Did you start smoking weed in your early teens? You should read this!

This is a warning from history as they say. Did you start smoking in your early teens ? Still smoking? Well, I have some news for you .It will stunt your growth. Not your height ,although if you are mixing the cannabis with tobacco it actually could. I am talking about your emotional growth.

You see in my misspent youth I hung around a lot of stoners.Great guys who loved their music and hash , as we called it back then in the early 1980’s.For some of us , smoking cannabis was just for the weekend or if we went round to a mates house during the week .We smoked Red Lebanese or Pakistani Black , lovely mellow resin with a THC level of about 3-4 %.

THC is the active ingredient that gets you stoned. To put that figure into perspective , Weed nowadays has a THC level ranging from 20-30% ! It’s basically a different drug..but that’s for another blog post.

This blog post is about my observations of one of my friends who started smoking around the age of thirteen and carried on smoking daily , in fact still does. Now, the strength of cannabis he was smoking for at least the first twenty years was only 4% THC not the 30% that is freely available today.

On just  a daily consumption of 4% THC, it has severely impacted on his life.He has hardly worked since 1981 instead choosing to live on benefits and smoke weed instead. Since then I have observed a steady decline in his mental health.

The first thing I noticed early on, say after five years of smoking weed heavily was an obsessiveness about small details. He would obsess in forensic detail about the quality of his hash. He could easily spend half an hour just talking about the features of his latest ounce of weed. The smell, the texture and the specific high it gave you .At first we took no notice but then it was all he wanted to talk about. It was strange…

From there I noticed his appearance to become more dowdy and even his personal hygiene began to suffer. This was quickly followed by the mood swings. Sometimes out of nowhere he would start being overly sensitive to something one of us had said and storm off without any explanation.He became more isolated and actually quite resentful about my other friends success at school and then work to the point it was no longer fun to be in his company.

Fast forward forty years and nothing has changed except the strength of cannabis. The keywords there “nothing has changed”. It is like he is frozen in time. He listens to the same music, in the same flat, complaining about the same things. He literally hasn’t grown up. He acts like an overgrown teenager using the same words and habits that a teenager would.

On further investigation, this is exactly what has happened. The cannabis has emotionally stunted his mental cognition. The latest research in how early cannabis adoption can affect your emotional growth is coming from the University Hospital of Lund, Sweden. Their Drug Addiction Treatment Centre has come up with some astounding observations regarding early cannabis use.

They back up what I found in my friend. If you start smoking weed heavily and daily at 14 years of age, you essentially freeze frame your mental age, so as an adult you will come over as very immature with no sense of responsibility. Your speech and vocabulary will be of a 14 year old . Your ideas about sex and relationships will be of a 14 year old.

But that’s just the start. Remember, this happened to someone smoking for the first 20 years very weak weed compared to what is available today. Imagine the effects of someone smoking Skunk today with levels of THC of 30%!

In my next blog I shall discuss the implications of someone smoking Skunk in their early teens.

Andy MacArthur is a NLP Practitioner/Trainer who runs Beautiful Mind, a clinic based in Edinburgh specialising in Addictions and anxiety.