On Friday, our students had the opportunity to take part in a presentation about weed, vaping, and peer pressure. The special programming was presented by PEER Services, a non-profit organization whose mission is to eliminate substance use and the problems it causes for individuals, families, and communities through collaborative, high-quality prevention and treatment services.
The presentation started with the basics and impact of cannabis and the differences between THC and CBD; learning that THC is psychoactive, while CBD is non-psychoactive. Additionally, the girls learned about the short-term and long-term effects of cannabis and how over the years, THC levels have increased from 2-4% to 12-20%.
The presentation also discussed laws and regulations surrounding cannabis, including the following:
- Adults 21 and under cannot purchase or possess cannabis
- It is illegal to drive under the influence of cannabis
- It is illegal to smoke cannabis on public property
- Cannabis is federally illegal and can impact your chances for Federal Financial Aid
It was also noted that just because it is natural, does not mean that it is safe; and just because it is legal does not mean that it is safe.
The presentation included a video about the effects of cannabis on the teenage brain.
From there, the girls learned about nicotine and the effects of vaping on the teenage brain, which includes memory loss, learning, impulse control, and mental health. They also learned the contents of vaping products:
- Nicotine salts
- Propylene glycol (also in antifreeze and paint)
- Carcinogens (like acetaldehyde and formaldehyde)
- Heavy Metals (lead, tin, nickel, and cadmium)
This part of the presentation also included a video about electronic cigarettes and vaping.
The presentation wrapped up with a conversation about peer pressure and the feelings that come with peer pressure. The girls were then asked how what they learned in the presentation differed from information they may have learned through the media and/or friends.
Parents, if you would like to learn more about vaping and e-cigarette products, check out this visual dictionary; you can also learn more with the CDC's Quick Facts on the Risks of E-cigarettes for Kids, Teens, and Young Adults.