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Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is the favored drug of initiation, use, and abuse amongst teens in the U.S. Even its categorization as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) has not prevented it from having users from various age groups. According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), approximately 26 million Americans, 12 years and above are current users of marijuana and this number is steadily growing. In fact, 30 states and Washington DC have legalized or decriminalized medical marijuana and 9 states and Washington DC have legalized marijuana for recreational use.

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabino (THC), the main active ingredient in marijuana, causes the intoxicating effects when the drug is consumed. In order to be able to use more potent concentrations of THC, various marijuana derivatives, like hash, kief, and hash oil, are now available at markets.

These concentrated derivatives deliver a stronger “high.” Moreover, they are easier to hide and hard to detect owing to the lower intensity of their odor and plain looking properties. Some of these marijuana derivatives include:

  • Hash: Also known as hashish, it is derived from the resinous glands of the cannabis plant. Hashish is usually smoked in cigarettes, as “joints” or even smoked in pipes and bongs. It is brown in color and oily to touch. It is often stored in small plastic bags to avoid moisture.
  • Kief: It is the powdered form of marijuana which is collected at the bottom of a marijuana grinder after the drug has been crushed. It is highly potent and made up of crystals that get sieved from loose cannabis flowers. It can be smoked mixed with marijuana buds, brewed with teas, or mixed in edibles.
  • Hash oil: It is made by melting hash into a solvent. Carbon dioxide and ethanol are the safest solvents for the extraction process, while butane is considered to be the cheapest option. It is a highly potent form with THC levels exceeding 50 percent. Hash oil can be smoked, vaped, eaten in edibles, or even rubbed directly on the skin. The color of the hash oil depends on the solvent used to extract it.

Effects of abuse

Be it marijuana or its derivatives, consumption of any kind of marijuana is harmful for teens. According to 2017 NSDUH report, approximately 1.6 million adolescents aged between 12 to 17 were marijuana users. Effects caused by marijuana and its derivatives can be classified into two categories:

Short-term effects:

  • Delusions
  • Memory loss
  • Altered sense of time and perception
  • Increased appetite and thirst
  • Slow reaction time
  • Hallucinations
  • Mood swings

Long-term effects:

  • High risk of co-occurring mental health disorders
  • Respiratory problems, problems related to lungs, breathing disorders
  • Cardiac problems, high blood pressure
  • Risk of developing cancer
  • Increased risk of dependence and addiction

Treatment for marijuana addiction

Addiction to marijuana or its derivatives can be difficult to overcome because of its addictive nature and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. A comprehensive treatment program for marijuana addiction comprises medically assisted detoxification treatment followed by behavioral therapies under professional care. While a detox program helps flush out the drug and associated toxins from the body and manage the withdrawal symptoms, behavioral therapies and counseling can help change the negative thought process and avoid relapse.

Adeona Healthcare, a rehab center for teens aged between 12 to 17, provides comprehensive treatment programs for addiction, mental health, and dual-diagnosis. We understand that being a teenager is a sensitive age requiring delicate care. Therefore, our medical experts assess each and every patient in our care and design a personalized treatment program for them. For further information, call our 24/7 helpline 888-379-9360 and speak to a representative. You can also chat online for further assistance.  

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