Doctors Worry Parents May Underestimate Risk Of Teenage Pot Use
00:32, Mar 1, 2017
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This clinical report offers guidance to the practicing pediatrician based on existing evidence and expert opinion/consensus of the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding anticipatory guidance and counseling to teenagers and their parents about marijuana and its use.
And the growing range of marijuana products create new risks, the report says, including "accidental pot poisoning from an increasing array of edible marijuana products such as pot-infused sweets, baked goods and beverages that contain high amounts of THC yet are often indistinguishable from ordinary treats". "Their brains are still developing, and marijuana can cause abnormal and unhealthy changes".
The drug has been legalized (PDF) for recreational use in eight states and for medical use in 28 states.
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The report said the drug is more addicting today, it can affect learning and regular use can lead to mental health problems including anxiety and depression.
As more states decriminalize the use of pot, he says he is anxious teens won't take the long-term consequences seriously.
Parents who use marijuana at home also expose their children to secondhand smoke, Ryan said, or accidental pot poisoning from an increasing array of edible marijuana products such as pot-infused sweets, baked goods and beverages that contain high amounts of THC yet are often indistinguishable from ordinary treats.
Although marijuana has enjoyed a nationwide legalizaiton push, and most people seem to be in favor of allowing the use of the drug, people should keep in mind that there are risks associated with it, the group said in a statement.
"Parents will say, 'I use it moderately and I'm fine with it, so it's really benign and not a problem if my kid uses it, '" but "we would rather not mess around with the developing brain", he added. The brain continues to develop through a person's early 20s.
Dr. Sheryl Ryan, a Yale University pediatrics professor and lead author of the academy report, also added that marijuana "is the drug of choice" for many of her teenage patients, with some pointing out that as their parents or grandparents smoked pot in college with no negative effects, daily use most be safe. Research shows it rose from roughly 4 percent in 1995 to 12 percent in 2014, and current strains contain concentrations as much as 20 percent- increasing the risk of overdose and addiction.
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