Research shows that the brain is not fully developed until around age 25. Youth are especially vulnerable to the effects of cannabis on brain development and function. We have developed two tools that help demonstrate this in an engaging way.
The compounds in cannabis affect the same biological system in the brain the brain that directs brain development. Through this experience, participants learn the facts on how cannabis affects each area of this vital organ, and what could potentially happen long-term. Participants will be able to access different parts of the brain and understand what they do, and what the impact cannabis use can have. It is important to stress that cannabis use can have a significant impact in adolescent brains, as the brain is still developing up to the age of 25 and so are especially vulnerable to the effects of cannabis on brain development and function.
Try out the 360° Brain for yourself.
Tech Requirements: Accessible through a web browser.
Tip to enhance experience: Set up on a projector so multiple people can view the 360° Brain at one time.
VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCE
“Clear the Air” is a free virtual reality experience that can be accessed through the “Oculus” store. It requires a compatible smartphone and virtual reality goggles. Participants can use this experience to better understand how cannabis use affects their health and their ability to carry out tasks. It is important to stress that this doesn’t replicate the feeling of being high, but instead simulates some of the potential side effects of cannabis use.
Tech Requirements: VR headset and Controller which supports Oculus (Oculus account installed, and 'Clear The Air' app downloaded) Headphones.
Tips to enhance experience: Take the opportunity to go through the experience before sharing with those taking part in the Pursue Your Passion event to familiarize yourself with the controls and objectives. Get participants to talk through the experience as they go through it.
You can also learn more about the short term and long term effects of cannabis use by visiting Canada.ca/Cannabis. You can use these handouts as a takeaway for both youth and their parents after your Pursue Your Passion experience: