By the time she got to college, she had been through several addiction treatment programs. He had become so paranoid that he thought the mob was after him and his college was a base for the FBI, Stack said. At one point, after moving out of his childhood home, he threatened to kill the family dog unless his parents gave him money. His mother later found out that Johnny had obtained his own medical marijuana card when he turned 18 and had started trafficking younger children.
After several stays in psychiatric hospitals, doctors determined that Johnny had a serious case of THC abuse, Stack said. He was prescribed an antipsychotic medication, which helped him, but then he stopped taking it. In 2019, Johnny died after jumping from a six-story building. He was 19 years old. A few days before her death, Stack said, Johnny apologized to her, telling her the weed had ruined his mind and her life, adding, “I’m sorry and I love you.”
A recent study found that people who used marijuana were more likely to ideate, plan and attempt suicide than those who did not use the drug at all. Ms. Stack now runs a non-profit organization called Johnny’s Ambassadors that educates communities about high-THC cannabis and its effect on the adolescent brain.
There is no ‘known safe limit’.
It can be difficult to determine exactly how much THC enters a person’s brain when using cannabis. This is because it is not only the frequency of use and the concentration of THC that affects the dose, but also how quickly the chemicals reach the brain. In vaporizers, the speed of delivery can change depending on the basis in which the THC dissolves, the battery power of the device, and how hot the product becomes when heated.
Higher doses of THC are more likely to produce anxiety, agitation, paranoia, and psychosis.
“The younger you are, the more vulnerable your brain is to developing these problems,” Dr. Levy said.
Young people are also more likely to become addicted when they start using marijuana before the age of 18, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.