Page updated on Aug 9, 2021 at 11:32 AM

Fast Facts

Talking With Your Children and Teens About Marijuana

What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?

Additional Resources 

Fast Facts

  • On July 1, 2021, marijuana was legalized for adults, 21 years or older, with certain conditions. SAPCA thought youth and adults should know these Top 10 Things about the new law. They are:

    1. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to use, purchase, or possess any amount of marijuana.

    2. Adults may possess up to one ounce (28.3 grams) and use marijuana in Virginia.

    3. Adults may grow up to four marijuana plants per household—not per person. Youth access to these plants must be restricted and plants should not be grown in a public place. Each plant must have a legible tag attached with the owner’s name, driver’s license or ID number, and a statement that it is grown for a personal use as authorized by law.

    4. It is illegal for anyone to use marijuana in a public space

    5. Adults may use marijuana in a private residence but the owner of a residence can restrict the use of marijuana in the residence

    6. Colleges and universities in Virginia have the right to prohibit marijuana use and possession on their campuses and in campus housing

    7. It is illegal for anyone to buy or sell marijuana, including marijuana seeds.

    8. It is also illegal to ship, transport, import or bring marijuana or marijuana products into Virginia

    9. It is unsafe to drive while under the influence of marijuana, alcohol, or a combination of these substances

    10. It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to use, purchase, or possess any amount of marijuana.

    Learn more facts about the new Virginia Legalization Law at

    Click here to learn more facts about marijuana.
  • The main psychoactive chemical in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly referred to as THC
    • THC acts upon specific sites of the brain that ultimately lead to the “high” that users experience, including areas of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thinking, concentration, sensory and time perception, coordinated movement and judgement. 
  • Marijuana's structure has changed over time.
    • The marijuana available today is much stronger than previous versions; it contains varying levels of THC, the component responsible for euphoria and intoxication, and cannabidiol (CBD).
    • The THC concentration in commonly cultivated marijuana plants has increased three-fold between 1995 and 2014 - from 4% to 12%. Concentrated products, commonly known as dabs or waxes, are far more widely available to users and may contain between 23.7% and 75.9% THC.
    • No amount of marijuana use during adolescence is known to be safe. Until and unless more is known about the long-term impact, the safest choice for adolescents is not to use marijuana.
    • It is unsafe safe for anyone to drive while under the influence of marijuana.
    • Marijuana is addictive.
      • Recent data suggest that 30% of those who use marijuana may have some degree of marijuana use disorder. Marijuana use disorder becomes addiction when a person cannot stop using the drug even though it interferes with many aspects of life.
      • One in five youth that use marijuana become addicted.
    • Marijuana users may experience physical withdrawal symptoms.
      • Marijuana use disorders are often associated with dependence -- in which a person feels withdrawal symptoms when not taking the drug. People who use marijuana frequently often report irritability, mood and sleep difficulties, decreased appetite, cravings, restlessness, and/or various forms of physical discomfort that peak within the first week after quitting and last up to two weeks.
      • The risks of physical dependence, addiction, and other negative consequences increase with exposure to high concentrations of THC. Higher doses of THC are also more likely to produce anxiety, agitation, paranoia, and psychosis.
    • Marijuana can remain in the body for days
      • Although detectable amounts of THC may remain in the body for days or even weeks after use, the noticeable effects of smoked marijuana generally last from 1 to 3 hours, and those of marijuana consumed in food or drink may last for many hours.
      • Edible marijuana takes time to absorb and to produce its effects, increasing the risk of unintentional overdose, as well as accidental ingestion, by children and adolescents.
    • Marijuana use is linked to risk for and early onset of psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia. The risk for psychotic disorders increases with frequency of use and potency of the marijuana product. 
    • Adolescent marijuana use is associated with the use and abuse of other substances.
    • Chronic marijuana use has been linked to declines in IQ, school performance, and self-reported quality of life. Studies also consistently show that individuals that use marijuana are less likely to graduate from high school or college and more likely to be unemployed. 

    Talking With Your Children and Teens About Marijuana

    • Focus on one goal: You do not want them to use.
    • Stick to simple, straightforward arguments:
      • Marijuana makes it harder for your brain to make
        good decisions.
      • Marijuana reduces motivation and increases
      • For some people, once they start using
        marijuana, they can’t or won’t stop.
      • Marijuana can keep you from doing and being your

    What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?

    • Cannabidiol (CBD) is chemical that comes from the cannabis plant that does not contain THC.
    • CBD is often used to treat epilepsy, anxiety and chronic pain.
    • Side effects of CBD include tiredness, dry mouth, diarrhea, nausea and changes in appetite.
    • CBD is not approved by the FDA.
      • It can be very dangerous to purchase items that don’t have FDA approval because there is always a chance of unlisted (e.g. extra) ingredients.
      • In one study, more than 25% of products tested contained less CBD than advertised and THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, was found in over 20% of tested products.

    Additional Resources

    Marijuana Facts - NIDA
    Smart Approaches to Marijuana 
    Marijuana Harmless? Think Again. 
    The Impact of Marijuana Legalization - (Powerpoint Presentation)