TUPE Podcast Episode 3

February 13, 2018

Episode 3-Marijuana Edibles and Youth

pop tarts

What is TUPE?

TUPE (Tobacco Use Prevention Education) is implemented throughout NC Schools. Marlene Mahurin trains teachers and counselors in all middle and high school sites to implement tobacco, vaping and marijuana prevention education in the classrooms as well as train students as TUPE Peer Educators who educate their peers and do school wide advocacy.

Teens and Edibles:

Edibles defined: A food, most commonly a baked good, candy or soda that has THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) cooked or baked into the product. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in the cannabis plant that makes someone “high.” Edibles are either made at home or purchased at a Marijuana dispensary.

How do they effect the body differently than smoking  marijuana? Edibles are tricky. They take the body longer to feel the effects of the THC. It can take an hour to 90 minutes to feel the effects. It is very easy to eat way too much and become extremely intoxicated. The high also lasts longer when eaten.

Disclaimer: We are talking about how tobacco and marijuana effect teenagers as opposed to adults. TUPE’s mission is to educate the youth. The developing brain reacts differently to all substances then a brain past 25. Our mission is not to get involved with the politics of marijuana but to educate people under 21 on the health risks so they can make informed and educated choices.

How can one determine the strength of edibles?

There is currently little regulation with edibles which makes it challenging to know the amount of THC in a product. Serving sizes can also be confusing as one cookie might be multiple servings. This makes it very easy to consume more then desired.

What is the appeal to youth?

Some teens are drawn to the strength of the products. There is also no odor so it’s easier to hidefrom grown-ups.

Are there many local cases of teens using edibles?

Yes. We are seeing quite a few local cases. Last year local middle school students were found eating THC lollipops in class. This year we have seen a few overdoses of teens consuming edibles at school as well. It is a problem and will most likely become more common as availability increases.

What are some of the health risks of edibles?

Potency increases the health risks to youth. A regular user can have:

  • Drop in IQ
  • Synapses in the brain may not develop properly
  • Overdose risk increases
  • Uncontrollable vomiting is a short-term risk
  • THC induced Psychosis and Anxiety and Mood Disorders can occur.
  • Many youth use marijuana to deal with stress but when this becomes a dependency, they are not learning other ways to cope.

What can parents do?

  • Educate young children about edibles and the fact that they can make them sick
  • Lock up edibles if they are in the home and make sure they aren’t accessible to youth and pets.
  • Educate young adults about the health risks of edibles
  • Keep the lines of communication open with teens about substance use.
  • Stay calm if your son or daughter is experimenting with marijuana and talk about healthier options for meeting their needs.


Upcoming Events:

2 Parent Ed Nights coming up: Youth and Marijuana
2/28/18 at Nevada Union High School in the Don Baggett Theater from 5:30-8:00 p.m.

3/8/18 at Bear River High School in the theater from 5:30-8:00 p.m.

Please register at www.eventbrite.com