Even with the legalization of marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes in many states, the vast majority of people believe that it shouldn’t be used by teens – and with good reason. A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry shows that teens who used cannabis had a poor working memory and more difficulty with reasoning than their peers.
It is not, however, a gateway drug (alcohol is the biggest menace there), and it doesn’t necessarily lead to misbehavior. Another study, published in the journal Addiction, showed the changes in cannabis use didn’t correlate with conduct problems.
In other words, using cannabis doesn’t make teens act out.
The study also pointed out, though, that teens who already have behavioral issues are drawn to marijuana use, which can skew research results. These teens may be turning to cannabis to cope with underlying issues, which can lead to cannabis use disorder. The study encourages teaching these teens healthy coping mechanisms and providing support.
As marijuana use becomes more common, it’s important to remember that it may not be the right solution for everyone. Vulnerable teens should be provided with the help and support they need so they can grow into responsible adults.