It’s not uncommon to walk into a bathroom at BHS and immediately get hit with the sweet, almost piney smell of a THC cartridge, or a cart. Someone who isn’t familiar with the smell may not even think of anything illicit. Cart usage has become more common among high schoolers than vaping. It has become a constant battle between the administration and student users at BHS.
According to a study done by the MCHS, THC is poison for developing brains. Marijuana use among adolescents and young adults can affect normal brain development, leading to problems in learning, memory, coordination, reaction time, and judgment. But as with vaping, misinformation gets spread among teenagers about the severity of the effects.
“I know it can mess you up, y’know?” said an anonymous sophomore girl. “But like, I’m not doing it every day, and I can quit if it starts screwing me up. I think it’s better for me than vaping because it’s not really addicting.”
One of the main reasons cart usage is becoming commonplace is because of accessibility. It’s all too easy to get roped into using a cart. Maybe they want to do a little experimenting, or maybe they just want to fit in. To many people, it’s difficult to turn down something that people around you are doing, and a cart is no exception. Oftentimes, one hit is enough.
“My first time hitting a cart was in my brother’s friend’s car,” said a freshman boy. “I took one little rip and I only felt it a little bit, so I took another. I kept wanting to feel that way, so I bought my own like two days later. I don’t know if I could go a day without it now.”
Another large factor in the widespread use of carts by teens is its potential anxiety and depression-reducing effects. A study by the University of Washington proves THC can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depressive feelings. High school is a stressful time for a lot of teenagers, and that can often lead to THC dependency as a way of coping.
“Weed helps with my stress better than anything else I’ve tried,” a freshman girl said. “I feel like everything I don’t want to think about just disappears when I’m high. I don’t think it’s healthy, but it’s whatever.”