There is a lot of debate surrounding what the appropriate age to consume cannabis should be. Some suggest following the same age as alcohol which is 21 years of age in the US and 18 or 19 in Canada, depending on the province. The legal age in the US is currently 21, but doctors are saying that research shows that the age should be 25 and above. Consumers, however, are not in support of this change.
Doctors are mainly concerned about the effects of cannabis on memory and cognitive function in young adults. More specifically, chronic consumption can lead to difficulties with gross and fine motor skills, affect processing speed, memory and cognition, as well as attention span and the ability to concentrate. Given that excessive use can significantly affect cognitive development, studies show that use should begin at a later age.
As consumption is increased, so is the danger for young adults. This is because the brain’s cognitive function is not fully developed until the age of 25. This can greatly affect both physical as well as mental health. What is interesting, however, is that cannabis is commonly prescribed to treat specific mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. This begs the question of how one can benefit from the medicinal properties of cannabis without putting one’s cognitive development at risk.
What is certain is that excessive or chronic use of any substance can be detrimental to one’s health and ought to be used with caution or under the recommendations of a doctor. Use should be measured and monitored.