Stronger Than You Think
As a parent or caregiver, you are the number one influence on whether a child you care for chooses to use cannabis, tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs. You are their guide and role model.
What you say to the youth in your life is stronger than you think.
The Stronger Than You Think campaign supports open conversations between caring adults and the young people in their lives about substance use: clear expectations about healthy choices and age-appropriate boundaries, accountability, planning safe activities, and information about the risks and consequences of using any substance.
Stronger Than You Think encourages you to talk with the youth in your life about the risks associated with cannabis and other drug use, and the difference between adult use and youth use. Your opinion and involvement makes a difference—it’s much stronger than you think.
Even if cannabis/marijuana is right for you, it’s not for them.
Our brains don’t fully develop until late adolescence, around age 25, and any cannabis use before that can have long term effects. Increasing evidence finds that cannabis use among young people may be associated with cognitive deficits, such as impaired learning, and physical changes in the brain, affecting attention and memory. Developing brains are still building pathways and connections. Substance use during this process can alter how the paths and connections are made.
As an adult you may choose to use cannabis/marijuana for a number of reasons, including a decision you have made with your healthcare provider. But it is important to understand and educate young people about the risks associated with their use of the product.
Additionally, modeling responsible use sets a good example. Young people will learn from adults how to manage stress, and, if substances are a part of your life, how you use them.
Stronger Than You Think is here to raise awareness about the risks of high potency cannabis for youth.
Risks of High THC Cannabis Use
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis that gives the high. THC potency has increased in cannabis from less than 4% in the 1980s to up to 30% in the current market, with concentrates containing 40% to 90% potency.
High concentrations of THC increase risk of:
- Drug poisoning (overdose)
- Addiction (also known as cannabis use disorder or substance use disorder)
Risks of Youth Cannabis Use
Youth cannabis use can be also associated with depression, social anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and poor school performance.
Important Note: The Partnership uses the term cannabis to refer to the plant and all types of derived products such as—vape cartridges, edibles, smokable “weed” or “pot”, oils and tinctures. We are not using the term marijuana on most of our resources because this term has a complicated past that was slanderous towards certain people. It is, however, important that the language we use in some instances is accessible to the audience that we are trying to reach and we understand that marijuana is a commonly utilized term for products that contain the form of THC (Delta 9) that provides a euphoric affect or intoxication.