marketing techniques and how they’ve evolved over the years. Do you remember the “Just Say No” anti-drug campaign? It involved fear tactics to scare teens away from cannabis and other drugs, rather than taking the time to educate them, which was a big mistake (source 6). The “fear” of cannabis only lasts so long. Eventually, teens will become curious and try it out to see how afraid they should be.

What’s The Right Age For A Child To Smoke Cannabis?

Honestly, we cannot give you an exact number. All parents do things differently, with some saying 18 to 21, and others “never.”

If you as the parent deem 18 or 19 to be the right age for your child to participate in responsible cannabis use, it might be wisest to start your teen on something CBD-related and then gradually move toward THC-based strains.

External References

  1. The Peterborough Examiner. (2020). “Marijuana affects developing brains of teens, Peterborough doctor says.” Retrieved from The Peterborough Examiner website.
  2. National Library of Medicine. (2015). “Effects of Cannabis on the Adolescent Brain.” Retrieved from the National Library of Medicine website.
  3. Our Times Press. (2024). “Cannabis may alter a teen’s developing brain.” Retrieved from the Our Times Press website.
  4. Irish Independent. (2020). “Young people need education on the effects of cannabis.” Retrieved from the Irish Independent website.
  5. 9News. (2020). “Study finds more teens are choosing not to use marijuana.” Retrieved from the 9News website.
  6. Scientific American. (2014). “Why ‘Just Say No’ Doesn’t Work.” Retrieved from the Scientific American website.

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