As cannabis has become legal, you might have questions and concerns about using cannabis.
Many youth tend to see cannabis as a natural, harmless substance.
Cannabis is illegal to possess if under 19
It is illegal for someone to provide or sell cannabis to someone under 19
However, youth can currently access it easily and think “everyone is using it” despite the fact that the majority of youth do not use the drug. Learn more about cannabis and talk about it with the people in your life so that you can make safer, more informed decisions about the drug.
The Brain and Cannabis
Regular use of cannabis during the teen years can harm the developing brain.
Teens can reduce their risks by waiting as long as possible before beginning use
Ideally until their mid-twenties when the brain is fully developed.
Mental Health, especially for people with a personal or family history of major mental illness.
Psychosis and/or schizophrenia symptoms can be triggered with a one-time use, but usually linked to regular cannabis use.
Depression and Anxiety.
Changes in perception of danger and ability to problem solve can impact decision making and increase risk taking behaviour.
Learning and Memory.
Changes in perception, memory, judgment, and problem solving may reduce motivation and school performance.
Some teens will choose to use cannabis regardless of possible health risks, especially if they perceive or experience social or wellness benefits. Become aware of the Lower-Risk Cannabis Use Guideline (LRCUG) so you can decrease the risk of harm if you choose to use cannabis.
Check out the LRCUG resource created by youth for youth: The Blunt Truth.
Resources to help adults talk to young people about cannabis:
Drug Free Kids Canada – Cannabis Talk Kit
Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction – Talking Pot with Youth: A Cannabis Communication Guide for Youth Allies