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CurlyStache | Tweens & Teens: The
Temptation & Seduction of Weed

Cover Banner of teen girl holding a marijuana leaf sitting on a skateboard

Tweens & Teens: The
Temptation & Seduction
of Weed

Do you stress with anxiety about your tween or teen experimenting with Marijuana?
Learn the truth in this blog!

Marijuana is typically the first "major" drug tweens¹ and teens² end up trying, and it can wreak havoc within a family. How dangerous is weed to them? How should parents handle a situation in which their tween or teen experiments with the drug for the first time? In this blog, we will break down everything you need to know, given a tricky situation like this. We will include reliable and essential dos and don'ts, ensuring you and your teen continue to build a strong relationship while guiding them down the right path.
Young teen boy smoking a blunt
Cover Photo for "Tweens & Teens: The Temptation & Seduction of Weed"
Written By Daniel Currie
Published: November 6, 2023


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Weed, Cannabis, Mary Jane, skunk, dope, grass, ganja—whatever you want to call it, Marijuana use has been on the rise for all ages, especially with perceptible tweens and teens. It is one drug that has never had a recession in usage and continues to gain popularity and traction as it becomes legal in many states.

Young tween girl holding a marijuana leaf

So if weed is becoming legal more and more and so many people use it, it can't be that bad, so it would be OK if teens smoke it, even if only on a rare occasion, right? If you want me to be truthful and honest, keep reading; if not, please disregard this post and search other websites. The truth is each website will give you the answer that best suits the site's needs, speaking truth and facts, but only the ones that back the funder, grant, or investor's stance. CurlyStache Blogs is a project where profits come second. Thus, we offer only facts sprinkled with views from adults with decades of wisdom, perspective, and knowledge.

Back to the question, is it OK for tweens or teens to smoke marijuana, even when supervised and on rare occasions? As I'm sure you half expected, the answer is simply and utterly NO. Two facts without going down a rabbit hole of every possible reason why you shouldn't allow teens to use (arguably) the lowest "major" drug on the totem pole:

As I'm sure you've heard at one point, it is considered a gateway drug. This means that, over time, the human body will begin to build a tolerance to it. When this happens, your tween or teen will search desperately for that new high to make them feel how they did when they first began the habit. At that point, one of two things will happen: 1) they begin smoking excessively more to meet the feeling, or 2) the more logical choice is to experiment with harder, more harmful drugs. These two reasons alone make weed dangerous: the addiction to the feeling and trying to feel more of it.

Smiling emoji with pot bucket hat on smoking a blunt

THC (the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) is suggested, but not proven, to have long-term issues in adults when used earlier in life with a developing brain, such as an increased risk of schizophrenia and cognitive impairments. It is a proven fact, though, that THC can stunt the maturation of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in the brain when used modestly or regularly. Dumbing it down (sort of) for the average human like myself, this is the part of the brain responsible for complex behaviors and decision-making. As THC is introduced to the prefrontal cortex while developing during their teen years, it will impede the ability to fully mature. Once they become a fully grown adult, the disruption from their younger years will alter how the PFC processes information permanently.

Clipart of a brain emoji looking confused with a question mark above the brain

End of story, right? Again, no.

Father and young teen talking outdoors

What happens if your tween or teen experiments with marijuana or is stuck in an awkward situation where peer pressure gets the best of them, and they take a hit? Game over, grounded for life, never to be let out of the house and hang with those friends again? I sure hope not. What about if your teen goes to a party every now and again, and at those parties, a joint gets passed around, and they take a puff and pass it? They are doing it more casually now; should we take action now, perhaps giving them a severe punishment? I still side with "not so fast."

It all boils down to being a good parent who has instilled a good set of morals in their tween or teen; the younger you do it, the better. Do your tweens or teens know that drugs and marijuana are bad for you? I'm assuming they do. The next step, if they know this already, is to sit down with them at a young age, preferably around middle school (grade 6-8). Hence, at this age, they are old enough to clearly understand what you are talking about but not so old they've already experimented with it; it's up to you to figure out the optimal time. In most cases, when drugs become more readily available to your tween and talked up to be "cool" by some peers, not necessarily their friends. Talk with them and let them know your feelings about the situation.

Let them know it is not acceptable to smoke weed (or any other drugs!) and go into detail that many times, what they are smoking isn't just weed. It could very well be laced without their knowledge, especially with the spike in fentanyl and other opioids nowadays. Furthermore, explain your reasons in vivid detail; if you feel comfortable, share past experiences or examples to help add credence to your stance. Show your real emotions, wear your heart on your sleeve, and express yourself and how worried you are for them as a parent and that you only want what's best even if they don't see it yet. If they do the eye-roll thing, feel free to elaborate further, stating that it doesn't even matter how you feel about the situation because it is illegal for them to do it at that age, regardless.

Once your tween or teen understands your expectations and the dangers of drugs, set the ground rules with them. There are many ways to set the ground rules. The first method is simply telling them, "When the time comes, we will discuss it," and hope it never comes. The other option is to sit down with them right then and there and go over it. Explain, obviously, the goal is NOT to try marijuana, but IF they were to get caught up in a bad situation, that [this] would happen. Write it down on paper, save it on a Google document, text it to each other, whatever you choose. This way, when and if the time comes and your teen makes the poor choice to experiment and gets caught, you do not overreact and over-punish them. On the flip side, they cannot claim that the punishment doesn't fit the crime. Be sure, when going over the ground rules, that they have input on it as well; they will feel more respected and be more prone to respect your decision since they had a voice in it as well.

Clipart depicting father signing a large contract with daughter who is holding it

Going back to the first ground rule option. Suppose that dreadful day happened and your tween or teen got caught smoking marijuana; what should you do now that the time has come? Against popular belief, the punishment should be 50%. What do I mean by this? Think of the punishment you would hand out to your teen for disobeying and smoking weed—I know it can be scary thinking about it. It makes you want to punish them to ensure they never want to repeat it, so it's probably a severe punishment. Whatever discipline you think of, it's most likely too harsh. Now, think of something half as tough as that punishment. That's what you want to shoot for. When you slice the consequence in half like

Mother scolding teen daughter on couch with teen shrugging her shoulders

that, you will want to explain to your tween or teen what you initially wanted to do for punishment but decided to [do half punishment] instead. I guarantee they will appreciate and respect it, knowing it could have been much worse. Furthermore, they will be likelier to learn from the mistake because they want to make you proud—and because you gave them a half-off pass.

For example, say your teen, Johnny, wanted to spend the weekend at their friend's house because they were going to their lakehouse. A few days before the weekend getaway, they were hanging out after school, and he was spotted smoking a pipe by a reliable source. As infuriated and upset as you may be, instead of telling him he can't go with his friend for the weekend, which is your knee-jerk reaction, take a deep breath. Once calmed, sit Johnny down and respectfully talk with him, treating him like a man, not a child or a kid that you must scream at. Tell him his consequence, that he cannot go to the lakehouse for the whole weekend; instead, he can hang out for a few hours on whatever day works best, explaining that you initially wanted to forbid him from going at all.

Crucially, once you have disciplined your tween or teen, and before ending the conversation, let them talk and explain themselves. When they are trying to talk, it's vital to listen without interruption. Granted, whatever they say will probably make no difference in how you feel about the situation or the punishment you give. It will, however, show you still respect them as a person and a young man/woman. Furthermore, it will show they can always come to you to talk or get advice regardless of age. Lastly, allowing them to voice their opinions and explain themselves freely and unimpeded will give you a sneak peek into their mindset on this touchy subject. Think of it as pulling back the veil of their emotions, passions, and desires, understanding what they were thinking and why.

Mother and daughter talking on a sofa, mother comforting upset daughter

It may seem like I'm almost contradicting myself since I started this blog insisting that tweens and teens should not try or experiment with marijuana. Then I move into saying don't punish them so much if they do experiment with THC and marijuana. So which is it? As I said, this site will give you brutal honesty, advice, and insight based on research, decades of parenting, and cold, hard facts.

The truth is your preteen(s) or teen(s) should not want to try marijuana; good old-fashioned parenting will cover that in conjunction with a heart-to-heart talk diving into details on the dangers of drugs and how you truly feel. Against popular opinion, the reason why we should not be as worried regarding (pure, unlaced) marijuana usage is because, like many foods, drugs, alcohol, medicines, vitamins, and chemicals, to harm the body and mind, it takes more than just one or two times. Bear in mind that this article was written for those who need a handle on how to deal with teenagers experimenting with pure marijuana. Furthermore, you must remember that if your tween or teen has tried marijuana, the

Mother and daughter talking face to face on a sofa

damage is already done; they have felt the effects of THC. At this point, it will do more good to empathize, understand, relate, and talk to them calmly and collectively rather than yelling and screaming. Lastly, at the very most, a unique way of looking at a bad situation: it will teach them the effects of THC at an early age. This will allow them to be better equipped to handle the effects when they are on their own in a world that is becoming more and more pro-marijuana and legalizing it at a record pace.

On the contrary, suppose your tween or teen is doing more than just experimenting and has a real issue or dependency on THC or marijuana. It has begun affecting their daily lives, attitudes, and behaviors. In that case, they, unfortunately, are already hooked on the drug, and to properly handle a situation such as that, they are going to have to want to quit. In addition, they will also need a robust support system in place; we will cover this in detail in future blog articles.

Teen girl smoking a bong exhaling smoke

The bottom line is that there is no reason to go overboard if it happens once or twice. The fact of the matter is that there has not been enough research done on the drug and teens despite an unsettling explosion of marijuana usage in teens, exceeding a 250% increase in use in the last 20 years. Nevertheless, that does not justify that pure marijuana is suitable for tweens and teens. In addition, I'd like to point out that children are EXCLUDED from this post; there have been proven adverse outcomes with marijuana and children. We should obviously never encourage marijuana or drugs to our family; however, when keeping an open mind, staying grounded to facts, and using some common sense, the stress factor of your tween or teen trying weed for the first or second time shouldn't be overwhelming. If they are raised with a good set of morals, ethics, and respect, and you have sat down and talked with them, there should be little to worry about. Trust your teen. You might be surprised. Should they get curious, or peer pressure gets the best of them, and they take a hit to see what the buzz is all about (pardon the pun), it's normal at that age. Humans are all curious beings, especially teens, while still testing the waters. Either way, if you do find out they tried marijuana, your stress levels should only be as high as if they skipped study hall in school, not much more; do not stress thinking, "What if they take advantage of me and continue despite consequences and sitdown talks?"—cross that bridge when the time comes. Now is NOT the time.

I will be sure to follow up within a few blogs from now on the best ways and steps to deal with your tween or teen who is struggling with marijuana addiction and dependency. As for now, this blog is merely a guide for parents, guardians, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and anybody else who cares for and has/interacts with teens and how to confront marijuana head-on. I hope this article helped or at least put some new perspective on an age-old topic. I'm leaving this post open for comments to let me know your opinion on the topic; there is no wrong answer—the only rule is respect.

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¹ Tweens: In this article, tweens are defined as 10-12 years old; typically, tween age is considered to be 8-12 years.
² Teens: In this article, teens are defined as 12-19 years old, the standard age.



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Temptation & Seduction of Weed

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