The use of cannabis for recreational purposes has expanded over the years, especially among young people. Considered socially a soft drug with few side effects, it is often used by adolescents as young as 12 or 13 years old.

We are facing a growing population, and consumption is a greater danger than usual because it can affect the development process. That is why many parents are concerned that their children may smoke or consume this and other substances. Throughout this article we present a total of 13 keys to know if your son or daughter smokes marijuana .

Cannabis and marijuana: what are they?

Cannabis is a psychodisleptic, psychoactive substance that produces a modification in the level of activation and functioning of the brain. This substance comes from the cannabis plant, which has different variants, such as indica, sativa or ruderalis .

When the element to be consumed is the leaves and stem of the plant only in pieces, we are talking about marijuana.

The effects of this substance are at first euphoric and later go on to leave a state of relaxation and analgesia, with a certain sedative effect. Another of its effects is that it facilitates hunger while controlling vomiting. It is also effective as an anticonvulsant.

Because of these effects, marijuana can be applied therapeutically to multiple disorders. It is also used in a recreational manner to defuse tension and anxiety . However, its use can have, especially if it is continued over time and very often, harmful effects. It can cause alterations in consciousness, loss of concentration and memory and lowered performance, as well as depressive symptoms and even the so-called amotivation syndrome . It can also cause perceptual disturbances such as hallucinations and even lead to psychotic breaks.

Young people and adolescents, who are not yet fully developed , are at a much greater risk, since in addition to the effects of the substance itself (which are already greater due to their greater susceptibility to neurotransmitters such as dopamine), they can see their developmental process altered.

Signs of Marijuana Use

Below you can see a series of signs that can serve as an indication that someone is using marijuana . It is important to keep in mind that we are only talking about signs, not necessarily implying that the person is using this substance. Some of them appear while the effects of consumption last, while others appear later or after prolonged consumption.

1. Lost sight

Cannabis is a substance with psychoactive effects . Although initially they can generate a certain feeling of euphoria, they usually end up producing a state of relaxation and tranquillity. For this reason it is not uncommon for those who consume it to tend to become self-absorbed, maintaining a lost look.

2. Eye redness

Conjunctivitis, redness of the eyes, and a brighter, wetter look than usual are also possible signs of marijuana or other substance use. Some mydriasis or pupil dilation is also common.

3. Disinhibition

Marijuana is often consumed because of the initial euphoric and subsequent relaxing effects it induces. In general, they also tend to provoke a certain disinhibition, restricting behaviour to a lesser extent than usual and allowing greater manifestation and expression at a behavioural and social level.

4. Excessive appetite

One of the effects of cannabis is an increase in appetite and the feeling of hunger, which is why it has even been used medicinally in disorders involving weight loss.

In this sense, it is possible to observe that the regular marijuana user is hungrier than usual . It is also frequent that they look for sweet and more caloric foods, and it is not uncommon for them to gain weight.

5. Concentration and recent memory problems

Memory and learning are influenced by cannabis use. In particular, it is not uncommon for recent memory problems to occur, with some difficulty in concentrating and remembering temporarily close events in time. This effect is usually observed in the long term.

6. Insomnia

While it may seem paradoxical due to the state of relaxation it causes, using marijuana can generate different sleep problems once its effects are over. The most frequent are the difficulties in reconciling sleep or nighttime awakenings .

7. I use incense and gum more often than usual

Marijuana has a characteristic odor that is easily detected both at the time it is consumed and on the breath of the person doing it. The use of strong incense or gum in an excessive manner may be an indication that an attempt is being made to camouflage the smell.

8. Expansive mood

Cannabis, especially in the version from the cannabis sativa plant, is a psychoactive substance that initially causes euphoric reactions and later has a relaxing effect.

It is common to perceive a certain level of disinhibition, uncontrolled laughter and an elevation of the tone of voice while the effects last.

9. Decreased attention

The mood and the relaxing and even narcotic effect that marijuana use induces causes the level of attention to drop. This does not only occur while the effects last, but in the long term the attention span can also be reduced .

10. Cough and breathing problems

One of the most common forms of consumption is smoking, through cigarettes. As such, it involves keeping smoke inside the lungs and throat, which as with tobacco can cause irritations and lead to coughing and even breathing problems.

11. Lack of coordination at the motor level

It is common for marijuana to cause a certain level of lack of coordination between mind and body, reducing also the capacity to react to stimuli .

12. Use of objects such as pipes, grinders, rolling papers or nozzles.

Marijuana consumption does not necessarily imply the use of specific instruments for it , but certain objects and elements can be used frequently.

Since it is usually consumed in the form of cigarettes, rolling paper and mouthpieces are usually necessary , as well as the use of different types of pipes. Something more specific is the grinder, a two-piece element used to crush the marijuana buds without breaking components such as resin, with greater psychoactive power.

13. Paranoia or hallucinations

Although it is not so frequent, the use of marijuana can cause changes in perception and even generate hallucinations and delusions, and can even awaken psychotic outbreaks.

This is especially true of marijuana derived from the cannabis sativa plant or of its various hybrids with other variants.

Does my son smoke pot?

Considering all the clues and indications we have mentioned, it will be easier for you to detect if your child smokes joints. If you come to the conclusion that he or she does indeed have this addiction, stay calm and consult a psychotherapist who specialises in adolescents .