Marijuana and the Teenage Brain
Running Time: 23 Minutes
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This program informs students about the latest research on the effects of marijuana on the brain. Animated graphics clearly shows how THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, hijacks the brain’s endocannabinoid system and harms the functioning of different parts of the brain associated with coordination, cognition and intelligence, and mental illness. Clinicians who treat marijuana users forcefully explain that it’s possible to become addicted to marijuana and that the risk of addiction is higher for teenagers because their brains are not yet fully developed. The author of a long-term study cites research that shows that people who started using marijuana as teens show an average loss of 8 points in IQ. Recovering marijuana addicts provide a human face to the effects of marijuana as they describe why they started using and how use led to dependency and addiction.
video, plus teacher’s resource book, student handouts and pre/post tests in digital format
Bronze Telly Award
This excellent video features great visuals, drop-down and animated graphics, and computer simulations of brain activity/function that reinforce the narration and emphasize the harmful effects of marijuana on the brain. The film starts by posing five questions relating to teens and marijuana use that are answered by three doctors working with addicted teens in Seattle and a researcher who is studying the effect of marijuana on teen IQ. They explain the correlation between marijuana use and mental illness, increasing paranoia in users, a permanent decrease in IQ in teens under age 18, and more. Recovering marijuana addicts discuss the reasons they started using the drug and its effects. A great choice for health and substance abuse curricula.
—John R. Clark, Hartland Public Library, ME
School Library Journal
Highly Recommended The DVD is a research-based resource for teachers and students explaining the chemical changes that occur in the brain when teens become addicted to smoking marijuana at a young age. The video presents 5 major questions at the beginning and talks about the latest findings. The format is excellent providing viewers with background information on how the brain functions, its components, and the chemical changes that can occur.
Much more is uncovered when professional clinicians and researchers discuss results from brain studies linking IQ decline with long-term use of THC. In addition, the film is packed with information about the association between substance abuse and mental illness such as psychosis and depression. While the video provides these facts, younger viewers can appreciate the teen perspectives offered in the movie.
Marijuana and the Teenage Brain is highly recommended for teachers and students covering related topics in the classroom. A nineteen page digital Teacher’s Resource Book complements the DVD to include lesson plans organized to cover the National Health Education Standards and Performance Indicators based on grade level. Pre/Post Tests are also included.
—Deidra N. Herring, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO)