Marijuana is often thought of as a relatively harmless drug.  While it may be true that marijuana isn’t as immediately addictive as say, heroin, it can lead to abuse and long-term adverse health issues such as chronic anxiety and problems with memory.  A new form of marijuana use is becoming increasingly popular with teenagers and may carry additional risks. Marijuana concentrates, sometimes referred to as wax or dabs, are significantly more potent than traditional marijuana.  The unique qualities found in marijuana concentrates have been shown in studies to be associated with an increased vulnerability to addiction in adolescents.

Marijuana abuse may lead to marijuana dependence, but can also increase a teenager’s risk of future substance abuse disorders.  Marijuana concentrates contain up to 70 percent more THC than the marijuana plant. This means they have much stronger psychoactive effects.  A dramatically higher dose of THC also means an increased risk of unpleasant psychological effects such as panic attacks and hallucinations. One study found that 72 percent of teens who have used marijuana have also tried marijuana concentrates.  Many teens using concentrates are unaware of the risks, including the susceptibility to addiction.

Adolescents Are Especially Vulnerable

 Because their brains are still developing, the lasting psychological effects of THC are stronger and can also increase the risk of subsequent substance abuse disorders because using drugs at a young age may impair decision-making abilities later on. The use of marijuana concentrates in teens is often difficult to identify.  Marijuana concentrates do not look like the marijuana plant but instead may appear to be a type of wax or a piece of glass. Teens who report using marijuana concentrates are more likely to have poor grades in school and have more access to other drugs in their community. It is important for parents to intervene as early as possible if they believe their teen may be using drugs.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, now is the time to reach out for help.  At Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  We use an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, and at The Arbor, you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 844-413-2690.