Are you struggling to manage boundaries with your teenager about marijuana use?

Is it hard to set boundaries around marijuana with your teenager? Let's talk about that on today's
Tips on Teens. My name is Kent Toussaint. I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist, and
I specialize in helping kids, teens, and families live happier lives. I lead two organizations,
the group Private Practice Teen Therapy Center, and the nonprofit organization Child and
Teen Counseling, both here in Woodland Hills, California. Every Wednesday at noon, I come
into your Facebook feed, live on Facebook Live, to answer your parenting questions. Let's
jump into today's question. What are your thoughts on marijuana? Long story short, my wife
and I gave in to our son and allowed him to smoke weed as long as he got it from us and only smoked
in the backyard at home. That way, we could control what he was using. Turns out, he didn't follow
the rules and was smoking more and secretly meeting friends to smoke late at night while we were
asleep. I don't think we can really stop him and I'd rather

him smoke than drink or do other drugs. But I am worried about how much he is smoking and how it
may be affecting him. He is about to be 17. Any advice?" Yes. Lots of it. So, a teenager using marijuana
is different than an adult using marijuana. A teenager's brain is still developing and that
brain is still developing until early to mid -twenties. So, what happens is, when there's habitual
smoking of marijuana. The THC, which is the psychoactive chemical in marijuana that creates
the high feeling, attaches to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. So what does that do?
That impacts your teenager's ability to learn, to adapt, to manage time, to multitask, to adapt
to his feelings, to build resilience. That is impaired and hope smoking habitually starts
reshaping the brain and cutting off connections so that could be impairing not only short -term
but long -term development in his brain which can be a problem another thing is if he is smoking
even when he feels the high go away the next

day his brain is still impaired for two maybe three days after he smokes he may not be aware of
it he won't feel it but his ability to learn and adapt is impaired now your teenager is probably
saying, wait a minute, it helps me deal with my anxiety, it helps me sleep, it helps me focus,
I can't sleep, I can't cope, if I don't have weed, I feel like I'm going crazy, I need it, why can't
I have this medicine instead of the medicine you want from the doctor? And you're thinking,
and then he says, and it's all natural, it's healthy, at least it's not some chemical, it's grown
from the earth, and why can't I do it, you did it when you a teenager and you left slack -jawed going
I don't know how to argue with that just don't do it right so the important thing to remember is
that marijuana is much more intense than it was back in the 60s 70s and 80s it has been bred and
and formulated to be have a stronger potent high um you also don't know what kind of pesticides
because it's kind of unregulated

how much Pesticides are used, and pesticides are often used. And, most teenagers, in fact,
I don't think I've ever met a teenager who smokes weed medicinally. They smoke it to get baked
and have a lot of fun. If they're smoking medicinally, they're probably not getting high. And
they're probably going more towards CBD, which is another active ingredient in marijuana,
but does not give you that high feeling. And again, that's something you can get over the counter.
You can get that at a drugstore and buy it. There's no age limit on that. So he's probably not regulating
it if he was getting medication from a doctor it would be prescribed He'd have a certain dosage.
He'd be monitored by the doctor make sure that you know, he's not getting too much or too little
So there's a lot of effects again that using too much weed can impact long term and short term
In fact, I included in the text below about four different websites about that to go in more detail
for you So I don't want to bore you with

this video on that So, how are you going to deal with this with your teenager? If your teenager
is so dependent that he's smoking habitually, daily, he needs help. Whether that's getting
a therapist, whether that's going to marijuana anonymous meetings, whether that's going
to an outpatient program or an inpatient program. And you'll say, wait, that much treatment
for marijuana? Absolutely. Because it is addictive. Again, it's not heroin. And people say,
well, at least it's not heroin. You're right. But it's not broccoli either. Remember, it's
it's not the healthy alternative. It is a less dangerous alternative to cocaine or Heroin or
something else like that and Habitual marijuana use can lead to other drugs down the line not
necessarily But it can and also the more you smoke weed the less effect it has at relieving anxiety
Less effect it has of helping you sleep because you build this tolerance It goes up and up and
up so it becomes less and less effective And so they have, you have a

really high tolerance, you don't feel that high anymore, but you still feel a dependence to
it. And so I think that's really important to talk to him and get him treatment and help, figure
out why does he need this marijuana? Are there other ways that he can develop resilience to cope
with anxiety, depression, all these uncomfortable feelings that we all deal with all the time?
And how do we help with that? One of the things I wanted to say is, if he's resistant to therapy
and resistant to help, you may need to step it up a notch. You may need to, you know, if it's really
bad, he's not going to school, if it's to the point where his anger's going out of control, which
can happen with marijuana, you may need to, you know, get him into an inpatient treatment center.
If you're not sure how to do that, call them. There are several inpatient treatment centers.
They will tell you how to get him to your, that hospital or that clinic. You may need to figure
out how to send him to, And you know

boarding school again. These are extreme situations Therapeutic boarding school, it's not
always the you know the most ideal situation But if it's going to such an extreme you may didn't
do that. Hopefully you can just do that with outpatient You know in the you know individual therapy
that would be best And maybe marijuana anonymous means but again just because you send him to
therapy doesn't mean he's going to initially just want to you know Stop smoking the therapist
not gonna have a magic wand and say stop smoking. He's gonna stop It's getting him to start seeing
the patterns and also if his whole social life is bent around weed You're going to need to help
him transition out of that and find a whole new social circle because if he you know Even if he
goes to a 30 -day treatment program and he comes back out he goes back to the same friends He's
gonna go right back to the same patterns It's a big complicated issue Obviously, we can't cover
every possibility in one video, but hopefully

this gets you started Hopefully this gets you to look for to talk to a therapist in your area get
some help and support But again smoking marijuana every day for a teenager Generally, not the
best idea Not as bad as heroin and some may say not as bad as alcohol and that is we're not gonna
debate that here But again, it doesn't mean it's healthy. It just means it may be a less dangerous
alternative Anyways, that's our question for today. Thank you for your questions. Keep them
coming Again, you can email us your questions at tipsonteens at teentherapycenter .com. Again,
my name is Kent Toussaint from Teen Therapy Center and Child and Teen Counseling, and I'll see
you guys next Wednesday at noon in your Facebook feed. Bye -bye.

Are you struggling to manage boundaries with your teenage about marijuana use? Where do you draw the line about what’s okay and what’s not, and how dangerous is marijuana use to his or her development?

“What are your thoughts on marijuana? Long story – short, my wife and I gave in to our son and allowed him to smoke weed as long as he got it from us and only smoked in the backyard at home. That way we can control what he is using. Turns out, he didn’t follow the rules and was smoking more and secretly meeting friends to smoke with late at night while we were asleep. I don’t think we can really stop him and I’d rather him smoke than drink or do other drugs. But I am worried about how much he is smoking and how it may be affecting him. He is about to be 17. Any advice?”

Tips On Teens is a vlog that our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint, hosts every Wednesday at 12:00pm on Facebook Live.  He will be answering parenting questions submitted to us by you to our email at  Send us any questions you might have about parenting kids and teens and Kent will be answering them every week!

Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE!  Check out our page here –

If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.