Moms, if you are tempted to turn the other way when your teen smokes pot -- or even smoke up with your little pothead -- you may want to think twice about it. A new study says that, in your formative years, smoking even a little bit of pot can result in lifelong brain damage and cause a significantly higher risk of psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia. I know some moms love their pot and consider it a natural herb much like mint from the garden, but this study is kind of scary.
Granted, the study was done with mice (poor mice!), but what it concluded is that teenage mice who were given low doses of the active ingredient in marijuana for only 20 days did weird things to their cheese like try to paint starbursts on it and they giggled uncontrollably when asked, "Who cut the cheese?"
No, seriously, folks, the mice got brain damage! There were also indications that the mouse brains did the same sort of thing that happens in the brains of humans when they have schizophrenia and psychiatric disorders.
On the other hand, the study concluded that the same thing doesn't happen when adults smoke dope. The adult mice's brains were fine after they got high. Says the study's lead author:
Adolescence is the critical period during which marijuana use can be damaging.
Another study showed that marijuana use destroys dopamine in the brain of both teens and adults, making them more withdrawn, apathetic, and lethargic. They needed a study for that?
I know plenty of people who occasionally indulged in pot use as a teen and none of them are brain damaged or have schizophrenia, but some of them certainly are spacey and forgetful!
At any rate, moms might want to think twice before letting their teen get away with toking up and being thankful he or she isn't boozing or drugging. In fact, just keep those teens in a big plastic bubble, 'kay?
Do you let your teen smoke dope?
Image via Chelsea Daniele/Flickr