Education and Prevention for Teens on Marijuana

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  • Transcript

    Last Updated: November 3, 2023

    SUPE: Hey guys, I’m SUPE, the gentle dragon. Today, we’re gonna address a subject that I’m sure no one has ever heard of. Something called marijuana. [laughs] I’m kidding of course. You know what I hate most? For someone to lecture me, so we won’t do that. How about we have some fun instead? I’ll leave you with Bob and Michael!

    Bob: Hey Michael, what do you know about marijuana?

    Michael: I know you can smoke or vape it, and it’s pretty much like drinking beer.

    Bob: You’re correct with your first statement Michael. But marijuana’s very different than beer. Marijuana comes from a plant called “Cannabis Sativa”. We’re getting a latin lesson here. [laughs] It contains over 400 chemicals in it. One of them is THC which is “Tetrahydrocannabinol”. Say that three times fast. [laughs] THC is the active ingredient in marijuana; it alters the mind and causes harmful effects.

    Michael: What does it do exactly?

    Bob: There are two types of effects that THC produces. First, the physical effects. It increases your heart rate by 20 to 50 beats per minute. That’s not good for your heart over time. It also enlarges your blood vessels. That’s why people get red eyes. If you smoke it, it can cause lung problems and can make conditions like asthma or other lung conditions worse. It also weakens your immune system making you more vulnerable to infections. There are other physical conditions which can be caused by using marijuana. I just wanted to go over some of the most important.

    Michael: That’s interesting! I only ever knew about the mental part of it, where people get super relaxed.

    Bob: [chuckles] Yeah, that’s definitely the most known effect. But marijuana can actually have many different effects on your mind. When someone uses marijuana, the THC stimulates your brain to produce a chemical called “Dopamine”. That chemical is normally released during pleasure moments. THC can do the following:

    • Increase your senses.
    • Distort your sense of time.
    • Create issues with attention, concentration, problem solving, learning, and memory that can result in poor academic performance.
    • Hurt your motor skills, making it dangerous to drive. It affects timing, movement, and coordination, which can also harm athletic performance. So if you want to become an athlete, don’t touch it.
    • Temporary psychosis, like not knowing what’s real, hallucinations and paranoia.
    • It can also be linked to depression, social anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and suicide.

    Michael: Wow! That’s a lot more than what I thought. But I’m not too worried about it, I’m young, I’m in shape, so I don’t think it would affect me too much in the long run.

    Bob: I can see why you would think that, but it’s actually the opposite. Let me show you. Your brain continues its development until you’re 25. When you use marijuana, THC overwhelms parts of the brain that are still developing, and it interferes with the normal way the brain works. One study found that teens who regularly use marijuana lose an average of 5.8 IQ points by the time they reach adulthood.

    Michael: Oh wow! That makes a lot of sense.

    Bob: I know, right? Uh, I think SUPE wants to say something.

    SUPE: Hey guys, I hope Bob’s not too boring. [laughs] Some of you might be telling yourselves right now: “I tried it and it’s no big deal, I didn’t go crazy, and I’m still smart.” Or maybe you saw a friend smoking weed and he didn’t go psycho. You’re probably right but you can never predict how your body will react to drugs. So why take the chance?

    Bob: Now, let’s go over an interesting fact about marijuana. Michael, can you tell me how long marijuana stays in your system?

    Michael: I don’t know, like 2 to 3 days?

    Bob: Good try Michael. Marijuana stays in your system up to 30 days.

    Michael: Woah that’s insane!

    Bob: I know! It shows on a regular drug test up to 30 days. It’s the drug that stays the longest in your system, even longer than any harder drugs. Now, you might be wondering why someone would choose to use marijuana, knowing the effects it can have. Let’s go over a few scenarios.

    • They want to experiment it.
    • They want to be just like everyone else to fit in a group or are afraid to look foolish if they don’t. As cliché as it sounds, you’re not everyone else. [chuckles] You are yourself and if a group doesn’t accept you the way you are, they don’t deserve you and they for sure don’t have your best interest at heart.
    • They want to escape boredom. There are tons of ways to escape boredom that don’t have these types of consequences, like sports, hobbies, walks, video games and some of these can even be beneficial.
    • They want to look cool. Someone’s not cool cause he uses drugs. Look at SUPE. Is there a cooler dragon? [chuckles] I don’t think so. So be cool! Look at you, you’re cool, and you aren’t using drugs.

    Michael: Yeah… I guess you’re right!

    Bob: Now, before I end, this is very important! I need your full attention! You might see on TV or online that marijuana is not addictive, that it’s natural. There are dozens of plants in nature that can make you sick or even kill you. Marijuana is addictive. Go to authoritative sites and look for yourself. People pushing you to use marijuana are not real friends. Who would want their friends to take a chance on their health like that? Guys, it was an honor for me to have this chat with you. I hope you learn something new! Live a drug-free life!

    SUPE: Hey guys, I’m back! I hope you learn some stuff about marijuana. I know I did. [laughs] Marijuana is a controversial subject but remember, you are the master of your own life. You make your own decisions. I’m thrilled that you took some time to watch our video. Live a drug-free life!

    Sources: https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/TTHY-Marijuana-Broch-2020.pdf
    https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324948#psychological-health
    https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/health-effects/mental-health.html

Test Your Knowledge on Marijuana

  • | Is marijuana the same as beer?
      Get Answer Here: 0:40  
  • | What is the active ingredient in marijuana? 
      Get Answer Here: 1:05  
  • | Name 3 effects that marijuana can have on your mind. 
      Get Answer Here: 2:14  
  • | Is it safer for young people to use marijuana?  
      Get Answer Here: 2:52  
  • | How long does marijuana stay in your system? 
      Get Answer Here: 4:02  
  • | Name 3 reasons why people use marijuana. 
      Get Answer Here: 4:29  
  • | Is marijuana addictive? 
      Get Answer Here: 5:27  

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SUPE IS A NONPROFIT PLATFORM FUNDED AND HOSTED BY DRS. IT IS THE DRUG EDUCATION AND PREVENTION SECTION OF DRS & ADDICTED.ORG.

IT WAS CREATED TO FURTHER DRS’ MISSION TO EDUCATE PEOPLE AND TO PREVENT SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER.