Despite the hype around drugs like Molly and Oxycodone, marijuana continues to be the most commonly used illicit drug in the US, particularly among adolescents and young adults.
Numerous studies have documented the potential health implications of marijuana use. Studies have found that teens who used pot daily for 3 years had an increased risk of brain abnormalities and poor long-term memory. Other studies have shown that marijuana use is associated with excessive daytime sleepiness in teenagers.
According to a recent study marijuana use may stunt growth but trigger earlier puberty in boys. Researchers found that boys who used marijuana were approximately four inches shorter than nonusers by the time they were 20.
As part of their research, the team also analyzed levels of the stress hormone, Cortisol. Those teens who used marijuana had much higher cortisol concentrations. Researchers believe that pot triggers stress responses that suppress growth and trigger early puberty.
Dr. Rizvi, one of the lead researchers on the study said: “Early puberty is associated with younger age of onset of drinking and smoking, and early matures have higher levels of substance abuse because they enter the risk period at an early level of emotional maturity” and brain development.
Drug and alcohol use is a serious issue, especially by teens. The idea that marijuana is a harmless drug when used recreationally is not something parents, guardians or teens themselves can afford to believe.