By the time he reached college, he had gone through various addiction treatment programs. He became so paranoid that he thought the mob was after him and that his college was a base for the FBI, Ms Stack said. Once, after moving out of his childhood home, he threatened to kill the family dog unless his parents gave him money. His mother later discovered that Johnny had obtained his own medical marijuana card when he turned 18 and had started dealing with younger children.
After several stays in psychiatric hospitals, doctors determined that Johnny had a serious case of THC abuse, Ms Stack said. He was prescribed an antipsychotic, which helped – but then he stopped using it. In 2019, Johnny died after jumping from a six story building. He was 19. A few days before his death, Ms. Stack said Johnny apologized to her and said that weed had ruined 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 attempts than those who did not use the drug at all. Ms. Stack now runs a non-profit organization called Johnny’s Ambassadors, which educates communities about high-THC cannabis and its effects on the brains of young people.
There is “no known safe limit”.
It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly how much THC is entering a person’s brain when consuming 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. With vaporizers, the rate of delivery can change depending on the base in which the THC is dissolved, how strong the device’s battery is, and how warm the product gets when heated.
Higher THC doses are more likely to lead to anxiety, agitation, paranoia, and psychosis.
“The younger you are, the more prone your brain is to developing these problems,” said Dr. Levy.
Teens who start using marijuana before the age of 18 are also more likely to become addicted, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.