Teenage Brains on Cannabis

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Kylie Brooks

    Marijuana affects the teenage brain in many ways,  but the three ways I want to talk about are the effects on a teenager’s brain development, mental health, and a change in cognitive abilities while impaired. Obviously, as an adolescent, we are growing, developing, and learning, but with the interference of a drug, this ability is made a lot harder.  While impaired by cannabis, the way our brain sends messages to our body is altered. Our brains connections between neurons get interrupted when an adolescent is impaired by cannabis. Neurons talk to other neurons by the neurotransmitters to deliver messages to our bodies. Neurotransmissions are chemicals that send signals to other nerves.  When this interferes, our adolescent brain’s ability to develop is stunted. Also, cannabis can have a harmful effect on an adolescent’s mental health. Adolescents that smoke marijuana are usually affected by more mental illnesses than teenagers that don’t smoke pot. Adding marijuana to a teenagers life greatly increases the chance of a teenager getting a mental illness.  Research shows a strong correlation between smoking cannabis and schizophrenia as well as other mental health conditions. Lastly, Cannabis also has a negative effect on an adolescent’s cognitive ability. Reaction time gets slower and altered, as well as their attention is divided. When impaired by cannabis, adolescents lose the desire to do school work and lose motivation, and in fact, adolescents who smoke cannabis tend to turn to strong illicit drugs later on in life. After reading articles talking about adolescents who smoke cannabis has issues with brain development being altered, mental health becoming a real concern, and the cognitive ability being altered as well, we are better off without the drug as an adolescent.