The times they are a-changing.
– Bob Dylan

We often run into the topic of the use of marijuana to cope with mental health concerns. A lot of teens are talking to their parents about the risks and benefits of marijuana. You might find yourself debating to use, or not to. After all, more and more states are legalizing marijuana for medical, and recreational use.

We frequently hear “it helps me cope.” “I am calmer when I am high.” “It helps me focus.” What people report to us are the benefits they believe to be experiencing from marijuana on their individual mental health. While we do believe that there are some beneficial components to marijuana, such as CBD. Mental health is not something that will benefit from the use of marijuana.

Marijuana today has far greater THC levels than what you would find in marijuana from the 70’s, 80’s, or even 90’s. years ago, you would find most strains of marijuana would contain roughly four percent THC. Today smokable marijuana levels have THC levels or 17-24 percent THC in it. Marijuana in other forms such as vapes, edibles, wax has much higher forms of THC. So, why do we care about the increase of the THC levels? The increase of these levels leads to greater risk, a higher risk for an unpredictable reaction, an increased risk for addiction (yes, you can get addicted to marijuana).

Research has shown that there is a statistical increase in adolescents and young adults developing depression, suicide ideation, and an increase in suicide attempts in cannabis users.

The use of marijuana will help people “cope”, while they are high. The same way that people evade their emotions using any other substance, alcohol included. Once you are no longer high, those negative emotions remain. Not only are those emotions, and past traumas there still waiting for the sober you, those emotions will hit harder.

Believe it or not, marijuana also has withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal from marijuana appears in a more emotional form. It looks like increased anxiety, sleep issues, irritability, decreased appetite, and occasionally a variety of psychical discomforts, such as headaches.

If you would like to learn more on this topic or have concerns about yourself or a loved one feel free to contact us at 605-271-1199 or Services are offered in person, or via tele-health statewide.

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