By the time he entered college, he had gone through several addiction treatment programs. He had become so paranoid that he thought the mafia was after him and that his school was a base for the FBI, Ms. Stack said. At one point, after he moved out of his childhood home, he threatened to kill the family dog unless his parents gave him money. His mother later found out that Johnny had received his own medical marijuana card when he turned 18 and started trading with younger children.
After several stays in mental hospitals, the doctors determined that Johnny had a serious case of THC abuse, Ms Stack said. He was prescribed an antipsychotic drug, which helped – but then he stopped. In 2019, Johnny died after jumping from a six-story building. He was 19. A few days before his death, Ms. Stack said Johnny had apologized to her by saying that weed had destroyed his mind and his life, adding, “I’m sorry and I love you.”
A recent study found that people who used marijuana were more likely to have suicidal thoughts, plans, and suicide attempts than those who didn’t use the drug at all. Ms. Stack now runs a non-profit called Johnny’s Ambassadors that educates communities about THC-rich cannabis and its effect on the adolescent brain.
There is ‘no known safe limit’.
It can be difficult to determine exactly how much THC enters a person’s brain when they use cannabis. That’s because not only frequency of use and THC concentration affect dosage, but also how quickly the chemicals are delivered to the brain. In vaporizers, the rate of delivery can change depending on the base the THC is dissolved in, the strength of the device’s battery, and how hot the product gets when heated.
Higher doses of THC are more likely to cause anxiety, excitement, paranoia and psychosis.
“The younger you are, the more vulnerable your brain is to developing these problems,” said Dr. levy.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, young people are more likely to become addicted if they start using marijuana before the age of 18.