Disclaimer: The information in the article isn't intended to diagnose, treat or cure any known or unknown disease or illness.

Ways Marijuana is Used: A Guide for Parents

Marijuana use during adolescence can lead to impaired cognitive function, increased risk of mental health issues, and altered brain development.

September 20, 2023

As a parent, it is normal to worry about your child's well-being and safety. With the legalization of marijuana in many states, it is important to understand how it is used. Marijuana is one of the most commonly used drugs among teenagers, and it is important to know what your child might be exposed to in order to have an open and honest conversation with them. In this guide, we will explore the ways marijuana is used and provide parents with the information they need to talk to their children about it.

What are the Ways Marijuana is Used?

Marijuana can be used in various ways, and it is important to know them so that you can have a conversation with your child about it. Here are some other ways marijuana is used:

1. Smoking

Smoking is the most common way that marijuana is used. It's a popular method because it allows for the active chemicals in the drug to be absorbed into the bloodstream quickly. However, it's important to note that smoking marijuana can have both short-term and long-term effects on your health.

Short-Term Effects of Smoking Marijuana

  • Increased heart rate: Smoking marijuana can cause your heart rate to increase, which can be dangerous for people with pre-existing heart conditions.
  • Dry mouth: Smoking marijuana can cause your mouth to feel dry and dehydrated, which can be uncomfortable.
  • Bloodshot eyes: Smoking marijuana can cause your eyes to become bloodshot and red.

Long-Term Effects of Smoking Marijuana

While smoking marijuana can cause a high that lasts for several hours, it can also have long-term effects on the body. Some of the potential long-term effects of smoking marijuana include:

  • Respiratory problems: Smoking marijuana can cause respiratory problems, such as chronic bronchitis and lung infections.
  • Mental health issues: Smoking marijuana has been linked to an increased risk of mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and psychosis.
  • Addiction: Smoking marijuana can be addictive, and it can be difficult to quit once you start.

It's important to carefully consider the potential risks and benefits before deciding to smoke marijuana. If you do choose to smoke, it's important to do so responsibly and in moderation.

2. Edibles: A Delicious and Potent Way to Enjoy Marijuana

Edibles are a delicious and popular way to consume marijuana. They come in many forms, like brownies, cookies, and gummies, and can be easily bought at a dispensary.

Edibles are great for those who don't like smoking or vaping's harshness. However, it's important to know that edibles can be more potent than smoking marijuana because the body absorbs the active chemicals differently. This can lead to people consuming more than they meant to, which can result in an unpleasant experience.

When consuming edibles, it's crucial to read the label and understand the dosage to avoid any unwanted side effects.

Benefits of Edibles Compared to Smoking

  • Edibles provide a longer-lasting high than smoking, up to eight hours.
  • No risk of lung damage or respiratory problems when consuming edibles.
  • Edibles are more discreet and come in a wider range of options like gummies, chocolates, and baked goods.

Overall, edibles can be a great option for those who want to enjoy the effects of marijuana in a more long-lasting, discreet, and varied way. However, it's important to consume them responsibly and in moderation.

It's also important to note that the effects of edibles can take up to two hours to be felt, so it's important to be patient and not consume too much too quickly. It's always a good idea to start with a small dose and wait to see how it affects you before consuming more.

3. Vaping

Vaping involves heating marijuana to release its active chemicals in the form of a vapor that can be inhaled. It is seen as a safer alternative to smoking because it produces less smoke, but is it really?

Although vaping produces less smoke than smoking, it can still have harmful effects on the body. Here are some reasons why:

  • Vaping can cause lung damage due to the inhalation of harmful chemicals found in vapor, despite producing less smoke.
  • Vaping has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Vaping can lead to dry mouth, throat irritation, and other unpleasant symptoms.

These negative health effects should be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to vape. It's important to weigh the potential risks against the perceived benefits and make an informed decision.

So, is vaping really a safer alternative to smoking? The answer is not so clear-cut. While it may produce less smoke, it still poses risks to your health. If you're considering vaping, it's important to weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision.

4. Dabbing

If you're familiar with the world of marijuana, you've probably heard of dabbing. It's a form of consumption that has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially among the younger generations.

What is dabbing?

Dabbing involves inhaling a concentrated form of marijuana that is heated on a hot surface and then inhaled through a water pipe. This process produces a vapor that is then inhaled, providing a fast and potent high.

However, it's important to note that dabbing can be more potent than smoking marijuana and can have negative effects on the body.

While some people swear by the benefits of dabbing, others are skeptical of its long-term effects on the body.

Potential Risks of Dabbing

  • Increased tolerance: Some studies suggest that dabbing can lead to an increased tolerance for marijuana, which can eventually lead to addiction.
  • Adverse side effects: Additionally, the high concentration of THC in dabbing can lead to adverse side effects such as paranoia, anxiety, and even hallucinations.

Dabbing is a popular yet controversial method of consuming marijuana. It's important to weigh the potential risks and benefits before deciding whether or not to try it. As with any form of drug consumption, it's best to approach dabbing with caution and to always use it responsibly.

5. Suppositories

These days, there are many different ways to consume marijuana, from smoking it to eating it in edibles. But have you ever considered using suppositories?

That's right, marijuana-infused capsules that are inserted into the rectum or vagina can offer a discreet and effective way to consume cannabis. While it may sound unconventional, suppositories are becoming increasingly popular among medical marijuana users.

Benefits of Suppositories

  • Fast and long-lasting relief: Suppositories are often used for medical purposes, such as relieving menstrual cramps or treating gastrointestinal issues, and they can offer fast and long-lasting relief.
  • Quick absorption: Because the cannabis is absorbed through the rectal or vaginal tissues, it bypasses the liver and digestive system, meaning that the effects can be felt more quickly and with greater intensity.

If you're looking for a discreet and effective way to consume medical marijuana, suppositories may be worth considering. Just be sure to talk to your doctor or a qualified medical professional to see if they're right for you.

6. Topicals

a white table topped with oranges and other items

Topicals are marijuana-infused creams, lotions, and balms that are applied to the skin. They are a popular alternative for those who prefer not to smoke or ingest marijuana.

Benefits of Topicals

Topicals are an alternative way of using marijuana that offer several benefits, such as:

  • Topicals do not produce a high because the active chemicals in the drug do not reach the bloodstream. This makes them a great option for those seeking relief from pain or inflammation without experiencing psychoactive effects.
  • Unlike smoking or vaping, topicals do not have any negative effects on lung health.
  • Topicals can be used for localized relief, meaning they can be applied directly to the affected area for targeted relief.
  • They come in different forms, such as lotions, balms, and oils, allowing users to choose the method that works best for them.

These benefits make topicals a viable option for those who want to use marijuana for medicinal purposes without experiencing the psychoactive effects of other forms of marijuana.

Topicals are gaining popularity for their ability to relieve pain, inflammation, and muscle soreness. They come in many different forms and strengths, so it's important to find the one that works best for you.

Whether you're dealing with chronic pain, sore muscles from exercise, or simply looking for a little relaxation, topicals may be just what you need to soothe your aches and pains.

7. Tinctures: A potent and convenient way to consume marijuana

If you're looking for a convenient and effective way to consume marijuana, tinctures may be the perfect solution for you.

What are tinctures?

Tinctures are made by infusing marijuana into a liquid, typically alcohol or glycerin. The resulting liquid is highly concentrated, making tinctures a more potent option than smoking or vaping marijuana.

Benefits of tinctures

  • Discreet and easy to use: Simply place a few drops under your tongue, and you're good to go.
  • Faster and more intense effects: Because tinctures are absorbed through the mucous membranes in your mouth, they bypass the digestive system and liver, which can slow down the onset of effects. This means that tinctures can produce faster and more intense effects than other forms of marijuana consumption.

Important considerations

  • Start with a low dose: Tinctures can take up to an hour to take effect, so it's important to start with a low dose and wait for the effects to kick in before taking more.
  • Strong taste: Tinctures can have a strong taste, so it's best to choose a flavor that you enjoy.

The Effects of Marijuana on the Teenage Brain

While marijuana use is becoming more widely accepted, it's important to consider the potential effects that it can have on the teenage brain. Adolescence is a critical period of brain development, and exposure to drugs like marijuana can have long-lasting effects.

Studies have shown that regular marijuana use during adolescence can lead to:

  • Impaired cognitive function: Marijuana use has been linked to impaired memory and attention span in adolescents.
  • Increased risk of mental health issues: Adolescents who use marijuana are at an increased risk of developing mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and psychosis.
  • Altered brain development: Regular marijuana use during adolescence can alter the development of the brain's reward system, which can lead to addiction later in life.

It's important for teenagers to understand the potential risks associated with using marijuana and make informed decisions about their drug use. Parents and caregivers should also be aware of these risks and have open conversations with their children about drug use and its potential consequences.

While some argue that marijuana is harmless or even beneficial for teenagers, it's important to approach this issue with caution and prioritize the long-term health and well-being of young people.

The Long-Term Health Effects of Regular Marijuana Use

While marijuana use can offer many benefits, it's important to consider the potential long-term health effects associated with regular use.

Studies have shown that long-term marijuana use can lead to:

  • Respiratory problems: Smoking marijuana can cause respiratory issues such as chronic bronchitis and lung infections.
  • Increased risk of mental health issues: Long-term marijuana use has been linked to an increased risk of developing mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and psychosis.
  • Decreased motivation: Regular marijuana use has been shown to decrease motivation and productivity in some individuals.
  • Addiction: While not everyone who uses marijuana becomes addicted, long-term use can lead to addiction in some individuals.

It's important for individuals who use marijuana regularly to be aware of these potential risks and make informed decisions about their drug use. Seeking professional help may be necessary for those struggling with addiction or mental health issues related to marijuana use.

In conclusion, while there are many benefits associated with using marijuana, it's important to consider the potential long-term health effects before deciding whether or not to consume it regularly. Individuals should weigh the potential benefits against the risks and make informed decisions about their drug use.

What to do if You Suspect Your Child is Using Marijuana

Discovering that your child is using marijuana can be a difficult and overwhelming experience. It's important to approach the situation with sensitivity, empathy, and understanding.

Here are some steps you can take if you suspect your child is using marijuana:

  1. Have an open and honest conversation: Talk to your child about your concerns in a non-judgmental way. Listen to their perspective and try to understand why they may be using marijuana.
  2. Set clear boundaries and consequences: Make it clear that drug use is not acceptable in your household and explain the potential consequences of continued drug use, such as legal trouble or health issues.
  3. Seek professional help: If you're concerned about your child's drug use, seek help from a qualified professional such as a therapist or substance abuse counselor.
  4. Monitor your child's behavior: Keep an eye on your child's behavior and look for signs of continued drug use, such as changes in mood or behavior.

Remember that every situation is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution for dealing with drug use in teenagers. It's important to approach the situation with patience, compassion, and an open mind. With the right support, resources, and guidance, you can help your child make healthy choices and avoid the negative consequences of drug use.

Conclusion

Marijuana consumption has come a long way from just smoking a joint. With the rise of new methods like dabbing, suppositories, topicals, and tinctures, users have more options than ever before to consume cannabis in ways that are discreet, effective, and targeted. However, it's important to consider the potential risks associated with each method and make informed decisions about drug use.

Additionally, it's crucial to acknowledge the potential long-term health effects of regular marijuana use. While there are many benefits associated with using marijuana for medicinal purposes or recreational use in moderation, excessive or prolonged use can lead to respiratory problems, mental health issues, decreased motivation, and addiction.

If you suspect that your child is using marijuana or have concerns about your own drug use habits, seek professional help from qualified professionals such as therapists or substance abuse counselors.

Sources

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